I am writing this newsletter instead of my book. Chapter 19 has been slow going for some reason, but this morning I hit a brick wall. It’s called writer’s block. I didn’t sleep well, rose early, and so after saying prayers and chanting rounds I was tired. It was obvious I wasn’t in top writing shape. I needed a little rest. But that’s not possible for me in the morning when the world around me is waking up. Anyway I tried, but it didn’t work. “OK! Get yourself together.” Back at the desk I tried re-reading the chapter to get the flow of the content, but that didn’t work. I couldn’t follow the train of thought. Yesterday it read as smooth as silk. Today it felt like a roller coaster. Moreover I got entangled in making little grammatical corrections that ended up taking a lot of time. And after all that time the corrections still didn’t sound right. I was bogged down, sinking in the quicksand. I really don’t know what getting stuck in quicksand is like, but I have heard about it.
And my condition was like that—up to the neck, or more accurately, up to the fingertips. I just couldn’t move on. My concentration level was low, inspiration lower and divine intercession much needed. It came, by not coming. With my first books I could get quite desperate at this point. “Is my writing career over? Has Krsna disempowered me?” But after some years and a lot of experience, I learned that it’s par for the course. One just has to stop, close the computer and revert to spiritual diversions and wait for the mercy to flow. I remember when I was struggling with Suddha-bhakti-cintamani at Bhaktivedanta Asrama. I left my desk, grabbed my bead-bag and went on Giriraja parikrama. Next day I was fine.
No doubt, tomorrow I will be fine. But, being as result oriented as I am, its hard to admit defeat. Grrrr! Besides, I am behind schedule. Nothing new there. But I gained some solace in writing this newsletter. Hammered it out in 20 minutes, and am feeling better for it. Maybe I should try going back to the chapter? No! Krishna is telling that’s not such a good idea. So we’ll try tomorrow. Please remember me in your prayers. This book writing has many challenges: spiritual, literary, and psychological. Sometimes it’s a lonely service. We all need some support. That’s it. You have been first hand witnesses to the consequences of writer’s block. Radha Syama.