Writer’s Diary : No rains, no inspiration, no story deadlines
Disclaimer: This is not a blog or a properly put together article. It’s a confession trial, a therapy, what they call ‘letting your heart’ out these days.
I am at the verge of finishing the last chapter of my first book, and as most of us don’t want to say it most of the times in our lives, I am stuck. Why am I telling you this? Well, it is a ludicrous belief I carry today at 04:00 a.m. in the morning that putting my words unnecessarily on this supposedly blank yet definitely predefined canvas-like screen, is going to help me liberate my insecurities, which I am doing very less these days. In fact, when I stare at the paper while fiddling the pen in my hands, rather than foraging my brain for ideas, I try and decipher the blank paper. I am very sure that the paper already knows what to expect, and me putting anything little or different from its expectations is going to make it come and bite me. The paper thinks faster than me! And this, my friends, brings me to one of the most important lessons I have learned while endeavoring on this pathetic and struggle-filled adventure of writing a book many people happily step into because apparently, their self-loathe couldn’t find any better punishment- Don’t make it about others.
The first draft of your book is supposed to be about you telling the story to yourself. Impromptu, real, free, imaginative, raw. Although, as I stepped into the last phases of finishing the write-ups, the thought of getting published, and the horror of being rejected hovered over my mind so much that I suddenly switched from writing two thousand words a day to three hundred words a day (which aren’t even that great! Humph!). Even when I write something beautiful, I am not happy with it. Actually, I don’t feel happy writing at all now, I feel claustrophobic. The reason? Reading too many writing advises and “what not to do as a writer” list of tips. And on the top of it all, the fear, that I might never get published. All of this resulting in one thing a writer is advised never to do- creating your art thinking what would others think or see in it, which destroys it completely before even existing.
The joy of writing contributes to the joy of reading a reader would ever experience after your work lands in their hands (This is me lecturing myself, do you hear the whispers?). We all know this, and many other facts, but often forget them in the pursuit of trying to put together worlds that never existed and never will, unless you thread them as words you most dutifully have learned across years. So, how am I gonna deal with this? How am I gonna get back to how I started? Again seeing my work as a wondrous journey of laughter and despair and mystery and longing and pride? Here are a few personal tips from a novice crusader (you can use any tip for yourself if it comes in useful, though I hardly think it will, it is all untested)—
Stop staying up late
I think a sudden cut-off from the world helps, but it can get a little too much to handle sometimes. I am away from social media, friends, world in general, and am only reading or watching movies. I think I need to know again that the world is useless and pitiful, so that I get back to my writing and editing happily as ever again. An escape. (Didn’t see that coming, did ya? Gotcha!)
Exercising! This pandemic has helped me alter my health to a great extent. The virus didn’t infect the veins, but laziness and eating a lot did. I feel drowsy most of the time, and it has to go. So that’s important. Eat healthy and exercise, dance if that works. It switches the brain right on!
Not dwelling on dreams
If you are also a monster who has the most amazing dreams and sleeps an hour extra just to lunge that sword, or rescue that animal, or break the code, you know what it means to dwell on dreams. I have been having too many amazing dreams lately. Travelling in the TARDIS with the doctor, Hermoine Granger getting pissed off by pranks, and brave new worlds that have troublesome creatures waiting for you to step in. The dream world often is so mesmerizing in comparison to the real one, that we tend to lose ourselves in it. It’s gotta stop. So I am halting my reading and watching of any kind of television drama for a week. I am gonna sketch and paint and learn new stuff.. Let’s see how that works.
Love what you are doing and TRUST YOUR GUTS
You maybe writing the way no one has ever written before. Your thoughts maybe peculiar or maybe you got the character wrong! In fact, you might laugh at your own courageous attempts at describing scenes so weirdly that it leaves you with a horrid expression on your face later on. Whatever it is, trust yourself. You should never ever write for others, least the publishers, not the first draft. Let your imaginations flow, it may make sense to some, may not to others. Although, if you do not liberate yourself and show it in your work, it is certain, very certain, that nothing great can come out of you.
It is when you are being yourself, you create the best art yourself can.
Alright, I am genuinely bored by this. Worst form of writing ever, but as I said, I feel light and ready to dive in. Thanks! Happy writing, painting, whatever :)
Oh, and this mesmerizing quote by Carl Sagan for you (I stuck it on my wall once)
“Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.”