Writer’s Block, Introversion & Discomfort Zone

by Waleed Ali Khan

I’ve been suffering from a writer’s block ever since I’ve got done with classes. Last Night, I was trying to figure out what to write about till dawn. Many people claim that there is no such thing as a writer’s block, but I think that that is just a defense mechanism against this very phenomenon. As I searched the internet over how to overcome writer’s block, one of the common cures was a change of environment. And so I clip_image002am here, sitting in Café Vergnano at the pearl, facing the sea and the boats to get my inspiration back (view on the right). Yet I am still sitting here waiting for that burst of inspiration.

The idea about writer’s block had made me think a lot about what moving out of one’s comfort zone means. The past year has made me move out of my comfort zone in so many ways, and despite it being extremely hard, it has been very fruitful. I moved into a new university, changed my career options and moved out of the what to expect.

There were times when I felt like I was falling through the cracks, and there was nothing familiar for me to hold on to. The only constant were my Cornell friends, whose support and advice was invaluable to me. The fact that I was an introvert didn’t help either.

I was doing a career test with Jumana (my counselor) and she was telling me what being an introvert entails. Introverts have no relation to shyness. It’s a matter of where one gets one’s energy from. For extroverts, it is people and for introverts, its their “down time”, that couple of hours of solitude. Therefore, if I am meeting unfamiliar people throughout the day and don’t get that down time, I get so exhausted and stressed. I remember how people thought I had a secret girlfriend that I call because I would stop hanging out with the rest of the group after getting back to the hotel at night during Pittsburgh.

Why then, would I feel the need to get out of my comfort zone? Because despite the anxiety, the satisfaction I get after I face my fears gives me a high. I never want any of my fears to hold me back. My future holds many such challenges, and so I’m planning ahead. As i go to Rwanda, my friend Fatima’s word come to my mind – “Be yourself. Everyone will have a lot of fun around the funny you.” I hope that is the case.

I still didn’t get the inspiration I was looking for. I guess I’ll just post this.