Tag Archives: writer’s block

The Ever Elusive First Draft

Hello, ya’ll.

Long time, long time.

I seem to be starting too many conversations like that these days. “Where have you been?” people seem to keep asking. “What are you doing?”, “Why aren’t you writing anymore?”, “When’s your next article out?”

“I’ve been away concentrating on a book”, is what I’d like to say. It’s also what I DO say, more often than not. But the truth is, I’ve been changing. And I’ve been changing on the inside and I’ve been changing on the outside and with these changes come changes in perspective. It’s been a roller-coaster ride, the past four-five months. I’ve gone from an intense and ferocious mania to self-inflicted heartache and anxiety to a controlled state of fanciful calm and finally to a kind of zen-happy.

All’s well that ends well, so yay. The issue, however, lies here-in. When I decided I was going to write a book, it was before I started changing. And as we all know, changes in life come like rude uninvited guests. They come over unannounced, piss all over your plans, crumple your sheets and leave complaining. And that would still have worked fine for me, because I planned to write something dark, introspective, borderline soul-searchy (yes, my vocab improves by the day) and winging it really always was my Plan A. However, every once in a while, life throws you a curve-ball and this whole winging it idea suddenly doesn’t seem to be your forte any more. And I’m not lying when I say I’ve been away concentrating on a book. It’s just hard to write when your protagonist is modelled after you and the model itself is dynamic in nature. There’s this ray of ridiculously strong all-consuming sunshine in my life now and as wonderful as it sounds, I can’t get my thoughts to the place they need to be in to write this introspective dark soul-searchy (i swear I’m going to google a better word for it soon) book.

So I’ve decided to go about it by writing as an observer instead of the protagonist. It may work, it may not, only time will tell. But any artist will tell you that once an idea becomes your baby, it must be executed. Before anyone else thinks of it. Before anybody takes the idea and does a shitty job of it. Or worse, a better job than you could have done yourself.

Here’s where you all come in. I’ll give you a little about the underlying concept of the book, and you give me a little of your lives in exchange. Any story/ thought/circumstance/situation/idea that is remotely relevant. Or irrelevant, but something you need to be shared. I will milk it to the best of my ability, I’ll put in a bunch of pretty words that I’ll also google and I’ll obviously obviously hand out credits. If you’d like, I’ll use it in my story. If you’d rather not, I won’t. I just need to get myself in the state of mind, and I’m reaching out for a bit of your soul after sharing so much of mine over the months that I was in full flow.

So here goes:

The underlying concept is 21st century marriages in India. Not weddings. Marriages. The surface, the creases and the dirt in the fabric. The mindset, the thousand mindsets, what overlaps and what doesn’t. The expectations and the disappointments. The good, the bad, the ugly and the unimaginable. Throw me a word, a sentence, a link, facts and fiction. And most importantly, sketches from your lives. Write anonymously, write with your name highlighted, send it in now, send it in a month.
You can message me on my personal Facebook page, or on the Lazy and the Overthinker Facebook page, or even write in to ayeesha1991@gmail.com.

Here’s hoping this helps.
And if not, here’s hoping it brings me closer to the thoughts, ideas and lives of my readers. (Hey. We really gotta start creating our own silver linings.)

So so much love.
– A writer craving the beginning of her first draft.

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There’s nothing quite as heavy as a blank page

A million musings, you know, are floating just under the surface; but not one pops its head up for some fresh air.The fingers tap to an uncertain beat; cautious inspiration for an idea that hasn’t found its rhythm yet.

And all the while, the light keeps fading ever so slightly across the darkened room.
And all the while the text cursor blinks away, asking the same question.

“How do I even begin?”

What series of marks do I leave on this page that will tell them my story? What word or verse will be enough to make them understand? What combination of truth and metaphor, of lies and stories must I tell so that they see the joy and the tragedy, the anger and the irresistible comedy of my designs?

How do I even begin, when here I stand puzzled, grasping at emotions that I can’t even fully understand; fleeting inspirations that bubble up and simmer down below the realm of words. And how they tease us, these compassionate phantoms of the mind; and how all language now feels insurmountably inadequate to express the complexity, the simplicity of the notion that you know and feel to be undeniably true; to be undeniably you.
And all the while the text cursor blinks away, waiting where it’s always been,

While you sit there thinking, “How do I even begin?”


This post was originally written by Suramya Munshi.
All rights remain with the author.

Why I Write What I Write

I still vaguely remember the first love letter I wrote. I was a few days short of twelve. The letter smelled of strawberry and Chanel No. 5, because I couldn’t decide whether I should use my own perfume or my grandmother’s, so I used both. My hand-writing was punctuated with curly ends and heart-topped ‘i’s, the kind of precision only seventh-grade girls in love had patience for. Hidden behind the words were indents and scratches, ghosts of words that weren’t quite right, rewrites on top of rewrites.

I don’t think I ever gave it to the intended. I just wrote the letter to feel it. It’s been ten years and it’s still the same reason I write things.
I write things to really feel them.

I’ve met and befriended an immodest number of people in life, and I’ve realised that even though people are different, they’re all enigmatic. They all have a secret world inside of themselves. Each and every person, no matter how dull or boring on the outside, has a world inside that’s wonderful, crazy, wild and awe-inspiring. And if you give them a chance, they’ll show it to you. Not just one world, hundreds, sometimes thousands. And the quietest ones, the over thinkers, are more afraid of being understood than being misunderstood. That’s why I write.
I write to really understand people.

Sometimes we love and sometimes we hate and there’s so much that goes on in our minds as we eat, work, play and sleep and think we’re living life. But life is what happens in the interstices, like when we manage to smile through our tears at a darling child or when we drift away into a daydream or when our memory asks us about someone we once loved. There are days that question and days that answer.
I write to relive the interstices.

Feelings are visitors, they come and go. So are people. And although people of the past should be forgotten, I don’t thing feelings should. Every thing I ever let go of has claw marks on it; held back in the hope of not making it stay but extracting all feeling I could from it. I want to allow beauty to shatter me regularly; I want to feel life while I’m in it. Sometimes I write down things people say, because they resonate with me so much. Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the people and stories we quote.
I write what should not be forgotten.

Our thoughts tend to sound better in songs we didn’t sing and books we didn’t write, and when I leave people speechless, or welled-up, or disturbed or a little dreamier, I feel like a part of their story. I feel closer to them and that’s why I share everything I feel.
I write so one day I won’t have to introduce myself.

Above everything else, it’s about leaving a mark that I existed. I was here. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a purpose. That’s why I made works of art. – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

I want to fill my life with experiences, not things.
And in the end, I want to have stories to tell, not stuff to show.