Friday, March 28, 2008

Writer's Clock

I should not be writing today, because I should be writing a lot. So I decided to write just a little, because I could not hold it anymore. Okay, I know, it does not make sense. Let me not beat around the bush, and clarify what I want to say. The "should not" in my first sentence, refers to my writing on this blog. I thought I should not be spending time on writing for my blog today, because I have so much of academic writing to do. I have three fast approaching paper submission deadlines for which I haven't written much. So today, I had planned to devote all my time on working on these academic papers. But then I didn't, not because I was suffering from any writer's block, but because of just the opposite, which I will call a "writer's flood." What is writer's flood? Writer's flood is a phenomenon in which a person experiences difficulty in writing because he has too many thoughts to write about and too little time. In other words, it's not the scarcity of thoughts that prevents you from writing, but the oversupply of them. If there is shortage of anything, it is just time; perhaps, it would not be too inappropriate to call the phenomenon, "writer's clock." There is a deluge of thoughts, which can be so overwhelming that you are not sure how to put them coherently into black and white. These thoughts could be related to the topic you intended to write on, but they could be absolutely unrelated too. A deluge of topic-related thoughts is probably not that bad, because the person is still thinking on topic relevant issues, and could be expected to form a coherent structure of them with more thinking. However, unrelated thoughts can also overwhelm the writing process. A writer who is under time pressure would hate this situation, because of not being able to either write or put thoughts into perspective. There is a conflict about what one should and should not do, and in the process, one loses a lot of time. I don't know how many of you writers have faced this situation. I don't know the best possible strategy to deal with such a situation either, but what I ended up doing today seemed to work pretty well for me. I decided to forget about the 'should' and 'should not' thoughts, and just focus on a free association kind of task, where I write on whatever came to my mind first, even if it was all coarse. So from my first ambiguous sentence on this post, came the idea of "writer's clock," and I kept writing. The idea may not be very refined, but the creative vent at least washed away the thoughts that were disrupting writing.

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