Tag Archives: misery of writing

More About Me. Thank You for Listening.

I don’t remember hesitating much before writing anything on this blog, so today — this post-writing — surprises me. I struggle to find words and it seems like a defeat. Truth be told, though, it shouldn’t be so much of a surprise because I have been struggling with what they call a writer’s block for what seems like forever. I have written some blog posts, of course, and a few odd emails I think about with a smile, but they don’t satisfy this endless, now-shuddering, now-shivering gong I have going on in my head. It keeps gonging! Write, write, write! it says. I pick up my fingers, my pens, pencils, my daughter’s crayons, even, but nothing seems to work. This damn block is a heavy one.

The character, a woman (surprise!), is a struggler like me. She doesn’t quite know what she wants, she hasn’t achieved much by way of awards and narratable experiences, but there is a fire in her she can’t describe and it keeps her seeking for something that will quench her thirst, if only for a short while. That seems like a workable character for a decent story, doesn’t it? But the story keeps bloody changing before I try to write it! Frustration, annoyance, frustration, annoyance. Arrrgh.

My trusty soundboard for story-writing stuff is busy. Not that had he been around I’d have begun writing, but I could have at least sounded the board and silenced the gong for a bit.

Not all struggle is in vain, though, dear reader. I have scaled a treacherous summit in the meantime. From here, I can see people doing their work and achieving things, travelling to my kind of places, having my kind of conversations, sipping my cup of tea, and it no longer makes me want to pull off my hair and wonder what happened to my existence. I am no longer very jealous. I use very because this summit has hypnotising precipices that occasionally pipe the piper’s tune. But I am generally safe, so I can proudly stand on a steeple (summit, if you will), and cry out with glee — “I look within, you other beings of this world!”

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Being Enid. Or Jane. Or Becoming Just Me

Image courtesy: zazzle.com

“I haven’t any right to criticise books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
– Mark Twain in a letter to Joseph Twichell, 13 September 1898

I am happy I wasn’t born when Mr. Twain was alive. Those who know me, know that such a criticism from a writer of calibre would send me in throes of sorrow. And if the writer were Mark Twain, I’d never pick up a pen again. Well, Ms. Austen was peacefully resting when he said that; who knows what the history of English Literature would’ve been, had she been alive. But then he wouldn’t have been able to beat her over with her own shin bone. Regardless, it’d have been an interesting time.

About a year back, I watched a movie called Enid. As the name might suggest to you, it was a little peek into the world of the famous Enid Blyton. I could have said the lovable writer for children, Enid Blyton, but I didn’t because I have watched the movie. It shows without reserve the kind of woman Ms. Blyton might’ve been — ambitious, manipulative, cruel, inconsiderate, driven for glory. If even half of what is shown there is true, I might never be able to read her books without wondering who might she be thinking of while she wrote about this ‘horrible gnome’ or that ‘annoying milkman’. “I’m going to write about the insufferable postman today, and I’m going to make him you!” She shouted this, or something like this to her husband in the movie. The husband, who was trying to coax her into paying a little more attention towards her children rather than shooting off 6000 words a day, tried in vain to make her realise the importance of spending time with/for the family, too.

While I was watching the movie, I was thinking of the child I was carrying, and the book I was planning to finish before she arrived. I never started the book, the child has arrived, and I am more keen than ever to finish and publish a book. But not like Enid. Or Jane.

As we struggle to keep our finances in order, B and I, I wonder if this unexplainable urge I’ve had to write and publish (a bestseller), write and publish (a bestseller) was for a purpose. I was never ambitious, and no, I never ‘always wanted to be a writer’. Ever since I started blogging, however, I’ve been wanting to become a professionally successful author. It’s been a little over two years. Just about the time I began to sense a nudge to give up translation, a profession that was not only taking up most of my day, it was also weakening my body. Could it have been that this urge to write and publish (a bestseller, Lord!) was to provide for this time in our lives, when I want to do nothing but sit with my girl?

I think too much, don’t I? While I take out reams of zilch every Wednesday, I wonder where I am going. Not to worry, though, dear reader. I am happy. Where am I going smilingly?