Wednesday, August 6

The Writer's Block

Recently, I find myself enjoying my life a little to much. Life is great, and I can't complain. But as a writer, whenever things get a little too blissful and you get too happy, interestingly, you lose all kinds of dramatic juice that had once been the fuel that sparked inspiration and story ideas.

Nowadays, with so much comfort and love around, it is actually difficult for me to come up with conflicts and dramatic interludes in my writing. I find it difficult to invent or imagine an argument, a fight, or an evil plot for my antagonist as I sit in front of my computer, my mind a complete vacuum when it comes to certain creative imaginations. The only vocabularies I can think of are happy, glad, happy, glad, orange, good and other not-so-sad words. Sometimes I think a writer would almost have to be near suicidal to even be deemed great.

I have to admit, there were times when I was so tempted to run myself into a wall, knock my head, get a concussion, bleed everywhere, leap over my son's twin-size bed, trip and fall--yet another time--on my head, get another concussion, shout hallelujah, run out of the door naked, get spotted by my conservative neighbors, let them call 911 because there is a mad dog, naked with blood flowing freely from his temples, running amok in the courtyard, get arrested so that my wife has to bail me out (but she would not have the money, thus she would have to borrow and answer humiliating questions from her lenders, who will most likely be her sisters and other not-so-distant relatives), let the whole world know I am crazy, create some controversy, and when all is said and done, return to my writing station, and start savoring the creative juice I've created by sheer abnormality.

I think most famous writers have done it, made themselves inaccessible to the world, gone crazy, sparked some headlines, and then gone back to producing some of their greatest works, although there were casualties in this kind of business, which was mainly due to absolute bad luck, nothing more.

Take Virginia Woolf for example. I'm sure she wasn't really going to drown herself, but she drowned anyway, probably because she was too naive to think the water as deep and dangerous. Or maybe she just didn't know how to swim. And what about Hemingway? Surely, he knew his gun was loaded. But as we all know, too much writing can cause a slight slip of memory sometimes. Emily Dickinson didn't mind being an old maid, maybe because she thought someday her prince would come, but unfortunately, he never made it, never arrived, and when he finally did, he was a tad too late. Why does everything have to end in tragedy? But good writing almost always requires sacrifice, and in most cases, it is the sacrifice of happiness that the god of creative writing demands.

So in my case, I am going to start thinking of depressing thoughts, so that I might once again write beautiful prose. And thus, my journey to the dark side commences.

And oh, everything I said only applies to creative writers--I think. Don't mind me if you are a technical writer, a manual writer, or a research writer. You probably won't need to worry about squeezing out any creative juice. Not to be rude, but as far as my experience goes, those kind of writing requires none.


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