The Journey of a Writer to be a Better Writer…
I was just not feeling right to write.
I wanted to skip the writing session and when I looked back, I realized that it has already happened for over a couple of weeks. It was just the symptom. The real problem was somewhere else. It was time to take stock.
It was not a good sign. I could sense it.
This was a dangerous habit, the habit of postponement is poisonous to writing; forget about being a better writer. I had already taken a break, it was a good one but it was a prolonged one, the unwanted cultivation of the habit of postponement is a definite hurdle in the path of being a better writer. I knew I cannot allow this obstacle to overtake me. I had to take over the situation before the situation could take over me.
I’ve to write and write every single day, the rule book prescribed for being a better writer clearly states and states with bold letters and without mincing any words that to be better writer I need to write and write every day, and now I haven’t written for more than few weeks.
I have broken the rule.
I was always under the strong impression that to be creative writer I need to break the rule, I was apparently happy that I had broken the rules but when I paused and reflected, I could quickly realize, yes, here I was breaking the rules that was right but the problem was I was breaking the wrong rules.
Writing is Story Telling
Writing is about telling a story but I get invariably lost in the wilderness, and start describing the settings and the set of scenes and the story losses it core path. I compel myself to obstruct the story taking the right path and the path forward, it keeps rotating around the obsessed descriptions of things that has always fascinated me and I forget that reader wants to move in the story and I am creating the speed breakers. I referred to the rule book and the book talks about the rule of not getting lost in the complexity and labyrinth of description and narration but keeping things simple. Keep the core theme tight and on track through out the course of the storytelling journey. Clarity in thoughts and usage of simple vocabulary is another rule I was breaking being overtly obsessed playing with the words and wandering with excessive descriptions.
Writing Style is Unique
I was getting bored writing the way I was writing and I was thinking, thinking seriously how to explore and read new style of writing and try how to learn different style and adopt those fresh styles and bring a newer dimension to my writing and presenting a different perspective to my readers. I tried and I tried few more times and when I read it later I realized I have failed miserably. I wanted to check up, why I failed. I again went back to the rule book and I found the rule that says be yourself and never try to imitate other’s style and other’s way of writing, everybody has their style and this unique style of yours is what the readers falls in love if we keep nurturing and building on that style, we create our identity. As a writer it is our identification that matters, as it becomes the path to differentiation in our artistic endeavor.
Nevertheless, it always has that latent scope for improvement and it may need improvisation but not impeachment and imprisonment of that style.
Writing is Creation not Construction
I was just not being careful but I was excessively conscientious. I didn’t know why I was doing so. I was being very tentative in my writing, I was thinking a lot about how not to present a thought which may hurt my reader, I was thinking of not writing a topic which reader’s may not read, I was thinking of not using certain words which may affect the composition, I was thinking of not on what I wanted to write and how I wanted to write but what the reader may think and how to make it presentable. I had lost the core idea behind what I wanted to write and it was appearing as though it is a subject without life and the narration has become completely lifeless. I was writing to please the reader not knowing that a reader just cannot be pleased by applying a standard formula to my writing. I once again went back to the rule book and discovered that I was just trying to construct and not create. It was going against the rule of being a better writer. To create something new and do something different I had to take risk and not play it safe and taking risk comes by doing different things and doing it differently.
It is not only in my entrepreneurial journey that I need to take risk to get better reward but I need to take risk in my creative journey of writing to be a better writer.
Appreciation of Critical Feedback
I was writing and after every piece of writing I was getting excited, it was getting amplified and I was in a state of exuberance. I was looking for those little words of appreciation and sometime those loud praise in profusion. It was not always there, and when it come it was insufficient. The moment a writing piece of mine was published and I would realize the result is not the same and most of the time there are observations and feedback from readers much against my expectations. Maybe, it was bloated expectations. I was finding my work much below my own benchmark. I used to receive critical feedback. I always read those bouts of criticism with the right spirit and I critically analyzed every aspects of the rightful observations by such powerful readers. I was agitated. I was getting angry, momentarily fuming and I was getting inexplicably frustrated for not getting the much-needed appreciation for the hard work I had put in and the hard thinking that I have invested into that piece of work. I once again went back to the rule book. This not withstanding the fact that it has little bearing on the mind’s of readers and readers read without any bias, prejudices and least of all they don’t have any preconceived notion or preset agenda to scorn at and criticize our creative work.
They are frank. The carry an objective view. They are free to share their perspective and they are privileged to do it the way they want to and no writer can complain about the reader’s observation, their analysis and their verdict in terms of critical comments.
Lighter approach to Serious Stuff
I was trying, I was being casual and I was taking writing lightly. I didn’t write everyday. I didn’t read everyday. I was not analyzing my writing. I was not incorporating the feedback from readers. I was just trying without much learning. I was not particular on my writing schedule and the scheme of writing. I was not following a regime and not sticking to the routine of writing. I was just not able to set a pattern and not able to practice the art of writing and develop it into a well orchestrated craft. The craftiness come with seriousness. Writing is serious stuff and it demanded from me to be serious. Though the tone can be light. I checked up the rule book and the book didn’t minced any word on this rule and stated if I’m not serious it is better to close the book and do something else, the message was loud and clear to me.
I seized to take writing lightly anymore and moved to be wearing the serious hat.
Real or Imaginary Characters
This is one more dilemma I was awfully caught. I was searching and I was researching to find the right characters and the characters that can play their creative part in my writing and I wanted to adopt the traditional methods of storytelling in my writing. I was on the right path, but I was lost in boarding the right vehicle that transfers me and takes me on the right route in my journey of becoming a better writer. The story needs characters and just not character, but needs powerful characters those who can etch out a mind share in the minds of readers. The dilemma was where to get the characters, is it from the real world or from the world of imagination. It was hazy. I was not clear till I referred to the rule book which states that the real life characters are what the readers relates to better and it has an immediate connection with the reader.
The people we know and the people whose stories we have heard, seen or experienced that makes all the difference in creating a character that is strong and stays long in the minds of readers.
The Language or the Story
I was constantly getting mired in the argument of using right grammar, the syntax and the sentence formation to the length of paragraph and the usage of vocabulary. I realized that I was mastering the language not the art of storytelling where language matters but in the evolution of humanity and there are stories that were told and still resonates with the generation today had no language to articulate and communicate. It was done through signs and symbols, the depicting through painting and sketches made the story reach the reader. It is the message in story and the essence of story that ultimately counts and precisely what the reader wants and the reader authentically cherish the freedom of expression and the art of conversation of the storyteller.
I was lost in the nostalgia of yesteryear and I wanted to come back and check the rule book and I discovered that language matters but not more than the story itself and the art lies in the telling the story using simple language not getting entangled in the rules of language.
Though, I had lost my way in the journey of being a better writer and I could discover my way out and come back on track by constantly referring to the rule book and changing my course, course correction in writing is as much important as in life…always good to emulate the lessons of real life as life lessons profoundly influences us in our writing process and eventually the regime of following the process religiously makes us a better writer.
We all want to be a better writer in our own ways…we all need to preserve, to protect and to promote our way of writing, perhaps there lies the key differentiation, our uniqueness is what starts taking a formal shape and precisely this very urge and the deep desire brings the much-needed depth and diversity to the world of writing.
The journey to be a better writer has no destination, it remains a journey…