A Writer's Enigma | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 16, 2019

FICTION

A Writer's Enigma

I cannot write. For a month, it lingers. Every morning, I sit in front of my laptop and hope to write something new, something noble. But nothing comes out. Not a word, not a sentence. As if the sea of creativity has dried up.

I knock my other writer friends. “It's very common. Don't fret,” they say. “Take a break. Go out. Go south, or may be north.”

My editor suggests taking an extended separation from the daunting task. “Read the works of other writers,” he says.“But don't think of writing.” And I don't. I just sit in solitude watching the deranged mess of my non-creative life.

 I try to do everything, follow each tangible advice. Still I can't do it. It's driving me crazy. If I can't write, I can't live. It's a sickness without any medication. I can't even go and see a doctor about it. There is no one as such. But shouldn't there be one? Don't the writers need medical help for their unmedical phase of life?

 I seek refuge in nature's abode, apply tested truths on my troubled soul. Nothing helps. No one can cure me. I am beyond recovery. Only one thing left to do. I will die and go to the next world. I need to ask God why I can no longer write. He perhaps has an answer for me. A subtle but palpable one.

I sit down to write a suicide note: “Please forgive me! It's no one's fault.” And at that precise moment, it strikes. A new plot, a new thread of a story. I tear up the stupid note, open Words on my laptop to write something new, something noble that has never been written before. The words stream on to the screen quite spontaneously, weaving into a magical sentence, bit by bit.

Oh! The peace, the tranquility, the joy that it brings!

Writers are such enigmatic people, you know —the first line that I type.

 

Marzia Rahman is a writer and translator based in Dhaka.

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