Friday, 20 August 2010

The Post Without a Theme

This is going to be a rambling post because I am just blogging for discipline... I hardly dare look at the date of my last published post. Well, that makes it sound like I have quite a few in drafts that are ready to go with a little bit of polishing but truth to say, my drafts section is as empty as my favourite cookie jar... no, not even crumbs left!
Now to the discipline part. In my mind, I am a writer. I write journalistic, promotional and other editorial thingies for a living. In school, I used to write poetry and short stories, which were occasionally published in Young Times. And back then, I had no idea that writing required any kind of talent. I just thought it was something everybody did. But of course, my friends caught on that I had a way with words and you know what that means... I have written hundreds of love letters to random girls on behalf of my friends and cousins.
I don't know why teenage guys think that love letters have to be just perfect and written in great handwriting. My best friend, O, charming Casanova that he was, never believed in love letters but I must have delivered umpteen oral missives for him, fuming all the time 'cos I kept expecting him to wake up from his new-girl-in-school-induced-stupor and notice me!! He finally did, but that's another story. :D
I am digressing here but I guess I am allowed to since this post came with ample warning.
Back to writing. I got my first illustrated fairytale book when I was six. It was quite a tome, but frail me practically lived in the book. It was like a magical world where I could be anything I wanted and do anything I wanted, including not eat all day and still look picture-perfect. I had a constant war with food as a kid; come to think of it, I still do: just that in my childhood, I never wanted to eat and now, eating's one of my guilty pleasures and I have to keep reminding myself to stop.
Anyways, with my reading habits (torch under blanket at night included), I am surprised I actually needed glasses only once I started working. And long, long ago, as an extension of my love for reading, I decided I would be a writer. Whatever else I primarily did, I would write a novel which would, incidentally, land me the Booker. Ironically, I am now paid to write but my book is nowhere near completion. I did start on it a few years back but that's it. I can't even find my original draft! But the plot keeps spinning in my head and I keep adding scenes and killing characters and all that! Now you know why I suddenly look disoriented in the midst of a conversation: I am probably trying to find a not-too-cheesy exit route for a superfluous character.
And you know what, I may even make a movie out of my book. I mean, that's the done thing after all. But where's the book in the first place, you ask? It's in the head, and this time, I am determined to do it right.
A friend and published author, S, as well as my former editor, J, have frequently told me that a writer needs discipline: you have to write at least a page a day. It doesn't matter if doesn't read well or even if it actually isn't contributing to plot progression or even to that particular story at all. Just write! Of course, this does not include all the paid writing I do... this has to come from deep within, like putting my mind on paper. And then, they say, the story will come.
So here I am exploring the little-trodden, thorny path of self-discipline in the hope of finding my muse. More tomorrow. Or the day after.

2 comments:

The Coffee Cup said...

I visited this page, read the blog, opened the comment box and wondered what to write down. A few moments later, I logged out, writing nothing. 'Wow, what a lovely post.' 'Oh those were the days'..etc..etc...weren't exactly the thoughts or comments I had in mind. I am glad in more ways than one for this post.
One: For a while now, your writings and talks have mostly been about work-related matters. I was almost beginning to miss the fun, spirited, loud-laughter person that I met, became friends with and now absolutely enjoy spending time with and sharing gossip with.
Two: The post had me thinking...some random thoughts, some specific decisions. It reminded me of the things I enjoy but have left behind..and now find difficult to retrace or revive. This time, hopefully, I'll pick up the threads.
Three: It's wonderful to hear that the book is still one your mind and you're still working on it. Good luck.

