ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Ugly Struggle

Writers often have to battle mental illness and depression, which is not a productive disease and ought not to be glamorised as the mark of genius.

A few years ago, an interviewer asked me whether ornot I suffered from writer’s block. I had been using a comfortable writing strategy for years that I applied to everything from school essays to fiction and even to poetry. My routine consisted of jotting ideas down in clusters on blank sheets of paper, then organising them into outlines. From the outlines, I would compose a first draft, caring only about coherency. My first drafts were often messy, ungrammatical, full of errors, but to my mind, they acted as litmus paper, showing my subconscious what was missing, and shedding light on all the extra information eager to present itself on the page if left unchecked. Whenever I hiccup during the writing process, I take a few moments to reread earlier paragraphs. I felt it reminded my brain of the objective at hand.

Therefore, when the interviewer asked me about writer’s block, I responded with confidence, and reduced the topic to an issue of preparedness. I said, “Writer’s block only occurs to people who do not know what to write next. When I plan in advance I never suffer from writer’s block.”

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