That Which Must Not Be Named


This piece was pending since long. No, it isn’t about a blogging contest or a product/book review. I don’t believe in creating a Utopian blog that oozes paradoxes in the paradise of blogosphere. You’ll find them aplenty and you’re free to hop off in search of gayer blogs. Each of us has secrets, including writers. And since most of them are shy people, it is often exemplified in their works. A line here or a passage there, opening up small attics of memories and secrets in the stories they write.

But this isn’t about writing. This is about – not writing. I think the last time I wrote fiction goes back to two years ago. Well, I have plots brewing in my head but they haven’t been converted on paper since long. There’s a reason why not, and that is the whole crux of this article. I have diagnosed myself with what I call LD (Literary Depression), and I’m already tired of it. I know friends, people, writers, bloggers, who have serious LD but are ashamed to admit it. It is definitely considered downmarket. In our country, you’re still not allowed to talk about any kind of depression – be it literary, personal or professional. While we still don’t come out about personal reasons for depression unless we’re celebrities/film stars, LD is probably worse. If you are diagnosed with LD, you’re doomed as a writer. The publishers would trash you (sooner), your family would abandon you, readers would steer clear of your blog, and friends/fellow bloggers (the worst part of it) would PITY you.

Let me make it clear in the beginning – LD is not what we call Writer’s Block. It’s worse, the worst, actually. In the latter case, you are just unable to write. There are stories and characters swimming in your head, and you can’t catch them to make a good stew. But in LD, you lose everything – your confidence, conviction of being a writer, plots, characters, stories, twists, sentence construction – all of it goes on a toss. And you’re left with naught. The very feeling of naught, void, of being unworthy of a single printed word. Every article you read, every book you touch, every newspaper you pick up, every film you watch gives you a dump. A well constructed sentence in an otherwise poor article makes you realize that you probably can’t write better than them. You read nincompoops and feel it in your bones that you haven’t written in eons, they have books and you don’t. Trust me, LD is all encompassing. It affects your writing, your reading, your perceptive abilities and your sensibilities. You not only can’t write, you can’t even read. Every book makes you feel inadequate, every article invokes that sense of loss (of writing) inside you and you take solace in staples – like I have, in reading Bangla books, my childhood favourites.

LD is a slow killer. It takes eons to even detect it, and when you’re done, it probably gets too late to recover. I’m not ashamed of LD, just tired of it. But, there is hope, always, that someday you’ll be able to write again.

I’m certain that I will write again.

20 thoughts on “That Which Must Not Be Named

  1. You’ve spelled out what I call – struggling with inadequacy. Constantly keep asking if what I write is worth writing, is it ever going to be good enough. Identifying is possibly the first step to fixing? Loved reading this, thanks for sharing 🙂


  2. Pri di….I always tell you about how useless I feel when I see my work not taking off. But this is…not something I can claim to even remotely have. You will write again. When you’re good and ready. Till then, you have all of us right here with you. Lots of love and kisses. ❤


  3. You should be Alright! You write good and no writers block can invade a writer like you. 😀

    Stephen here… Sorry about the Punkrocker23 tag Arggrhh



  4. Priyanka what a heartfelt post! I can imagine what an agonizing feeling it must be for a prolific writer. Like a paralytic stroke afflicting a healthy person. It takes a lot of courage to write about this and I am sure reading this will help so many of us going through a similar phase. Thanks Priyanka.


  5. So true! LD- I have the habit of keeping a small not book to write down the characters because I seem to forget the very name with time. I have experienced exactly as you describe Priyanka! I can write any number of posts to my blog, even 3000 words in a day, but that one chapter of my fiction is still lying without extending even to the next line. Oh you now the feeling right!


    • Thanks, Menaka. Keeping a notebook certainly helps, I’ve begun jotting now plots and gist of stories I plan to write. In fact, written two short stories after a long pause. So , I guess it’s coming through slowly.


    • Thanks M 🙂 I’ve mustered my way gradually out of it, or so I believe – especially with the food stories that I began a few months ago. Food helps in healing, helped me too in penning down stories from my families and memories.
      The fact that you read this one, helps a lot 🙂


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