Sometimes you just don't know what to write about. Your mind goes blank and you just stare at the screen.
Some simply call it writer's block. Others say inspiration has fled for you.
But do we write only out of or because of inspiration? Do we not write because we feel strongly about something and just feel the need to air it? Or we have some ideas about some subject and want to share them with readers?
Of course it is true that sometimes inspiration, whatever it is, takes hold of us and we just type away without even being aware of what exactly we are writing about or how the whole thing will develop and yet the piece gets written and looks and sounds good to boot. Perhaps this is what is called inspiration, something mysterious and intangible that takes over and effortlessly and lo and behold you have your masterpiece!
For me at least, the most productive moments seem to come during the hypnopompic state, the state of drowsiness between sleep and waking. Then ideas seem to come and words too as if an invisible hand is writing. But unless they are recorded as soon as they arrive, which is not possible while you are still neither asleep nor awake! it is all futile and gossamer like a dream. Ah, the miserliness of it all!
This contraption called mind, what is it? Science has its own ideas what mind or, more precisely, the brain, consists of and how it works. But we are not talking about the mechanics, we are talking about its existential self.
So, what is mind? One thing that is clear and indisputable is that our mind is like a monkey. It never stops being quiet. Try this experiment. While in a commuter or mass transit train or on a bus, look around. You will see people standing or sitting and when they are not talking, everyone seems to be quiet. But are they and are you?
No, you know that you are not quiet. So are not the rest. Thousands of thoughts flit through your "quiet" mind even as you thought that you are being silent. Your mind never stops chattering. It is like a monkey, never sitting still. And the thoughts that come are not even organised or necessarily related. They come from all fronts and at tangent too.
The first time that you "discover" this -that your mind is really a monkey, never sitting still - you may be quite shocked because you have always thought that you are in control. No, we are never in control of our mind. Our mind is in control of us.
So, it is possible for us to ever be quiet, really quiet, with nary a thought flitting around or about? Is it possible for the mind to be quiet, for the mind to be still?
The answer may need another post.