I always have to give myself a pep talk before I start writing. Every time.
Every God damn time.
So, you’re wondering what’s the pep talk, right? Well, here it is.
It’s OK to write the way you are writing. After all, you are writing for yourself.
It seems to be the holy grail of pep talk aimed at writers, right?
Writers write for themselves.
But come on, let’s not lie. What fun would it be to craft stories if no one read them?
Today, I was reading Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.
Side note, give it a read. You’ll thank me later.
The point of referencing the book is this, in the story, the narrator is a fourteen-year-old boy, and that’s why this book is brilliant. The writing style was true to its narrator, not the writer. I know, I know, it sounds confusing, but hear me out.
What’s the first advice any creative writing teachers gives? Show. Don’t tell. Right?
Now, tell me this, when you were fourteen, and you used to write, did you use to write elegant description of trees, roads, houses?
If you replied yes, then stop, don’t read any further. This post isn’t for you. Sorry.
But if you said no, well, I made my point.
A straight dive into the chaos. Once again.
Sherman actually wrote from the point of view of a fourteen-year-old. Man, that’s some crazy shit.
If you ever read the entire bibliography of an author, you’ll see there worrying style evolves with time.
It’s natural. Change is the only constant. Like death’s the only absolute truth.
The point being, we, as budding writers, are so fixated over some textbook definition of creative writing. We are so worried that we miss the whole point of writing. To live life twice. Once with our senses, and again with our words.
Do you really need me to spell it out for you?
Write whatever comes natural to you. The rest is for the editors.
One quality I pride myself on is I’m a good listener. At least I believe myself to be.
Strangely, people love to talk. I don’t know why I always struggle but everyone wants their story to be heard. So, for me, it’s favorable. People love to talk and I love to listen.
The art of effective speaking isn’t in what you say but what you don’t.
It seems all happy and cute, right?
After all, cute is the cutest word available in the dictionary. A little side note, there isn’t any other word in the English dictionary I despise more than cute. I hate when people say cute.
Let’s come back to the matter at hand, did you know listening comes at a price? Did you know you have to pay a part of you everytime you listen to someone’s sad little tale?
You feel bad for the teller, and then it numbs. After all, you’ve heard countless stories like that.
At least I have.
You think, “Hey! I’ve heard worse than that, hell, I’ve experienced worse than that. I’m not whining like you.”
But you can’t say any of that. Because if you do, you’ll feel horrible. So, you listen some more. You try to understand. And then you sympathize, even if you don’t want to.
It takes a while, but that is the price you pay for being a listener. There is a reason why people are horrible listener.
But there are stories which are downright degrading to humanity. Stories in which you wish to kill the inflictor, or the villian of the story. Every story has one, don’t give me the look.
You hear a painful story and it starts to eat you alive. You reason that you shouldn’t feel like that. After all, the person who just told you their life story had it worse.
You just listened to it. Right?
But you start losing your mind. It seems strange, doesn’t it? Somehow listening instigates pain? That it fuels agony?
I know seven stories. I know they don’t sound much. But I live within me the agony of seven horrible tales. Seven occasion when I wished to rip apart my heart because I couldn’t bear the suffocation anymore.
But guess what, it took a while and I listened to every single one of them. I tried my best to understand.
Maybe I failed, maybe I didn’t. But every single one of the tellers became a good friend, so I guess I wasn’t horrible. In me, they found an outlet.
And that’s all I could have asked for.
In each of us lies the basic need to influence the world around us. Maybe my ability to listen isn’t anything more than that. A need to influence.
Our philosophies evolve. They change according to the need of the hour.
There is so much to being a good listener, other than the fact that you’re a horrible at sharing your own burden.
Either way, that’s the cost of being a listener. Good or bad, I don’t know, you decide.
The moment I saw the prompt for today, I felt a jolt of electricity run through me. I am not joking.
Isn’t that what I’ve been doing since the day I started blogging? And why blogging? Let’s be more accurate, since the day I started writing.
My thoughts and my conscience poured onto a white screen one keystroke at a time.
Again, I’m stuck. What can I say more about confessions and writing that I haven’t already said before? To be slightly technical, what new way can I twist my words so that I feel I am saying something new.
I realized something a few days back. I’ll never be a good genre fiction writer.
In any discussion, there is a certain point where you run out of things to say, you realize you’ve exhausted all the arguments you could have made, and then you find yourself stuck in a vicious cycle of thoughts, repeating itself over and over again, a cycle made of drivels.
Don’t worry, it isn’t random. Though I do like starting my posts like this.
A straight dive into the conflict.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with writing. It isn’t the part where I lay down words on paper (A screen in my case), it’s the part where I think of sharing it with others.
Fucking standards. You know, I believe I’ve already written a post quite similar to the one I’m writing right now.
Only so much you can ramble before you repeat yourself.
Writers who can work around their doubts, they are the ones who find writing to be easy. For some of us, me included, the shackles of doubts are too strong. So, we struggle.
We struggle finding our worth. Even though we know there isn’t anything new under the sun. Just the same old story, but different tellers.
You would think after writing so much for such long time, it’d be slightly easier, right? Well, you thought wrong.
It’s the second one where the real struggle lies. First one, people often attribute to beginner’s luck. Fuck people, even the writer, himself or herself, attributes their first work to luck.
It’s easy to go from zero to ninty, it’s the last ten where the entire battle is done.
The second step.
When we take it, we already have the weightage of the first one. We have already committed, so there isn’t any going back.
It feels so fucking heavy.
See, I don’t want to carry this thought anymore. I started the first step, and the second one, the one where I’m supposed to resolve this post, I do not want to take that step.
If you deal in art, then suffering is your currency.
Like I said, I feel as if I’m repeating myself over and over again. So, what would be the point of resolving the conflict?
I’m pretty sure I must have written the answer in one of my previous post.
My words betrayed me today,
It seems, as of late,
They have found their own voice,
Their own wit,
Their own bitterness.
My words are consuming my whole being.
In those words,
I’ve finally found the voice,
Which is truly mine.