An Exercise in Writer’s Block

Recently, I’ve been meaning to write many many things, but every time I try, things don’t come out right. I’ve been trying to stay patient, thinking ‘somethings going to happen, it’s bound to!’ (also said the man with erectile dysfunction. SNAP), but nothing did happen. All I ended up with was a chunk of meaningless Paulo Coelhoesque dribble.

So finally, I decided to just fuck it and write about what I’m doing. Can’t really hurt can it? And the fact that I’m perpetually doing something also supplies sufficient material. So here goes, the unedited continuous nonsense centering around my current activities:

The plane hurtled through the air, but on account of its almost excruciating tininess, it was more like a little capsule hurtling through the long intestine that is the stratosphere. It was one of the smaller planes, without all that ‘jet engine’ metrosexual poofy nonsense that’s all the rage these days. Instead, it had little black exposed rotors that suspiciously kept the plane in the air.

Anirban Chakraborty sat on the window seat at the rear of the plane looking through the window and half expecting the wings to flap.

It was a plain plane at best, without any class distinction as such-everybody got the same kind of seat. They still however wrote ‘economy’ on your ticket so you would know your place in the aero kingdom.

Anirban yawned and stretched as they cut through the sky elegantly, appearing to be motionless against blue pastel background, but actually moving because planes usually have to go somewhere. I’m guessing.

‘This is a no smoking flight’ said the hurried, heavily accented voice of an air hostess over the communication system.

They all are, thought Anirban. They all are. He played with the ashtray that was in his seat from days when that announcement did not have to be made. A happier time.

‘..Smoking in the toilets is also forbidden’

Well they’re part of the fucking flight aren’t they? Thought Anirban. He returned his attention to the corpus of the ashtray. Yes. He gingerly pulled it out of the the seat- it opened slowly. There was no ash inside. Just emptiness. Half expecting a burnished interior but finding-

‘Smoke detectors are installed in the bathroom-’

FUCKING REALLY? WE GET IT said Anirban. Perhaps out loud. Judging by the looks of the passengers around and the man sitting next to him slowly edging away, it was probably out loud. Or maybe he’d just grimaced. Or maybe they had traced the source of erstwhile occurring flatulence. It could have been anything.

An air hostess stopped in the aisle by the row he was sitting in.

‘What would you like sir?’ she asked in a softly lilting voice. She smiled, but there was sadness in her eyes that no prosaic language can express. Well truthfully, he wasn’t sure, but she was wearing what is best described as an upside down blue tin on her head. Such things can only bring sadness.

‘Sir?’ she asked again and she continued to smile. She was well proportioned; quite buxom. A fine ribs-to-funbags ratio. She looked at Kanan, her smile fixed. He felt a rush of feeling toward her. Most of that feeling was concentrated in a particular region, but at the same time he felt a hint of disgust. A hint of disgust that had no place being, yet was.

And suddenly- there was silence. He pondered his ambivalence, mulling it over in his mind, oblivious to the silence, the hum of the engine, the vibration of the plane-

‘Sir can you stop typing?’ she said finally to Anirban, who turned and flashed her a charming smile while continuing to type with one hand. A feat he could accomplish, because he was fucking awesome.

‘Yes m’lady’ he replied handsomely. This is also possible to do.

She tittered at being addressed in such a fashion. She was, after all a waitress in the sky and he, a liberal serving of man candy.

‘What would that be?’ she asked Anirban, who hadn’t replied yet because it takes much longer to type with one hand.

‘A whiskey’ breathed Anirban, dangerously.

‘Sir, we do not serve alcohol on domestic flights’ she said. Her mouth was probably wry, but this fact lay unverified on account of the aforementioned ribs-to-funbag ratio, coupled with the fact that Anirban had only two eyes.

‘Ah’ said Anirban, leaning back in his seat, stroking his chin with his free hand.

‘This is a domestic flight?’ he asked.

‘Yes sir’

‘I see’ said Anirban. This complicated matters slightly.

‘And where does this flight go?’

‘New Delhi, sir’ said air hostess funbags.

‘Dash it all!’ exclaimed Anirban for no particular reason, striking the tray of the person to his left, as his tray was occupied by his laptop, and no one hits the Macbook.

‘FUCK!’ screamed the man next to Anirban, whose groin had been splashed with hot coffee caused by table-banging. (The boring kind of table banging. It is also useful to note that there is no interesting kind EDIT: OMG yes there is.)

