This writing business is strange. You can go for weeks, even months, having nothing to say, no story to tell, and then suddenly, characters start swimming about in your head, begging for you to pair them up, let them meet the other characters, and conversations and random phrases begin ricocheting around until you have the compulsive urge to get them all out on paper before you go nuts.
And then, one day, it just stops. The voices stop calling to you, the characters dull and lose their lustre. Pretty soon, every person seems the same to you, and you think their desires and hopes and fears are practically similar to everyone else’s. Nothing sparks your writing anymore, and you decide to take a break.
I’ve not written a short story in half a year. The last one I wrote was Smeared Canvas, if I’m not mistaken. I just reread it and thought, “Wow, I wrote this? How is that even possible?” Because it didn’t seem possible that I could have written something as coherent as that, with properly sketched characters and plot, at all. How could I have, when I can’t think of anything right now, much less string together character and plot to weave a compelling narrative piece? As some writer said before, our greatest fears as writers is for the well to run dry. Is this my well running dry? Have I become so attuned and desensitised to humankind (and oh, at the mere age of 18!) and the futility of life and our struggles that I no longer see the need to chronicle the lives of people I create in my own mind? Am I no longer able to see people, or have I simply lost the curiosity?
The last time I went on a short story-writing spree was because I had a case of the proverbial writer’s block for my novel, Bedful of Moonlight. Right now, though, I’m itching to write a short story again despite relatively smooth sailing for the current novel I’m working on, Mint. But the muse is taking a vacation.
And I don’t know when it will come back.
WILL it come back?