Writer's block, or "Syndrome de la page blanche" ( blank page syndrome ) as we say in French, is our worst nightmare. There are many things way more horrible, but for someone who is writing a book, it is quite distressing.
So here I am, in front of my computer, knowing there is a story somewhere in my mind which needs to be created, but nothing does come to me at the moment. To be honest, I think it is because I have to, I feel obligated to write about certain recipes, certain ingredients because my book is about food. And this is where I blank. I also noticed that when I am too absorbed by what is going on in my life, when I can't get a bit detached from my rawest emotions, I block.
So I decided to take the advice of my mentor and to have a walk. But before that, I had a conversation with a wise and non-judgmental person, from a different background and religion than mines, and tried to get some enlightenment from it. Then, as I was near by, I went to Bondi beach, and strolled in the sand. It was a cold but beautiful winter morning, so I kept my boots on. I felt nostalgic, as this place reminded me beautiful memories, and today I was alone to enjoy the beauty of the ocean, with its nuances of blue and green, the sound of the waves crashing, the seagulls having a bath in a an area protected from the turmoil by the rocks, the numerous surfers perfecting their style. The marine air vivified me, the sun was gloriously shining, and there were not too many tourists. I started to notice the sounds, the shades, the smells, and wrote down some disparate words on my note book.
I arrived near Icebergs and naturally went into the restaurant, although I hate to eat alone, because for me, all the beauty of a meal is in the sharing of it. I didn't realised that I had to book a table but fortunately they found a spot for me, and I could enjoy the scenery through the window. Being by myself also allowed me, for the first time, to observe the diners arounds me : improbable couples, business men, sophisticated housewives in their late forties...and right next to me a woman whose face was very familiar. I wasn't sure if it was her, but the images of the trailer I saw at the movies yesterday were vivid, and besides she looked so much like her mother. The daughter of the best actress of all times, according to me, was just sitting next to me. We had a short but lovely conversation, I wished her the best in her career, stated my admiration for her mother, told her to have a safe trip home and she left.
Then an idea, just a small detail that I could add to my story, hit me. Imagine me, taking my little purple pad, gift from my mentor, every two minutes and noting some thoughts frenetically, not even aware of the plates coming to me. I looked around, recorded the atmosphere of this particular moment, noticing some people glancing at me.
I realised two things :
I am definitely a writer and act like one ( good or bad, future will tell )
What I thought was a wasted day for writing, brought me a breath of oxygen and cleared my mind.
The other advice my mentor gave me is to write even if I can't write, it could be : I can't write, I can't write, I can't write...until writing whatever comes to me, wether useful for my book or not. So I tend to believe that with dream writing, there can't be a writer's block, just a that particular story's block.
What are your thoughts ? And what do you do and how do you react in front of the blank page ?