I used to have a rather fanciful notion of writing. I imagined that I had this one great novel within me, and one magical day I will be so inspired that I complete a manuscript in one feverish sitting and it’ll be a tour de force that wins me instant acclaim. When I think of myself as a writer, it was that person already laden with accolades.
Though, truth is, even in my wildest fancies, I knew that could not be how writing works — it was just that for the longest time, writing was a pleasant hobby and a pipe dream, not something I worked at with any real discipline.
But recently, a little fire has been lit within it. For one, I was inspired by little Isaac, and thoughts, inspirations, words, ideas just came to me and I found myself writing poetry again; and amazingly, a few of them actually gained some resonance with those who read them. For another, I also begin to understand that writing also involves an entire eco-system of people and processes — a little icky for the aesthete in me. But I am also a hyper-rational policy maker in the day and I understand that there is no running away from the tickings of how things get done, even writing.
So I begun delving deeper and begun small efforts in a couple of things. First, to review my past pieces and collate a collection of what I felt were my best writing, and then I started looking up suitable literary journals and publications where I could send my submissions. Every budding writer wants to publish a monograph one day, but it is the starting small and getting short pieces published that will add credence to my eventual manuscript (when that gets done!). And then, I actually sent out some submissions — such a leap over my usual inertia. Some of them are being read right now and I’m keeping my fingers tightly crossed. I don’t think my best is any real good, but it’s the experience that counts!
I have also begun to look into the local literary scene, and was completely awed by how good some of my fellow local writers are — they write with far more finesse and substance than I do right now. And I only have myself to blame, for all the years I did not spend writing. But I am also very proud of them, and feel a real passion for the local literary scene. (Again, this is about starting smaller, and starting where I am, instead of my instant international bestseller fantasy!)
And it’s been marvelous — this new state of writing has stoked something real and deep within me. And because writing is so much about putting yourself in the world, within yet apart, engaging and observing, the world is suddenly richer, filled with greater intensity, more profound beauty. I find myself inspired all the time, and even the mundane becomes interesting, and threads to weave into a larger story and commentary.
So! A little teaser of upcoming projects:
- ‘A Life of Beautiful Things’ (The first draft is almost, yay me!)
- ‘Relief, or the Things I Did Not Do’ (A short collection of poetry)
- ‘Hyperrationality’ (A collection of ten short stories, most of which I have sketched out)
- ‘Unfinished/November’ (A longer writing project I started two years ago and have intermittently worked at, this too shall get done!)
Wish me luck and lots of tenacity!