Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Write way to take...

Recently, I wrote a short, 3000 word story for a competition. For someone who touts himself as a writer/ an author in the making, this was only the fifth occasion when I have actually completed a non work-related writing project. True, the process itself is tedious and the mind shall often drift- yet, along these many distractions, I did learn some very important lessons. While, I am not very much into analyzing a situation too much, I make a serious exception here...

1. Ego' gotta go- I am often very proud of my work, to the point wherein I can visualize imaginary wings sprouting off my back to elevate me above all those other word-smiths. This mentality took a beating last Sunday when I realized that putting oneself on a high pedestal forces us not to be afraid of heights. And being afraid is human...I wanna feel human when I write.

2. A story in the head is just half the tale- Our minds are incredible creators and projectors. Everything is so colorful and life-like and tinged with reality and possibilities. However, the act of imprinting that image onto a sheet of paper is akin to, well I spent about 5mins thinking about it and nothing comes even close. The point is, 'just' having an idea is not the final solution- one has to work towards getting it to be seen by other people. And most often, what you had in mind is not what you recreate with words.

3. Keep it simple, silly- No props to that annoying DOCOMO commercial they keep playing on the telly but this seems to be the dependable mantra to accomplish anything. I have always preferred jacked-up words and complex representations over simplicity and apparent readability (see what I mean). However, this project forced me to write simple, to analyze things without mental gadgets or the need to humor my vain self. And, I liked the experience very much.

4. It's nice to have the weight of expectations- A couple of weeks back, Sam (one of my dearest buddies) sent me particulars about this competition and effectively got me going. Now, self motivation is the primal, basic ingredient that gets the results. However, I had maxed out upon my writing as I am a professional writer- these days, any additional writing seems like work and that triggers my evasion tactics. But...I knew that Sam counted on me to complete this project and that seemed like a refreshing, motivational thing. I jumped into the work with gusto and my creative juices flowed. Bless her, she even routinely checked to see as to where I was with it. Maybe the end product is not what she expected, but I am happy I could put something on the plate. I have always been proud of my ability to perform under the heat and this time it felt inspirational to work under positive pressure.

5. Limitations are a mental thing- I used to think this was just a slogan, to be unloaded on amateur marketing executives or kids doing bad at school. However, I now realize that limitations are an apparent thing if what we do is not what we want to do. While mentally playing out scenarios for this project and physically accomplishing it, I hardly felt limited by any factor other than the obvious human tendency to tire from a tedious job. I can now see the distant horizon and strive to reach it...a step at a time- but the progress is definitely there.

6. Apologies are due- A certain Mr. CB deserves my apologies. Not for lampooning his crass story-telling skills or the way his grammar replicates the first attempts from a second grade kid (here we go again...) but for inadvertently having questioned his commitment to his craft. When writing something-anything-not much can be achieved without commitment and a mapped vision. Thus, horse manure or not, Mr.CB had to commit to accomplish what he has. Respect.

And finally,

6. I love writing- Isn't it apparent via this blog entry? I am in love with writing, not productive or worthwhile writing, just the simple act of putting words on paper. I am surrounded by good, honest people who push me to endure-and dream about a career in writing someday. Maybe, just maybe, its not a wild goose chase afterall...