Monday, 29 July 2013

Blank spaces, White screens

I have committed to writing a book. I have given it a title. Somehow I imagine it will have a yellow cover and I see it sitting in front of the counter on a small mountain of books in the basement Om Book Shop at PVR Saket, greeting people as they walk in.

Yet when I sit to write it a strange thing happens. I check my mail, I scroll through facebook, I start planning my trip to Vietnam and Thailand. Then I have coffee. My mind reminds me I must work. So I saunter back to my computer and read about how to write a book. Should it be written as a memoir? Autobiography? Chick-lit?

Of course I must do extensive research on novel writing software. Which one is the best? Which one is free? Do I need to buy the one that costs $40? Quick Ctrl+T,,389.51 INR. Too much to spend on a tool that will infinitely help me in writing my epic story?

How does one go about publishing a book? Well let's ask all my friends who have published one or work for publishers. So off goes an email, proudly telling them I am writing a book and need advice on publishing. 

In the meanwhile I sit down to write. I have written a couple of paragraphs in the last several weeks. I stare blankly at the white screen and am at a total loss. The words run out of my mind. What is my story? Who are the characters? Fear grips me, squeezes tight. I feel this queasy sensation rise from the pit of my stomach and travel slowly to my throat, choking me. And then I break contact.

I click on the red, green and yellow circle that allows me to escape again into the deep abyss that is the internet. Where I can hear JK Rowling and Steve Jobs talk nonchalantly about their lives and how it all works out if you follow your dreams. Soon my son comes home. My work day has ended.

Another day of blank spaces and white screens. Another day of silences that scream. 

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