Draft and Craft of Writing

It was a much awaited pause, a deep reflection and along side a vague idea that was erratically lurking in a state of high fluidity. I was merely contemplating to write something different. There was this strong urge restlessly simmering within me. I was unable to suppress it any further. It was at the brink of bursting. I had to break free. I was clear, though I wanted to write something seemly interesting and certainly intriguing. I was inching to put that fuzzy idea into some visible shape and give some bright colour; provide it an impressionable pattern and make it profoundly meaningful.

Much ado I jumped into the big arena. The snow-capped mountain. The green valley. When I started writing it was like a curious child playing with random colors on the colourless canvas, I was enjoying the causal play but there was nothing that I was able to see as a creative outcome. I was about to question, I stopped and stepped back.

It was all hazy and I was lying lazy.

 

I wanted to break away from the comfort zone and get those uncomfortable thoughts within me to get the wings to fly out from my hearth and my heart.

 

I wanted to feel light.

As I started writing the first draft I felt I was nowhere near to what was subtly harboring in my sub conscious mind. I was perhaps trudging a wrong trajectory. I was definitely climbing a wrong branch, maybe it was the right tree. It appeared that I was doing everything wrong in writing. I was just writing what was coming to my mind without giving it a rightful direction or putting it into any proper channel for obtaining a powerful perspective. It was my sketchy thoughts and I was randomly putting words to those floating thoughts. Nothing was emerging; I was just radarless meandering here and there. I didn’t force myself to take a defined path or follow an existing pattern. I allowed myself to freely embrace whatever came my way and embraced the way it came, I just kept it raw and I attempted to keep it simple.

Mind was cluttered.

Mind was already complicated.

I didn’t want to confuse it any further. I was enjoying that space of vulnerability and small zone of fragility of thoughts. Writing creatively is about writing freely and writing randomly and writing whatever tenders our mind and touches our heart. I was exactly doing the same way. I was having a wonderful dialogue with self and I was having a dissected discourse without having to follow a fixed course of discussion. Being creative and able to write is about discovering that sweet spot where we are happily hooked. I was frantically trying to unearth that hidden space that had gone into hibernation.

 

The first draft is all about putting whatever comes to our mind and allowing that flow and form to continue the way it started without invoking any hurdles and infusing hiccups.

“The garbage.”

“The gibberish.”

“The broken.”

“The bruised.”

 

The focus was on the draft. The craft emerges out of a draft. The genesis of final craft after all is the first draft. Just removing everything that acts to deter the crazy thoughts coming our way, for being creative we need to be bit crazy. Not necessarily we need to be insane. Though they say, insanity is about doing the same thing expecting different result. More so in creative writing we have to throw out all our aspects of sanity into dustbins.

The draft phase…This is not the time to be disciplined.

The draft phase…This is the time to be reckless, careless and carefree.

We cease to be creatively crazy as we follow a framework or get molded to a method. We have to break all such boundaries of assumptions and basket of presumptions, just being musing and staying motivated.

 

It is like a magic wand and there is a mystery behind such band of thoughts.

 

As we write and go deep inside the draft we start seeing so many subdued layers and so many diverse patterns, there is wider sense of exploration and a sudden sense of accomplishment. I was enjoying that phase of being creatively wandering and randomly writing. I was in no mood to phase out myself from that exploratory journey. There was so much that I was enjoying in that draft phase just being a sole sailor in that rocking boat on such ocean of wavering thoughts.

 

Writers are explorers.

Writers are wanderers.

Writers are like Siberian migratory birds.

Writers are like annual animal migration in the Masai Mara.

 

The shift from the draft to the craft is that migration we all as writer look forward to that technical shift of our canvas from creating to moving to a new place of operation.   Instead of putting myself into that zone of self-exile, I was to celebrate the freedom of being inventive and creating something different and something that defines my essence of being a liberated soul. It was so exciting to put words to thoughts, the sudden connection of words with thoughts, the right connection and experiencing that Eureka moments every time I get the exact word catching my thought.

I was getting super excited.

I was feeling elated with extra joy, there was this child like exuberance.

It was palpable.

I was feeling it.

