The sun had just started to sink when he found his way to the bench. The bench, this place, was where he always felt at peace. On his left were the waves splashing against the jutting rocks and on his right, the cafes and eateries. To the casual eye, it might have seemed like a glorified pavement but to him it was more than that. It was as close as he could get to the sea here, without having to hear the chatter of the people all around. Sure, there were people here too but they kept to themselves, busy with their running or walking, and only the usual cawing of the crows fell on your ears.
He looked at the blank page in front of him again. He had been staring at it for the last two weeks. Before that there was the blank Word document that was making his life hellish. He had not written a word for more than a month now. He could tell the exact days – 39. Not a word or a line or anything at all…..
The problem was that he didn’t know what the problem was. Why had he suddenly stopped writing? It was as if some chord that ran from his brain to his hand, that translated his thoughts to words, had snapped. And he didn’t know how to unsnap it or even just strap it together clumsily so that he could get rid of the thousand things running through his mind. So that he didn’t feel so incompetent and useless.
He wanted to be a writer but after this prolonged episode, he wasn’t so sure. Hell, he was never sure. He always thought of himself as a mediocre wannabe but still he hoped one day to write something, even if it were just a few lines, which could move a soul – a single soul was enough for him. Then he wouldn’t feel like he had accomplished nothing in his life.
Everyday after his regular work, determined to write, he sat down in front of his laptop, staring at the wallpaper he had downloaded. It listed 25 ways to be a happy writer. You know what the very first point of it was: WRITE! But how….He oscillated between the wallpaper and the blank Word document, wrote a word, sometimes a line or a short para only to delete it all again. After a while, irritated he would resort to watching stupid sitcoms and while away his life. At the end of it all, only the white of the doc remained.
After few weeks, he shifted from the PC to the paper, hoping the feel of the paper, the flow of the ink, the pen in his hand may spring some magic but that wasn’t to be either.
Maybe it all changed when his short story didn’t make it to the top three. Maybe something snapped when he couldn’t write anything about a book he liked. He just couldn’t frame what he had liked. And if he couldn’t do that, maybe he couldn’t write at all. Maybe he was just putting too much pressure on himself. No matter the reason, it seemed like he had caught writer’s block. But hell, he had hardly begun to stop. And how did one get over the block? What did one do?
The only thing he thought could inspire him again was his beloved sea, and so he had come here, to his favourite section, to his bench, to revel in the sea air and to get the cobwebs out…
Maybe he should start by writing about the block itself………