Monday, December 17, 2007

Writers block

Writers block was one thing I was never afraid of - nothing remotely close to it had ever happened to me. If there was a keyboard beneath my fingers, they used to punch in shit without stopping to think. What came out was a wide variety of mostly outrageous and unrelated ideas, all of it chronicled in this blog... till one day everything hit a dead end. Nothing was important enough to note down, nothing was important enough to express, and everything turned out to be outrageous and unrelated.
It was at this point of time that I realised what exactly the deal with writers block was. It puts a full stop to your sentences, a conclusion beyond words, a state of mind where writing is not necessary simply because there is nothing that one can be sure, one can claim to know, or take responsibility of expression. Simply put, it is like this, if every piece of text assumes an identity of its own, and the author dies in the process of the presentation of the text, then it is nothing short of scuicide to write anything down at all.
There was one ray of hope, that the whole theory of authors dying was not true, and save for a little interference, most of the ideas get channelised through the text anyway. What thoughts it generates subsequently might kill the author, but then the author must not assume control of such subsequent thoughts, or it would be like killing the reader.
Nice little dillema and sufficient reason for an acute writers block. Again, just when there looked like there was no way out, there emerged from some corner of the mind that ideas were not at all the reason why people read text... they read it to get the perspective of another individual, and then use it in any way they see fit. What really matters in a piece of text is not after all, the matter of the piece of text, but the process behind the matter, the other side of the story that everybody knows.
What it means is that writing outrageous and unrelated bullshit serves a higher purpose than conveying thoughts or chronicling ideas, it is an exploration of angles, looking inwards from where we haven't looked inwards before. This is when writers block actually becomes final and absolute, because of a whole new mess. It is the fundamental problem of all kinds of things branded as art. The effort put into it is appreciated more than the worth of the contents. A Picasso owes its price tag only because no one else can pull off something like it. It is a permanent claim that an author has over the text, that gives it some mediocum of value, and nothing else.
And that is when the focus shifts dramatically to the audience again. A Picasso owes its price tag also to the rich ass buyer with deep pockets.
In conclusion, it is impossible to justify writing, and hence the writers block, but it is also impossible to justify the reading, and hence, the thankful escape from the writers block.
Thank you.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I dig this post. But why, as a reader, do I? 'Cos you *explore* writer's block from a different *angle* (?). But someone else might not dig it (but would appreciate it, though) - one reason might be that he was already aware of such a twist around the writer's block concept (and would already have come over a more expanded version of the same). In other words, how can one justify reading? How can one justify (/evaluate) criticism of a particular work (say, a picasso)?

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