The air hostess was quick to begin to mop the spill. And leant over the man, undoing her scarf-

‘Sir, could you stop doing that?’ she said to Anirban, who was now loudly humming 70s porno music, while winking at her.
People are ungrateful, thought Anirban and resumed typing with both hands.

The flight landed in Delhi and Kanan sat in the airport terminal, having a few hours to kill before his next flight to Bangalore.

Now Anirban sat at the airport, with an hour more to kill. He proceeded to the smoking lounge, doing his best to look business-like. He struck up a conversation with a middle aged man, who was looking into Anirban’s laptop screen and was OVERWEIGHT and beginning to lose his hair and possibly the function of his genitals

“Hello” said the man, smiling benignly.

“Top o’ the mornin’! ” replied Anirban cheerfully.

“Uh..”

“Yes.”

“I’m [not paying attention and even if I was, I’d have forgotten by now] ” said the man. “Saurabh, actually” said the man, who Anirban had forgotten was still looking into his laptop screen the motherfu-

“I’m a business man” replied Anirban stiffly, brushing off the shoulders of his Spongebob T-shirt.

“Of course you are” said fucking douchebag who was wouldn’t stop looking into Anirban’s screen.

“Lets cut to the chase shall we? Who are you?” said Anirban, in an business-like fashion.

“I just told you I’m [still not paying attention]

“So you are” said Anirban. “Listen, what do you want? I’m kind of in the middle of something right now”

“Uh. You started a conversation with me, and then pretended like I started it. I can’t help but notice that that fact is not reflected in whatever you’re writing” said the pretentious douchebag who continued to eyeball fuck Anirban’s screen because of his general ineptitude and lack of understanding of PERSONAL SPACE.

“I try to be as accurate as possible” snapped Anirban.

“Can I ask you why exactly you’re doing what you’re doing?” asked the man, who we may now note had stopped looking into Anirban’s laptop screen. Bitch.

“I have writers block” said Anirban woefully. “This is a desperate attempt to overcome it”

“Ah. So you’re a writer!” said the man.

“Very much sir. Very much” said Anirban, moving a little closer to the man.

“So you write, books, screenplays, articles, what?” said the man.

“I..er. I have a blog.” said Anirban.

“Oh” said the man. “thats..uhm..”

“I’m a student!” cut in Anirban, quickly.

“So you’re studying writing then? Or just some general English litt. course?”

“Umm. Kinda. Well, in the sense that it’s less writing and more engineering”

“So you’re an engineer” said the man, with a trace of disappointment in his voice.

“Engineering student” replied Anirban, feeling continuously worse as this conversation proceeded.

“Don’t feel bad about it” said the man, who it appears had begun to look into Anirban’s laptop screen again, the nosy little bitc-

“I’ve stopped looking” said the man quickly, causing Anirban to stop gritting his teeth ferociously.

“Think about it bro” said the man, who for some reason felt that he had reached bro status. “Writers get writers block, musicians the same, creative fields are dominated by words to express a lack of creativity, but really they’re just general slumps. And slumps happen in every field. Even engineering” he said, with unnecessary drama.

“Achieve to be the highest you can be, and persevere through the slumps, that’s just life. Be all you can be, reach the highest possible platform, the zenith, rise up to the sun-”

“SUN BLOCK!” said Anirban. “Sorry. Necessary joke, but too easy. Carry on”

“I’m going to leave” said the man.

But Anirban beat him to it. He may have failed to push the man down the stairs. At that might also have been a completely different man. He may also have spent the next hour hiding in a coffee shop till they called for his flight’s boarding. Prove it.

As he boarded his next flight, he realized that weird nosy laptop screen staring man had an extremely valid point. Maybe writer’s block was like sun block. It shielded the skin from writing and prevented rashes and tanning.

That’s what life is really about.

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Your Blog Sucks!

You’ve been blogging daily, brainstorming over varied topics, excited every time an email alert comes in, only to be disappointed that its your mother telling you how much she likes your blog and how happy she is that you’re blogging instead of playing video games.

Every time you log into your account, optimistic at being flooded with Likes and Followers, a monotonous blue dialogue box greets you, smiling at having to offer nothing. “Why isn’t it working?”, you think. “I’ve been posting daily for a week now, but why am I going unnoticed?”. You advertise your blog on Facebook but no one really cares to click your link. You are bored of this unfruitful ritual of writing when voila! The Indie Guy appears! 

