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The Perils Behind the Curtain: The Pitfalls in Pursuing Self-Publishing Companies

In an era where aspiring writers are empowered like never before to share their stories with the world, the rise of self-publishing has been both a blessing and a curse. While it offers a gateway to independence and creative control, the landscape is fraught with pitfalls, particularly when navigating the labyrinth of self-publishing companies. Preeti Shenoy, a prominent voice in the literary world, recently delved into the murky waters of self-publishing in her article titled "Self Publish or Not is the Question." Her insights shed light on the often-overlooked realities that writers encounter, especially in regions like India. The Illusion of Support Self-publishing companies often allure writers with promises of comprehensive support: editing services, cover design, marketing strategies, and global distribution. They paint a picture of a seamless path to success, fueling dreams of literary acclaim and financial independence. However, the reality can be starkly different. M

Writer’s Block—a New Reading

by Anu Lal

We carry a gene of gift within us all. Most often one could find it but stashed away behind the doors of concerns. Sometimes, uncertainties bar the gift from us. We fear about the aftermath of embracing our gifts and of being different among the line of lemmings. Our hearts might tell us how fierce are the competitions of the world and it inflames our insecurities. Whenever the question of gift comes up, we think twice; it’s never an easy choice for us, but hard; we stumble. If you are a writer, this is same with your block. Our gifts are hidden behind the door of worries due to reasons unknown to us, but have true purpose being there.

All of us have this experience when writer’s block closes off the door to our wonderful gift, the gift of transforming the unutterable into words. One of the greatest teachers ever to walk on the earth, Jesus of Nazareth, once mentioned to his disciples that if one knocks on the door, it will be opened. Each knock symbolizes initiatives. If one is ready to take initiatives, every block is meant to be open.

If a knock can open any door, definitely doors are meant to be knocked upon; in other words, doors are meant to create initiatives. Every seasonal block is meant to create some sort of initiative in the writer. It seems a hidden cosmic reaction, the purpose of which, as I mentioned before, looks out-of-reach in mesmerizing proportions.

The crucial question still stands; what are the initiatives one is meant to take in a writer’s block?

In order to understand the initiatives, one should understand primarily what constitutes writer’s block and how this state of constipation of creativity occurs. A writer’s block is a clash between the present thinking of the writer and his or her notions about how one used to think in the past. Writer’s block, in other words, promulgates its direct affiliation with the manner and ways one thinks. The writer should understand and control the thought process. This is the panacea essential for a free-flowing of creativity.

Often the major concern of a writer when one sees what is on the table, in written manuscript form, is how it should have been better had they been their past selves. This binary perspective is by definition impossible to carry out within the time-present. One cannot bring past into present or go and live in the past. The irony is that writer is the creature that can go and inhabit any landscape without being obstructed by the boundaries of time and space.

The clash between the past self and the present self is the root cause for writer’s block. In other words, the writer is unable to move out of one’s ‘thought-void’. He or she feels entirely lacking in new thoughts. This feeling is there in the base of the clash between how one used to write and how one is keeping up with it now. But even this notion contains the seeds to grow out of the captivity of stagnant thoughts, because this clash between two times and between lack and fulfillment, is essentially a clash born out of ‘self’. A writer hates what he does now and tries to embrace what one used to do because of the inability to forgive one’s self.

According to the passage of time, change in style of writing is unquestionably destined. The accumulation of experience and the number books read would transform a writer each day. It is therefore not at all a downward move of the writer, if he or she finds the writing style changed from the past. What becomes a problem is the attempt of the writer to reconcile with the changes of his own work. For this, one takes the road of self-derogation by believing that one has become incorrigibly weak. In most cases, such an attitude pushes the writer over the edge to the unending abyss of writer’s block.

This state at the core is damning. The writer’s creative paradise would sure to suffer from apocalyptic quakes of mental turbulence. The solution is simple. Forgive the self. This is a possible creative and fulfilling solution for this conflict within the self. Forgiving one’s self and letting go of the past is the key to unlock the door to the gene of gift. What one was, a few days, months or years back never accounts for what one is, at present.

So drop a word of forgiveness for yourself.


  1. Thank you Anu Lal Sir, for this thought provoking article. It souched me so in a different way. My takeaway was from these specific lines as they connected with me instantly; may I quote - "If a knock can open any door, definitely doors are meant to be knocked upon; in other words, doors are meant to create initiatives......" - Oh Yes, I have expereinced may blocks but also the voice at the back of my mind reminds me of "The best days are ahead.. and blessings are waiting for you at the doorstep, because God does not close one door without opening another door, do you really think that God would do anything to hurt you, he is a God whose heart breaks when he sees you cry." - Revelation 3:8 if I am not mistaken. Don’t worry about things that has been taken away from you, it was the plan of God to protect you from it accept His will and move on because he makes the best decisions! It's then that I take a Break, have a nice little conversation with God and move on! My door is open because he knows what's best for you!


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