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Archive for September, 2012

Once A Writer…

I have a confession to make. I was dragged from my bed at 3:30 am to open up my laptop and write this article that you’re now reading. My mind had instructed my body and it was resisting for some good twenty minutes. It finally gave up, cursed my mind while leaving the warm blanket and now I am here. Every night when I go to bed, I lie down and make one thousand one hundred plans in my head, most of which never see the daylight.

Being a writer is not easy. Especially if one is a lazy person like me. I sat down the other day and, out of ordinary, just had a look at my blog. It surprised me that I haven’t written anything in almost three and a half months!

In my mind, I have already finished two novels, several sad, funny and clever poems and infinite short stories (some are still in progress as I write this). Oh and by the way, I have done it all simultaneously. So you see my overactive, imaginative mind has so much potential that it worries me sometimes. And what do I do about it? I think and create. All in my head though. Of course you can’t remember everything your mind creates and of course people can’t be amused by your thoughts unless you put them on a paper or present them verbally.

I do write a lot in my head. I come up with stories, ideas, plots, sub plots, connecting words, correct grammar and what not. I even have people who have inspired me or amused me from real life that I want to use as characters for my future stories.  And this constantly tells me I can never be as passionate about any other line of work as much as I am about writing. What stops me then?

I often blur the line between writing as passion and writing as profession. Both are different BUT both should be taken seriously. I can’t exactly differentiate them in bullets and points. However, I would like to share my experiences (professional and personal) as a writer that might just clear the picture a bit.

When I started writing for my course, I wasn’t sure what should I write about. The only writing I did before starting my Masters course was “dear diary” type nonsense or some really sad or extremely romantic poetry during those awkward school times. I was asked to write anything; fiction or nonfiction. The choices were endless, imagination was on its peak and my mind, completely blank! Like that solid, good for nothing ink pen we used during college days that ran out of blue ink right when our teacher asked us to take down notes!

It was then that I realised that I have to have a focus in my writing. I can’t just write anything that I blabber about. So I had to plan, come up with a story, characters and stick to the plot. Research as well, for the places, names and incidents that happened for real. When you sit down to write something, you would be surprised to know how much reality you put even in a fictional story. (Obviously, this statement is for all my non writer friends who think fiction writing is a piece of cake)

By the time, I graduated and started an internship, I was an established, successful writer that needs no suggestion (in my head only, need I tell?!). So when I was asked to follow SEO, word count and all other technical words that my tiny imaginative brain was unaware of, I started panicking initially and cursing my poor employer occasionally (in my head only!). Honestly, it was boring to write day after day about the same kind of services, the same jobs. Mundane. Yet, it was so different to my usual, free style, open hearted, I-don’t-care-what-people-think-of-me kind of writing. It was a great learning experience, another shining credit on my CV and a chance to get to know really nice and efficient people and so much more.

Like any other profession, writing should be taken seriously. It’s not just fun, a habit, or something you do besides “real work”. It is work, a hard one at that. Because, it requires time, effort and a lot of patience. This is only my point of view but a lot of writers would agree that it’s not easy to be a creative  writer if you can’t devote a fixed time for your writing.

Throughout both of my experiences, I learnt the most important thing is having discipline in your writing schedule. Writing one whole day and then leaving it for a whole month don’t count. Writing two days in a row and then leaving it to come back to it after few weeks don’t count. Creating a blog and abandoning it for months don’t count at all!

A good friend of mine once told me, “You should know if you write to earn money or as your passion.”

Yes, it’s my passion and yes it is a bit unsettling when you don’t have an open hand as a writer and when you have to follow a set of rules and focus on a particular type of writing. Having said that, you can always find/learn something new when doing a specific kind of writing for a specific kind of organisation. There are no limitations in being creative and if writing is something you enjoy doing, enjoy the rules, add up to your vocabulary, funny idioms, read new articles and educate yourself further. It will only reflect in your future writing. And for that, you need to stop whatever it is you are doing right now and put your pen to paper even if it means leaving your cosy blankie in the middle of the night!

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