SunnySmile said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by. Sometimes some things in life certainly take precedence over the rest, right? And things happen when you least expect it... so as you can see, I really haven't kept up with the blogging.
Have another new addiction: sleep!
Yes, do pick up the threads of what you love to do. There's nothing like following your passions. And for me, reading and writing is like a secret place that I can retreat to when life gets unbearable. It probably gives me the strength to face reality (or elude it, as the case may be).
And yes, the book. By the time I am done, I can probably make it a mega-serial. :)

Friday, 20 August 2010

The Post Without a Theme

This is going to be a rambling post because I am just blogging for discipline... I hardly dare look at the date of my last published post. Well, that makes it sound like I have quite a few in drafts that are ready to go with a little bit of polishing but truth to say, my drafts section is as empty as my favourite cookie jar... no, not even crumbs left!
Now to the discipline part. In my mind, I am a writer. I write journalistic, promotional and other editorial thingies for a living. In school, I used to write poetry and short stories, which were occasionally published in Young Times. And back then, I had no idea that writing required any kind of talent. I just thought it was something everybody did. But of course, my friends caught on that I had a way with words and you know what that means... I have written hundreds of love letters to random girls on behalf of my friends and cousins.
I don't know why teenage guys think that love letters have to be just perfect and written in great handwriting. My best friend, O, charming Casanova that he was, never believed in love letters but I must have delivered umpteen oral missives for him, fuming all the time 'cos I kept expecting him to wake up from his new-girl-in-school-induced-stupor and notice me!! He finally did, but that's another story. :D
I am digressing here but I guess I am allowed to since this post came with ample warning.
Back to writing. I got my first illustrated fairytale book when I was six. It was quite a tome, but frail me practically lived in the book. It was like a magical world where I could be anything I wanted and do anything I wanted, including not eat all day and still look picture-perfect. I had a constant war with food as a kid; come to think of it, I still do: just that in my childhood, I never wanted to eat and now, eating's one of my guilty pleasures and I have to keep reminding myself to stop.
Anyways, with my reading habits (torch under blanket at night included), I am surprised I actually needed glasses only once I started working. And long, long ago, as an extension of my love for reading, I decided I would be a writer. Whatever else I primarily did, I would write a novel which would, incidentally, land me the Booker. Ironically, I am now paid to write but my book is nowhere near completion. I did start on it a few years back but that's it. I can't even find my original draft! But the plot keeps spinning in my head and I keep adding scenes and killing characters and all that! Now you know why I suddenly look disoriented in the midst of a conversation: I am probably trying to find a not-too-cheesy exit route for a superfluous character.
And you know what, I may even make a movie out of my book. I mean, that's the done thing after all. But where's the book in the first place, you ask? It's in the head, and this time, I am determined to do it right.
A friend and published author, S, as well as my former editor, J, have frequently told me that a writer needs discipline: you have to write at least a page a day. It doesn't matter if doesn't read well or even if it actually isn't contributing to plot progression or even to that particular story at all. Just write! Of course, this does not include all the paid writing I do... this has to come from deep within, like putting my mind on paper. And then, they say, the story will come.
So here I am exploring the little-trodden, thorny path of self-discipline in the hope of finding my muse. More tomorrow. Or the day after.

2 comments:

The Coffee Cup said...

I visited this page, read the blog, opened the comment box and wondered what to write down. A few moments later, I logged out, writing nothing. 'Wow, what a lovely post.' 'Oh those were the days'..etc..etc...weren't exactly the thoughts or comments I had in mind. I am glad in more ways than one for this post.
One: For a while now, your writings and talks have mostly been about work-related matters. I was almost beginning to miss the fun, spirited, loud-laughter person that I met, became friends with and now absolutely enjoy spending time with and sharing gossip with.
Two: The post had me thinking...some random thoughts, some specific decisions. It reminded me of the things I enjoy but have left behind..and now find difficult to retrace or revive. This time, hopefully, I'll pick up the threads.
Three: It's wonderful to hear that the book is still one your mind and you're still working on it. Good luck.

SunnySmile said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by. Sometimes some things in life certainly take precedence over the rest, right? And things happen when you least expect it... so as you can see, I really haven't kept up with the blogging.
Have another new addiction: sleep!
Yes, do pick up the threads of what you love to do. There's nothing like following your passions. And for me, reading and writing is like a secret place that I can retreat to when life gets unbearable. It probably gives me the strength to face reality (or elude it, as the case may be).
And yes, the book. By the time I am done, I can probably make it a mega-serial. :)