I continued that path just by being wildly wandering and being in that state of wilderness.

 

I was so much in that state of draft I simply didn’t want to shift to that state of craft.

 

I wanted to stay put in that space of drafting. There was no governing rule and there was no regulation to regiment my thoughts. Crafting is about shaping those worded thoughts into some prescribed pattern and adhering to some predefined framework. I was desperately resisting that migration from the draft phase to the craft stage. I knew that to make my creative work go from my private space to the public place it has to be well crafted for it to be acceptable and ready for public consumption of the art of my creative writing.

 

The shift from draft to craft

It is like a nostalgic feeling that strangely mirrors the scene while sending our kids to the school…the first day of our kid’s school. There is a mixture of feeling. There is that subtle sense of pride that our kid is moving into a new world but there is also that lurking tentativeness of fear and understandable concern, how will he manage in the school, how will he react if the teacher rebukes him, what will happen if the other children don’t play with him, what will happen if he needs something, is the caretaker really going to take care of him…

 

It was like starting to learn the driving class where I was enjoying the learning to drive on an open space in the ground without any restriction just juggling with my clutch, the acceleration, the deceleration and the break. Then came the time. The time to move from the open ground to the confined street. I was fearful. I couldn’t galvanize the courage. I resisted coming onto the streets with so much stipulation and restriction.

This is a recurring process.

The journey of moving from draft to craft that we keep doing every time we sit down to write something new. Many of our writings have never shifted their gears or gone ahead in getting them crafted. Those written thoughts are still lying low and in multiple layers of forgotten manuscripts. Randomly scattered here and there, floating like vagabonds and nomads.

 

I took a break to ruminate on this very journey and gradually realized that there is an art of smartly and successful moving from the draft phase to the craft stage of creative writing.

“It is about the trust on the work of art and the self-belief.”

“The creative confidence…”

 

This appears deceptively easy to do but it isn’t the case. It is like getting back our mojo. This needs to be nurtured and this needs to be cultivated to keep us going the distance, the whole hog and allowing us to take that final plunge every time we reach the cliff of the draft as we have a beautiful valley to cherish on the other side as a craft. We have to weed out the festering fear and fathom out the bounty of beauty that is always ready to invite was with both hands. The belief and the confidence

 

There is a magical journey we all as writer experience as we do this wonderful gliding from the draft of writing to the craft of creating

 

With those words of assurance and I took the guarded plunge into that new space of creative crafting, and as it happens in every new place we enter, we need little time to adjust and get us familiarized and nudging the awkward nuances, and then start enjoying the new place like meeting our old friend that suddenly offers so much to us, a whole new world…it is just that we resist and so it persists.

I could mobilize all those scattered motivations and tethered thoughts. Earlier I didn’t have the courage to barge there, but this time I managed to do so. I ransacked my stuffed writing cupboard randomly piled up and the recorded documents  in old folders and archaic files in my system, and I was unpleasantly surprised to discover so many of my writings helplessly looking for their caretaker to come and rescue them from the help age homes, I could see the deeply suppressed pain in their wrinkled eyes and crumbled faces, they were stoic and there was an air of poignancy…I felt extremely despair that how come I have left my own children of thoughts so badly abandoned, I have done for so long, never visited them for years.

 

How could I do that?

 

And then I realized that these thoughts were never crafted with my emotions they were mere my draft…earlier I never had the courage to stand by my own writings, shy of my own emotions; however flimsy or fragile it may have been after all it was my writing, if I don’t fight for my writing and thoughts who else will do and If I had to improve my writing for being a better writer I should change my outlook not my look that is what I am born with and that is my personality and that it is my identity and I just need to keep improvising, keep doing it better than the previous draft and keep honing my craft, the creative craft of writing...

 


Nihar Pradhan

Draft & Craft

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Nihar PradhanWritingCraft of Creating,Craft of Writing,creative writing,Draft and Craft,First Draft,WritingIt was a much awaited pause, a deep reflection and along side a vague idea that was erratically lurking in a state of high fluidity. I was merely contemplating to write something different. There was this strong urge restlessly simmering within me. I was unable to suppress it any...Break the barriers and Make a difference...