The true test of a writer is not how possessedly he writes when he is in flow, but how he manages to write when he is creatively crippled.
Writing is a challenging art form. How many books could you write in your lifetime? Or, how many would you want to write?
How old are you now? Till when do you expect to live?
Calculating the number of years you’ve got left, do you still think you can write the number of books you would want to?
A painter may finish ten paintings in a day. Or, a dancer maybe give three back to back recitals. But, only in case of a writer, we hear this thing about CREATIVE BLOCKS.
Aren’t other artforms supposed to be creative? People speak of wanting the right kind of environment to trigger the flow of words out of their pens.
I feel that at the end of the day, it is pure mathematics. I’m 22 years old right now. Given the amount of chemicals in my food now, and my semi sedentary lifestyle, my best case scenario would be to be alive till 70.
That leaves me 48 years to create my life’s work. So much for passion, life’s true calling, and the love of writing.
48 years. Make it or break it.
If you didn’t start younger than me, then probably you have less time than me. You think 48 years is enough, but how many years it would take you to complete a novel and then to get a publisher – 5 years atleast?
That gives you a book count of less than 10 books in your lifetime.
This happens primarily because of two reasons.
One, because we choose writing too late.
Take me for example, I chose writing at 20 and I haven’t done anything significant till now.
Chances are it’ll take me three more months to actively start work on my first novel.
Two, because we give ourselves excuses.
Today is a Sunday. Who writes on Sundays?
I have a headache. It’s too cold.
I can’t think of anything to write about.
Most novelists wouldn’t reach that quota of 10 novels. Those who do certainly have the quality of persistence and being widely read.
But, as I see it, there is no magic recipe to being a writer. It’s about tucking yourself in, shutting the doors and windows, and writing.
Enough has been made about the two words CREATIVE BLOCK. They say, if you can’t think of anything, look around in your room.
For example, I see a lizard. Now I’ll write something about the lizard – describe it, praise it, eulogise it, criticise it for being on my wall – WHATEVER.
After having done so, I’ll try to bring this lizard piece in my story – maybe an imaginary conversation between my character and a house lizard. Atleast it provides for laughs.
Something is better than nothing.
The true test of a writer is not how well he writes, but for how long. Talent is so overrated. It’s about persistence and determination.
Too many talented people have stopped in their tracks after hitting roadblocks.
It’s the average guy who makes it, more often than not.