So now lets go through your problem again. Why is Your blog not working?

The secret to any successful blog lies in its Titles. Come on let’s face it, when people search your blog on the WordPress Reader, the only thing that becomes the deciding factor as to how well the article’s written are the post titles. Do a great post with a platonic title and no one bothers to look up. Write rubbish with a twisted title and be surprised at being featured on Freshly Pressed!  Make sure the titles are crisp, short and intriguing enough to generate interest among the readers to click your link.

Next comes content. You could argue that you’re already writing regularly but believe me, that’s not going to be enough. Creating content is one thing, and writing quality content is quite another. Make sure not to compromise with the quality of your post. And establish that you proofread the article at least once before publishing. No one wants to read an article full of typos and misplaced punctuation. If you want your readers to come back to your blog again, this is a point of vital importance.

Use WordPress widgets to let people subscribe to you. It helps in a way that they are notified every time you update something on your blog. Ask your friends to review your blog for you.

Are you copying content from some other blog without giving out backlinks? Well, stop doing that. Either Re-Blog the post with suitable backlinks or brainstorm something original. Anyway, how hard is it to come up with something on your own?

Do you have a media player on your blog that plays your all-time favorites? Do you post videos on your blog? Get rid of ’em. These are unwanted distractions that are shoo-ing your audience away. Seriously dude, there is a YouTube if you don’t know. No one is coming to your blog to watch a video!

How often are you blogging? Anything less than thrice a week and you can set fire to your hopes of being the Next Internet Sensation. People won’t come back to you if you blog sporadically. Either be serious about it or make peace with the fact that blogging isn’t your cup of tea. 

But again, can it be that your blog is seriously boring? Are you posting content of value or are you just rambling? Blogging is not easy and it is definitely not for everybody. And if it’s not working for you, maybe its just not your calling. Quoting Einstein, “If you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid!”

How To Overcome Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is an affliction that affects most writers. Writers who say they never suffer from writer’s block should be pelted with raw hamburger meat and thrown into an alligator pit. When it hits, you can feel anxious, and despair that you will never write anything again. But there are ways to overcome it without sacrificing your sanity in the process. Just follow these helpful steps:

1. Clear your head. Disconnect from all electronic devices. If you weren’t aware, the Internet is an extremely powerful distraction tool. Why, just when I was writing the previous sentence, I posted three status updates to Facebook, tweeted my 30-second trick to reduce belly fat, and watched a drunk kitten video on youtube. So what are we talking about? Um….

2. Oh, right! Writer’s block. Yes, so clear your head and disconnect from all electronic—just a sec…I’m getting a text…. “Wednesday, more like Wineday amirite, dudes!” oh my god, I’m totally LOLing right now. I’m LOLing so much I’m PALOLing. That stands for Peeing And Laughing Out Loud. What should I write back? Fuck! That’s right I have writer’s block. . . I’ve got nothing. If only there was some way to overcome writer’s block. . .

3. Did you know happyplace.com does these “If Game of Thrones Took Place on Facebook” recaps? They are awesome. And a quick read…wait! I’ve been on the internet for 10 hours?!? What day is it? Is it still Wineday?

4. Okay…okay. We are totally focusing right now and by “We” I mean, me and that marble that keeps rolling around inside my head. It is very distracting. Before I continue with the steps, I’m going to quickly hop onto medlineplus.com, type in my symptoms and diagnose myself in a flash. Hmm…turns out I have brain cancer! And I thought I had Writer’s Block. This is scary! If only there were antibiotics for Writer’s Block…

5. I should eat something. I’ve had six cups of coffee in the last 30 seconds and just did the cinnamon stick challenge–a tweak of the dangerous cinnamon challenge–for a YouTube video. I’m a little jumpy, and why the fuck has no one liked my status update on Facebook?!? I guess no one wants world hunger to end. That’s on you “friend”. People are so fucking selfish. Re-post if you agree.

6. What is this list?

7. I actually went back and reread what I wrote to figure out what I’m writing. It took three hours because I had to help a “friend” harvest her goddamn cabbages on her fake, fucking FarmVille farm. So, writer’s block . . . there are ways to overcome it. The first thing you should do is disconnect from all distractions like phones and computers–wait a sec. . . How could the cabbages have died?!?!?!?

8. I’ll finish this later…How I Met Your Mother is on.

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