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Darc was talking the other day about a lack of inspiration. When I face such times, I write. In an attempt to kick-start my writing after being unwell the last two days, I took recourse to writing exercises. They output is mostly crap, but I guess I need to let the crap come out first before I write anything meaningful.

Writing through the Blahs

Writing through the Blahs

Here’s the first exercise:

In the half sleep and half waking of the morning Martha wrote a page, a page full of dreams, of anxieties, of things she was supposed to do on that day, of people she had met while asleep, of the strange and awesome journeys she had taken. For Martha believed she was two people, one on the inside and one on the outside. Or possibly one person, with different lives. Her inner travel, her inner existence mattered to her just as much as her everyday one and though there was no chronology in the inner life, where one day from her future might as well have followed one day from her past, or the be a twisted representation of her existence or desires, Martha was unfazed. Because each world has its own rhythm, she told herself, has it not?

And she would let it spill out of her, letters, punctuations, words paragraphs, pages, without bothering to look back, afraid if she did it would stop, the gushing flow of words would stop, where would that leave her?

She wanted to hold on to a connection with the otherness, just as a newborn might be longing for the placental connection with its mother’ s womb, long to go back to its security for months. And subconsciously, even years. She knew somehow it was this inner world from which she had come that mattered, the outer world was merely its dream projection, and what sometimes came to her in dreams might indeed be the reality, and her everyday life full of work, of household chores, of petty bickerings, of fights with her husband, of the annoyances at her children, of her rage at other drivers while driving, might be someone dreaming. None of it had its own logic, merely the whims of a dreamer dreaming in another world.

And so she went about her life, asking her husband for things, telling her boss what she had done and warning her children what they should not do, at each occasion painfully aware that none of us were doing anything, that none of us were there at all, that we were each following what had been dreamt of in another world, by another entity, who was creating us as it slept and killing us as it slept, our world was its creation.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • DarcKnyt says:

    I think it’s a good idea, writing through blahs, and I think exercises are a good method for jump-starting the writing process.

    You may have given me a bit of inspiration. Thanks, Damyanti!

  • 1sojournal says:

    I really enjoyed your post. Reminds me of some of the pages in my own journal, and reflects on that age old question: Are we the dreamer or the dreamed? Really good piece of work.


  • Kym says:

    Actually, that is a lovely piece. And, occasionally I have wondered which world is real myself;>

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