29/08/2015 by Siddiqui Fayesal
My writing abilities are in the process of being reduced to nothing but a small tiny blip on the radar of my self-critical pathetic life.
Don’t worry though. This is NOT a whiny post!
Better believe it.
So, I’m in the process of re-inventing the way I think about writing. I have mentioned many times about the number of worthless pages I have written already without getting anywhere. I have decided to take advice from 3 people who I respect a lot when it comes to writing. Make that 4, actually. I am still debating whether they’ll like it if I give a shout out to them publically here. Not that the whole damn world falls over each other to read what shit I write here.
But, like they say, the thought counts.
I have always spent a lot of hours, days actually, to find out the HOWs of writing. I wanted to know how to make a sentence sound potent. How to make a sentence say much more than it was saying by the right word choice? How to fashion a phrase so that the reader would know which character was most likely o say it?
I wanted it all. I wanted it all in the shortest possible time frame.
I told off people who didn’t adhere to the quality that I wanted to achieve, forgetting the fact that I was worse off than them who tried to stumble in the dark and find their way around. I told myself in the secret of my thoughts that the book that I write will score a 9 on 10 in every possible parameter. Because, I don’t believe any literature can be a perfect 10.
I hate myself for that.
It’s not that I did all this deliberately and looked down upon my peers. It was the most ambitious part of me superimposing itself upon the weakened personality of my soul. It was a pathetic ambition that I knew nothing of. I wasn’t even aware that it existed in me.
I would love to produce a perfect story, a faultless amalgamation of an artsy plot and intelligent dialogues, with quotable lines and description with a life of its own. I would love to possess the magical pen that glides upon paper and poetry issues automatically, to be the master of the words, to be a wizard with the talent to give life to words and make them dance.
But, I ask myself, at what cost?
Do I really want it without having a chance to live through the process, through the weary and rigmaroles faced by an artist? Now, I’m not calling myself an artist (wish I could) but I am merely talking about the pleasure of mapping my journey, of having stories to tell my friends about the failures and the troughs that finally resulted in that one story that I was proud of. For a guy who kept repeating the same old ‘I’m in it for the journey’ I was pretty much a fraud.
I have spent the major part of my writing life trying so hard to produce the best book that I never stopped to actually enjoy the process. I’m not saying that this is an excuse for not doing hard work, of course, there is hard work. But I don’t want to push myself; I want to be pulled to the nearest café to pen a story. I remember reading Michael Crichton’s State of Fear and I suddenly put my failed attempts to conjure magic with the book’s climax.
Now, there is absolutely nothing about writing in that book, so this is only an analogy. The book is about these eco-terrorists who try and ‘manufacture’ a Tsunami. After a lot of blackmail, murders, kidnapping and billions of dollars expenses they only succeed in giving the surfers a little excitement that lasts a few minutes.
I have been trying so hard at the wrong things that now I know it’ll only result in a mockery of my intentions.
In no particular order, these are a few who deserve a thank you at this stage.
amarllyis: Obviously figures in this list for this educational makeover. She kept telling me this, but it took a bit more time than she anticipated. She has not given up on me, yet and I’m sure she won’t. We’ll write some real great stories, my friend.
Harish: This guy’s writing and reading ideas are a lot like mine. We mostly agree on the books we read (let’s not talk about Dickens, though) and the preference of melancholic over happy-go-lucky narratives. It is great to find another guy who is just as passionate about writing. He doesn’t want me to “want” to be a writer.
Cheryl: She has unknowingly helped me a lot. I love how she has structured her characters and how she weaves stories around them (Or is it the other way around?). She sketches and writes. Talk about being multi-talented!
Bushra and Afrah: My eldest sister and my, well, elder sister. The eldest and I have been increasingly talking a lot regarding writing, reading, analyzing and juxtaposing literature with the social fabric of the times when it was written. The elder one is one of my most regular readers and is one of the first to give me feedback. So, that means , she is a number that actually makes sense 😛
Anyway, I’m glad I have planned this out. Now, this shouldn’t fail like the other grand plans I’ve made!