I haven’t updated this blog in a while… I blame it on too much writing. When you are writing too much for a living, the other writing takes a backseat. Words dry up and the writer’s block is a given. You are so much in danger of repeating yourself that your designer tells you, “But you gave the same headline to the story you sent yesterday.” God bless the woman! I check and find that I’ve given the same headline two issues ago… and go back to ‘thinking’ again. Sometimes, I shout out loud, “Can someone give me a headline, please?” Well, almost always, someone comes up with an idea… And that part of the process is completed.
Writing is definitely hard work! Words don’t flow as one would believe. Sometimes, it takes days to come with just the right introduction… and at other times, it comes at two in the morning. I’ve woken up many times in the middle of the right just because I thought of something I liked and immediately had to type it out. My poor brother, with whom I shared a room during my childhood, often had to bear the brunt of my creative instincts, especially when I switched on the light at so-called Eureka moments at 2am. There was no computer then, so I needed the light to put my thoughts onto paper.
And there are other compulsions too… Like word counts and what you are writing for. At the newspaper, the editor would say, “Nothing more than eight words to a line!” When I first heard that, I thought, “Are you kidding?”. But since he was not the kind to understand a joke without offering a lecture in return (which sometimes took on spiritual undertones!) I refrained from long conversations especially when I had a deadline looming large! For a magazine, there’s always the marketing people who are always interested in what you are doing (which to me, means ‘is there an advertising opportunity in there?’ and the constant verbal duels which I always lose (and that’s another story!).
Writing is certainly not glamorous. Think long hours… think heartburn… think high stress levels. Sometimes people ramble so much that you dread going through a one and a half hour sound file, because you know half of it is off the record! And all the space you have is one page (make it 400 words with a picture). And then there are people who take so long to respond that you forgot what you asked them in the first place.
Why am I then still writing? Yeah, among the hundred stories I do, the thrill of doing that one good story keeps me going! That one opportunity of doing an ‘exclusive’ and most importantly, the search for a chance of making a difference, however small it may be. Of all the stories I have done and of all the people I’ve met, there are stories that I still hold dear to my heart. They certainly continue to make the journey worthwhile. That’s what I keep reassuring myself all the time!
Blogging for the past one year, has been an outlet to get out of the ‘business’ of daily writing. Writing on spirituality, (only shared with a couple of close friends) has helped me discover a side I never knew existed and has taken on a new dimension, that may well be a new beginning.
I will continue to write… for I guess it’s as important to me as living… For it’s not only words, it’s part of who I am…