This is one of the days when probably I am staring into my laptop screen waiting for that idea to hit me. Times like these, the idea that leads to my next piece loves to play hide and seek with me. In such situations, I have been suggested to keep a clear focus and keep thinking about what I want. However, considering that I love to multitask, that just seems impossible to me.
With multiple screens open all at once, I will try to enjoy my favourite song, read about some interesting campaign, and also try to finish a book that I have been trying to complete since eons.
Often I have been told that a structure needs to govern a piece of writing, but really what is the fun in that? Sometimes, you need chaos to make you understand the beauty of an idea that dominates a piece.
When it comes to writing, I normally end up writing about things that upset or anger me. It is not too many times that I will write about something that makes me happy or at least leaves me with some hope and optimism. Strangely, my words desert me when I have to express my joy.
Coming back to that idea, often I have these flashes of inspiration. When I get them, people get worried because of the sudden movements around them. This is one of the reasons why at times I may have been called weird, but that does not bother me at all. If a writer’s eccentricity can lead to something beautiful, then it should not be a problem at all.
The beauty is that these ideas are gems. In most of the cases, they do not come back to you. If you are the lucky one, you may get a modified one. The sad part is that the essence of the original will be lost. A clear example of this is what happened just now. I was into the flow of writing this piece, and the thought of suggesting some places for the family picnic took over and this took a backseat.
Sometimes it just amazes me at our ability of picking out that idea amongst a million others. I have never been able to explain how I know that a particular idea is the right one. Going with the clichéd, I’d say, it just comes to me.
Let me give an example. Yesterday I was cleaning my drawer (My mom heaved a sigh of relief as finally the impossible had started to happen. As usual, something crossed my mind and I abandoned the task and I could see horns on my mother’s head) I saw so many old pictures and memories and my changed reactions that it all led to my next poem. It is an experience that I may not be able to put down in words. While writing it, I exactly knew what word to put where.
I also saw my first poem, which made me cringe (Obviously, its naivety!) But still it will always be my special one (Another reason because it was dedicated to Daniel Radcliffe and Oliver James). I read that and my latest work, and I saw the transition that had happened over these words.
Though I may have cringed, my writings, whether good, bad, atrocious will always be special to me. They will be my own. Something that have been expression of my feelings, my perspective of looking at this world that continuously shapes my experiences as I am putting down these thoughts.
There have been times when my writing has been subject to an editor’s cruel hands. I have seen my words getting chopped, sentences being moulded into something obscure and lacking the genuine feel and emotions. Having edited pieces myself, I know what a writer feels when his or her work is subject to someone else’s vision. It is a task to maintain that vision and be fair to the writer.
In my case, that editor had sucked the life out of my work. When I read it the next day, I simply could not identify it.
I do love to read a lot. I keep reading what people write around me. Some embellish their writing with heavy weight words, a writing technique alien to a considerable amount of people, a sentence construction style that will add a lot of layer to what is being conveyed. I feel that simple writing is what strikes a chord. It is a story with a soul that warms the heart of people.
The world has a perception of writers. My close ones too at times have difficulty in understanding what must be hidden behind that silence of mine. Some even perceive it to be as bad attitude. It is something that makes me different, and society does have a hard time accepting it. There are times when I have been awake in the middle of the night, writing that one line, which will help me get to my next piece. Sometimes at work, I have got an idea and I need to put it down, before it leaves me.
There was a time when for two years I had not been able to come up with anything of substance. It was one of my worst phases. The yearn for that one word or idea is indescribable. Before that divine inspiration comes to you, it is a frenzy. I practically try to find it in everything I see around me. But, when it comes, it is in such a way that is not at all expected. It can be in a task as mundane as cleaning a drawer or even while taking a shower.
There are times when I have doodled. I must admit that it makes me feel at peace. But, it does not come to me as easy as writing. I really have to think and put my head together to get something that I will continue and not strike off in the middle. My words are not mere designs on a word document or inked lines on a paper. They mean a lot to me. They give me shelter when I need them the most, they make me smile and they relieve me in times when I cannot take it anymore. To me, they are like friends. Every friendship needs nurturing, and this is something I can do all my life.
I am possessive about my words, and I would protect them like any other human being. People have often dismissed this as fanaticism, but to me, my words are the result of a blend of my feelings and experiences. So, why wouldn’t I protect it with that fervour?
I have been told that this profession will not yield me any quality money. I won’t be able to boast about the packages that I am earning. But tell me something, today if someone smiles while reading any of my pieces or feels a relief that none of these so called desirable things can give, then why would I leave this all for something materialistic that does not make people feel real satisfaction?
I have also seen people, who love to pin point errors in a particular piece. I am sure even mine would be scrutinised with that kind of detail, but if you can understand the beauty of the ideas that have been expressed here, I think I have done my job well.
I love what I do. Coming up with words and lines is the best thing that can happen to me. There are times when I have erred and written something for the sake of it, but that has never put me down. If you listen to that little voice that tells you that this is the idea you need, follow it, it will never mislead you. For all you know, it will lead you to your next critically acclaimed poem, short story or even a novel. The trick is to keep going and be honest to what you write.