A Few Words For The Writer In You

Photo  by Bri Hammond

I’d like to think that words are for the blessed. I mean, to be able to articulate is extraordinary. And since we all use words, that would mean we’re all blessed. Writing empowers us—putting letters on paper means you’re effectively putting sentiments into minds. Communication, whether verbal or written, serves as fortification around active thought. Think of your consciousness as a castle, where internal views are solidified by turrets of expression.

Every user of words will have times where the natural progressive connection between thought and expression seems severed. This manifests itself in a state known as ‘writer’s block’, which is inherently evil. Its subsequent effects include despair and desperation, often resulting in tortured artists arriving at their wit’s end.

Some might find it amusing that I occasionally feign outrage over shit that doesn’t bother me at all just to hide the fact that I’m only really this pissed off because I can’t shake a terrible case of writer’s block. For me, not being able to write is a temporary mental paralysis—but it’s best to focus on the ‘temporary’ part. Being uninspired is a viciously self-perpetuating dullness that’ll consume you from the inside. Forgive the melodrama, but being at a loss creatively can be more than a little draining. It tricks you, because in believing you cannot create, you will not create. There’s a quote from Sigmund Freud that it pays to recall in these times: “When inspiration does not come to me, I go halfway to meet it”. I refuse to be one in lines of people looking reluctantly for motivation like it’s last week’s grocery store receipt with that fuel discount tucked on the end, wedged somewhere between fraying couch cushions and withered dejection. All great art is born from genuine interest, from passion—and if there’s nothing around you that ignites this spark, conjure something from the hollows of an imagination you were systematically being taught to put to rest somewhere during the transition to adulthood.

It’s easy to admit defeat when it’s midnight and the caffeine is wearing off, as you’re slipping into slumber with a pen in hand and an empty page in front of you. But, know this: inspiration is not about mulling or brooding; it’s seeking and snatching. It isn’t always constituted of precision or purity, but it’s quick in the way it grows on you until you’re assured that you can make something of it. Rough concepts you can see in your mind’s eye, drawn from and returned to tangibility. You’ll know something worthy when it hits you—wrapping you in colour, and filling you with vigour and tenacity. That’s where you’ll reach out for it and grasp hold so hard that your nails dig in, sparing it no way to escape you. The rest will come naturally. It’ll put a rhythm and a cadence into the part of you where your inner poet thrives. The words will flow a little easier, and find their own ways into sentences and paragraphs. The line breaks will appear to you independently, where the beats and the pauses and the fragments become so clear cut. When you have an idea, the rest is all just a matter of translation. Let the words gush from cranial stores like waters through riverbeds. Let every reserve of joy and anger and hope and bitterness and misery take the spotlight. Search within yourself as well as around you. When you find the right subject, the words will come to you.

Written by Somayra Ismailjee

Categories: Short & Sharp
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