On Writer’s Block by Aditi Gupta

Sometimes it scares me that everything that there was to do, has already been done. Sometimes it scares me that all the heartfelt words and poignant sentences have already been written, already spoken, already wriggled in between the wrought lines of papers, already under the threat of being unsurfaced. Sometimes it scares me that whatever I write does not need audience, for they already have sought earlier, in a different time, by a different hand, a different ink, a different breath. It scares me that I have nothing left to write. To write that has been left unwritten. Those times I don’t want to write. For the fear grips me. That I will write something that has already been read. And someone will know. Of the theft.

I stumble upon some words that make me weak in my knees, and I’m handheld because they are not mine. They might not have spilled from me, but they have spilled me nonetheless. I yearn for making them my words. Oh how envious I am of those who wrote the words I clutch dear to my heart, as if they were always mine! To keep. Not theirs to write.

Then I wonder if it would really be a perilous theft if I slip away only a word or two, where they have looted my musings from right under my pillow, stripping me naked entirely of my vocabulary.

Spelling them out my tongue, with my pen, would be treachery. Because they are not mine. The words will be called, stolen, coming sealed under my ink.

So I don’t write. I stop writing altogether. Because it frightens me. It frightens me to weave any words that I won’t hold dear to myself as I have, the words by someone else. It frightens me that none of my words are even as close to cling to anyone as the words by someone else have clung to me. It frightens me that I’m left with nothing to mould my words into. That I’ll be running a fool’s chase around someone else’s thoughts under the pretense of calling them my own. That I, in fact, will lie. I’m clenched with fear of lying. Lying about the frivolity of my words, even when they are meditated over my long sleepless nights, running around changing little courses from the original words. That they are just quick long shadows of someone else’s. And I was given the task of catching shadows in a jar.

No one warned me of the shadows’ chase ending into a dungeon. And I’ve fallen. Into a dungeon of dead poets and dead river of words along a dead story’s skull.

About the Author

Aditi is a nineteen year old, hopeful reader, with a streak for a little fine art, pursuing honours degree in Political Science from Hindu College (Delhi University). She writes a blog, irregularly and incessantly (https://medium.com/@countert.aditi.onal).

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