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Getting over the stagnant articles

Writer’s block can be tough.. In fact any kind of mental block can be excruciating on your mental health.

I remember, how in my initial years, I experienced an eight-months long programmer’s block. Trust me, that is a thing too. But that is a story for a different day!

As I write this article, I try to move forward from my recent Blogger’s Block!!

So what was I going through in last few months with respect to my blogs?

Phase 1: The Whistle-blowing Article

I remember, I was talking to couple of fellow consultants.

For those, who don’t know me, I work as a corporate trainer for some of my clients, while for others mostly my role is more of a consultant. So like every industry, people develop small communities of people with similar roles. Its common with my line of work too.

So, we were discussing about the third party vendors, who sometimes outsource their assignments. And shockingly we realised that 80% of these vendors, in India at least, never pay a dime to the consultants at the end of the assignment.

This was a big figure in itself, and I felt a need to come up with a detailed report to spread the word among the fellow members of my small community of 230 Indians!

I began my research, prepared the proofs, interviewed a total of 13 freelance consultants, and even an anonymous unsuccessful survey (yes, all this for the sake of my 1 article that I never published). Its a standard procedure I usually follow to ensure the integrity of such articles.

But something was missing…  It was a one sided story, as no vendor( even after multiple followups) was not willing to come forward and comment on the situation. I decided to wait for the right time before I start drafting the article.

Phase 2: Insomnia and Its side effects

In late November, I started experiencing sleeplessness. Nothing medical, but mostly due to the work-life imbalance and unavoidable travel plans. Apparently, sleeplessness in itself can be addictive. I have had my share of this in my early learning years too.

When you sleep only for 8 hours in a total duration of 36 hours, your mind becomes a different philosopher in itself. You will feel like playing music (I played keyboard after 9 years just to find myself very rusty), wrote new raps, prepared a dozen campaign plans for my business(ofcourse, am still to work on them), caught up with old lost friends and drank more than 4 litres of coffee and don’t know what more.

Eventually this caught up to me, and I realised that this may yet be another problem faced by other too. Hence, rose a need to right yet another  article about Insomnia, causes, effects, risks and cures. But internet is filled with them already, isn’t it? What difference could I make?

No, but I know I make a difference by writing a single word itself, as at least I am taking an initiative to write about it. So it began again. Researching the medical studies, psychological white papers, and even reaching out to few old insomniac buddies(turned out they were not potheads any more! Good for them.)

By the end of the month, I had found my cure. But the article? well it remains published!!

Phase 3: Love and its siblings 

Well, I was talking to an old crush(yeah sugarplume! you will know this when you read it), when we came up with a topic of how love is just an ideology developed over the laws of attraction, attachment and lust and played by the hormones like testosterone, oestrogen, oxytocin, dopamine..

This gave me another idea to start writing about how people can love more than one person at a same time at a same extent as at the end its just another chemical game like anger(you can be angry with a whole nation at the same time).

So I got in touch with this amazing artist( not gonna put in the name, due to lack of consent from his side). Apparently, most of his art works revolve around the topic of passion and love. It was an eye-opening discussion, as he did shared the same thoughts as me. The thing is, people may love you for different reasons:

  • compassion
  • sympathy
  • pity
  • attraction
  • affection
  • attachment
  • addiction
  • lust
  • and even anger

It may be selfish or selfless. Which later defines the level of obsessiveness, possessiveness and craziness in the respective relationship, the three things that these days people find really exciting about love.

This drove already blurred article to the topic – Funny Side of the Crazy love: where I went on to argue about the viability of that idea. As apparently, love at first sight and craziness are not love at all but an over exaggerated level of affection hyped up with increased testosterone and adrenaline.

But eventually I did realise, that that article was doomed as it lacked a single viewpoint.

Final Phase: Mood Swings and IMS in Men

The last three phases, clubbed with my work pressure, personal life issues and newly found parenthood, grew on me with the topic of Mood Swings.

It is funny how we relate this to only the menstrual phases of women. Its ironic but men face an equal (if not more) quantity of grumpiness and emotional instability. Its just that the idea of Alpha Males and Machismo, makes our ego too big to admit it.

I was more than inclined on writing this one. In fact, I even prepared notes from an indepth paper on Irritable Male Syndrome by Gerald Lincoln.

Mood swings and IMS both are noticeable in older men( but not limited to them, you know when you were having a mood swing yourself).

So there is a reason for that Grumpy old man living in next house to yours after all.

But after 2 months, of re-reading the draft, referring existing articles and introspecting my own cases, it was wise to let it go today.

What happened in between these phases?

Thanks to my pre-planning, I always keep some draft articles up my sleeves to publish them when I have no content to publish.

These all were the articles I have worked up on in past itself,  this helped me to keep my block under the radar by giving an illusion of continuity.

It was not a block on the idea creation part.

However, it requires immense efforts  to give a structure and completion to an idea too. And sometimes, you know everything, you have the idea, you know the structure you want, you know amount of efforts required, and yet you fail in completing the same. But its not a complete failure as you keep putting up the fight with your proceeding works.

We all have our bad days, but it doesn’t mean we start fearing them. These four phases, were continuous journey of last 5 months. I did not publish any article related to them, but it was a learning experience and I appreciate the time I spent on each of them. It helped not only in my knowledge base, but even I got to know new people, people whom I didn’t know before, problems that I didn’t know before.

This whole article was not written to be read. It was just me thinking out loud…

About Utkarsh Kaushik

Take an avid reader, implement the concepts of programming and git init the repository of software engineering. Merge the branches of application development, data science and data modelling to the master. Now push the commits related to product management and project architecture. Pour some love for comics. Finally sprinkle the entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial snippets with some ambitions and attitude. Bake for 20 minutes. Then take another 15 minutes to prepare some espresso with enough steamed milk and milk foam. The resultant delicious and extravagant cake along with superb latte is what you would know as Utkarsh Kaushik! Read more about me @ utkarsh-kaushik.com

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