Tag Archives: writing

Feeling Like a Writer

It’s a strange thing, being a writer. On the one hand, you just are. I’m always writing something. It’s who I am. I can’t not write. It’s as simple as breathing. 

But you know how sometimes even breathing isn’t simple? You get a cold, and a blocked nose. Or the pollution is so high that your nose gets full of gunk and you can’t breathe properly. Well, sometimes that happens with writing too. You know it’s simple. You know it’s who you are. But sometimes, it just feels complicated.

I’ve been feeling that lately. But more specifically, towards “professional” writing. I can still write. I can still fill pages of my journal, or write beautiful letters and what-not. I can still write stuff that doesn’t need to be finished, or stuff that doesn’t need to judged. But what about all the things that have to be finished, and have to be judged? What about stories that must meet a certain criteria, or pass through individual judgement? What about a novel that needs to meet my vision of what it should be? On that side, there have been stumbling blocks. 

And that led me to conclusion that I need to do more things that make me feel like a writer. 

Life gets in the way. There are jobs to be done for money. There are hobbies and interests. Crazy challenges that take over my life (I’m walking London to Brighton non-stop, 100km/62.5 miles in May). Personal relationships. And after all that if there is actually any time left, my energy level or mental reserves are too low for me to be as productive as I would like with my writing. 

A part of me resists this. A part of me thinks of all the writers who had full lives, woke up at crazy hour every morning and wrote before going to work. A part of me wants to be able to do that no matter what. Another, more realistic part of me is becoming aware that it is not sustainable. I’ve ups and downs with writing, as with most things in life. Sometimes words just flow. Sometimes it’s bloody hard work. Sometimes it fills you with elation. Sometimes it depresses you. That is the inevitable nature of creative endeavor. But it is also the inevitable nature of pursuing dreams. 

However, there are ways to feel like a writer. I’ve joined a local critique group, a writer’s group, and may even do more of those depending on suitability and availability. That gives me people and accountability, so that writing comes with a deadline rather than just something hovering in the background. I like deadlines. I like having something specific to aim for. It also feels more professional somehow. And more “doing” rather than “wishing.”

So today, I had to remind myself again that it’s okay. Sometimes you feel down in the dumps, and question everything. It’s okay. Feel it in the moment. Then get back up, dust off your pants, and start again. Because that’s all it is. One word after another. Sometimes it’s crappy words. Sometimes it’s torturous words. But they come. Because they are in me. Patiently waiting. When I stop obsessing and worrying about being a writer, underneath it, I already am. When I remember why I wanted to do this – for the pleasure of creating my own stories – it suddenly becomes such an achievable thing. It is there, waiting to be unearthed, to be moulded in my voice. Because I am a writer. 

 

A Writer’s Diary: Lord Byron on Writing

 

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24 November 1813

I do think the mighty stir made about scribbling and scribes, by themselves and others – a sign of effeminacy, degeneracy, and weakness. Who would write, who had any thing better to do?

– Lord Byron

A Writer’s Diary: Sylvia Plath on Understanding Market

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1 August 1950

It is hot, steamy and wet. It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem. But I remember what it said on one rejection slip: After a heavy rainfall, poems titled ‘Rain’ pour in from across the nation.

– Sylvia Plath

A Writer’s Diary: Sylvia Plath

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25 February 1957

Ted’s book of poems – The Hawk in the Rain – has won the first Harper’s publication contest under the 3 judges: W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender & Marianne Moore! Even as I write this, I am incredulous. The little scared people reject. The big unscared practising poets accept. I knew there would be something like this to welcome us to New York! We will publish a bookshelf of books between us before we perish! And a batch of brilliant healthy children! I can hardly wait to see the letter of award (which has not yet come) & learn details of publication. To smell the print off the pages!

– Sylvia Plath

How Writing has Evolved

 

Originally published on my old writing blog, Writer Revealed (March 2009)

 

Countless times, I have read advice from professional authors, agents and publishers about sticking to one POV in one scene, about keeping a straight enough narrative that the reader doesn’t get confused.Currently, I am reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. It’s considered a classic. It’s wonderful story, no doubt about that. However, with regards to the writing style, it jumps from one person to another in a heart beat. Mrs. Dalloway is not alone in this. Majority of what we consider all time classics, are written in pretty haphazard manner that an agent wouldn’t touch today.

Is it a sign of evolving times? Or merely a sign that we – as readers – prefer less complicated things? Is that because we can’t be bothered to spend effort on following a story with care? Or because we are incapable of it, going after instant gratifications and becoming less intelligence as a race?

These questions could be debated for a long while, and we still won’t come to a conclusion. But the fact remains that the publishing industry has changed a lot since the days of Virginia Woolf. Perhaps, it’s just as well – we don’t see many writers – even the novice ones – living in squalid, dark rooms and starving these days. There is poetic value in that image, but I prefer my comfortable sofa with electricity, Internet, and DVD player.

 

Welcome

 

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 image by shahidsababa

 

This blog is about writing. I don’t know what exact focus it will take, but it’s more than likely going to be a mixture of informative posts about writing, about my writing projects, and general writing related chit-chat.

This is the hub for my writer self.

If you don’t know me yet, or if you only know one of my projects, you can find out more on the About page. But as far as online presence is concerned, I run two other websites:

Kaizen Journaling – I teach people how to use journaling for personal development. I’m the founder of Kaizen Journaling Academy, and here Kaizen Warriors learn how to use their ambition, audacity and authenticity to create arsenal for success. This is where you find my journaling ninja self, who knows how to use journaling to improve just about any area of life (or die trying!)

Kaizen Reading – This is more of my hobby site. This is where I write about reading as a self-improvement activity, essays about books, and just general reading and literature related stuff.

I look forward to getting to know you.