Writer’s Block – Two simple words that describe the hell that i have been through in the past nine weeks.
For someone who writes & reviews for a living, 2016 began with the promise of new clients, and though i’d been speaking to quite a few of them, only one among them signed up. The work wasn’t all that great, and the pay was peanuts in comparison to the effort i had to put in. Still i decided to take it up, firmly believing that good things come to people who patiently work at all that comes their way. The initial teething stages were painful. There was quite the chasm between the stuff they were to deliver, and what they did, but what go to me were the expectations. Thankfully, a few email exchanges later, some semblance of order was starting to be restored.
Two content cycles down the line however, the topics and the targeted keywords were starting to look a little stale. The content strategy revolved around seeding posts at regular intervals around 10 buckets or themes, period. There was no real effort from the other side, behind the stuff being shared. As the quantum of work increased, the monotony increased exponentially. Before i knew it, i was in a rut and soon, the words that would flow with relative ease, started to dry out. Things came to such a pass, that i would sit through the day and often late into the night without going beyond a hundred odd words.
No matter how much i researched, or how familiar i was with the topic at hand, the words simply refused to flow. For the first time in years, i missed a deadline. I was shattered and gulping down my pride was another painful task. Then came the opportunity to experience the MotoGP 2016 season opener in Qatar and i was on the plane in a flash. I’d thought that the creative juices would be back in flow after the high-octane action down by the race track. It helped, to a great extent, but the words refused to flow as freely as i’d have liked.
Desperate, with tons of work piled up, i decided to dig in and rough it out. For three full days, i sat at the keyboard, agonizing over the pace of my writing. Day and night, and day again, i kept at it. The splitting headaches took up residency, the fingers swelled up and the joints hurt, but i’d decided that quitting wasn’t an option at all. Finally, after a full five days of this drama, the dam burst. It was late afternoon, when the words started to trickle through. The pace of writing picked up and as the evening turned into night, i was back. 16 hours later, i’d emailed half my clients, thanking them for being understanding enough & informing them that the pending work was being cleared.
The sleep that followed after having sent over the first of the work was sheer bliss. The next two days rushed past in a blur of reports being filed. 80 hours after the dam had burst, the backlog had been cleared. The demon that was the Writer’s Block, had finally been slayed, for now.
This experience taught me something priceless. It showed me how Murphy can come rampaging through when i least expected it and leave a trail of carnage that can leave me helplessly devastated. It also showed me that nothing but time and perseverance would help me get back into the flow of things. And more importantly, it taught me to keep the people involved in the loop.
Another valuable thing was that missing a deadline, can sometimes be good. It spurs you on to push yourself to a higher level and keep going at it, till things come around. So yeah, i’m back, for now, and better than i have been before!