Shiralkar: Writer’s block and other cool phenomena


Columnist Parth Shiralkar writes about writer’s block and how it truly is a real thing. He describes that it can be different for everyone, but it can be hard to combat when it comes about.

Parth Shiralkar

I don’t recall the exact moment when I decided to take up writing, but I’m confident that my exposure to several amazing works of literature and the influence of raging teen hormones had something to do with it.

The writer’s block is a real thing and not an excuse made up by authors who want to watch a nice short film about doping in the Olympics in the company of a dozen glasses of Merlot; however, these are not mutually exclusive. As a columnist for the Daily, I have to come up with topics to write about every week. Simple as it may sound, it’s a far more tedious task than one would imagine to write about stuff that is not only meta and contextually relevant but is also pleasing to the eyes and sometimes ears of all ages.

I remember going back through all of my writings over the years as I grew up physically and emotionally (citation needed) and thinking to myself, “wow, that’s kind of horrible writing.” Which is ok. Five years from now I’ll say the same thing out loud but probably in a French accent because why not. Growth is growth and I’m allowed to make fun of myself, and not just because I’m the best candidate to roast myself.

For me, running out of ideas is not the issue, running out of steam is. Sure, I have days when I can type out several essays in one sitting. Sure, I have days where my fingers seem to tap empty keys and I notice the screen blinking softly at me, nudging me on. Sure, there are days that are in-between and there are days when I fear that reading or writing or even interacting with any words at all is bound to end in a tragic experience. It be like that.

Wikipedia describes writer’s block as “a phenomenon involving the temporary (psychological) loss of ability to write.” This is as accurate a definition as it gets. This, perhaps, is the problem with content creation. I’ve seen several popular YouTubers take leaves of absence because the tree of their creative abilities had stopped growing. Yes, the pun was unplanned but is now intentional.

What’s the best way, then, to combat writer’s – and by extension, other creative abilities – block? If I knew, I’d type it out in bold and then print it. And then I’d type it out again for good measure. One of the ways of coping, perhaps, is to take a chill pill and not stress out about deadlines and submissions. This is easier said than done when your creative energy is being expended under contract.

Anyway, I wrote and published a book when I was back home for the winter. Is it my best work to date? That is debatable. Is it thoroughly entertaining? Peer-reviewed findings say that it is. But you can be the judge of that. It can be found on Amazon called “Rare Objects In Strange Places”. The passing and hollow feeling of emptiness immediately after I finished the final draft is an interesting bit of insight into this whole process but that’s a story for another day.