01/09/2013 by Siddiqui Fayesal
The Strand book sale was in the city the past week. After a lot of planning and cancellations two of us finally made it there. I had promised myself that since I’ve bought enough books in the past month I wouldn’t buy another. The sale was ho hum. It didn’t test my will power at all. It was okey dokey.
Anyway, while we were browsing through, my friend picks up a lonely planet and tells me that she can read through it and get ideas about the geography for her book. Suddenly I felt all warm and fuzzy. So warm and fuzzy that I tell her to her face that the idea is so appealing that even I might do the same. She looks me in the eye and tells me, “Siddiqui, you want to write a book? You got to work hard for it.”
And I don’t need to tell you how right she is. She, to make her point completely lethal and to leave me without a single excuse to defend my laziness, quotes Elif Shafak. Something about writers having no business being lazy. It made me see me in a different light. It made me zoom out and look at myself writing.
Only thing is, that I wasn’t writing. I was pretending to write.
Coincidentally, just a few days back I was sitting and trying to think through my canvas, upon which I will smear my novel, I gave myself a week to come up with the basic background. I told myself that I will have thought of the geographic unit where my story takes place, whether it’ll be fictitious or not, whether there will be any resemblance to a real place or not. All sort of things that basically make for a watertight universe out of which I will not need to step out for my story.
Do I write in a vacuum? Something that operates like an accurately synchronised mechanism, like a well oiled shotgun. Or, I should opt for an open environment? Something that is ever changing according to the whims and fancies that I project every time I’m stuck with a scene. There are many questions to be answered and I have nothing to go on.
The sad part is that I don’t remember when this happened. I gave myself a week but I don’t know how many days have already lapsed. I’ll have to look at that entry I made in the diary. I’m almost sure that the week is not out yet. But there is barely any time left. I won’t give myself a hard time for not toeing the line. Just a coffee or something and I’ll fake some sadness too. I need to get down to business on a very serious note. I need to pull up my socks and get all desperate to write. I’m still in my comfort zone and that is the reason why I’m not doing it right. I have to work out of my routine to get results.
I work from 0930 to 2000 with an hour and a half off for lunch. I have to use my time after 2000 very carefully if I’m serious about it.
I need a push. I want a push!