Hemmingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed”. Well, truer words were never spoken. Granted, no one sits at a typewriter any more. It is now just a relic of the time gone by is replaced by computers and tablets. But the bleeding still happens and is still as excruciating. In my darker moments, I sometime think that taking a liking to writing and literature is the strangest technique I have adopted to torture myself. It is like a cruel seductress, someone whose mere thought tantalizes the hapless lover and no amount of rendezvous can cure him of his longing.
In the past week, I have made a conscious effort to be regular with writing on this blog. The idea is to devote a few hours to writing and during those few hours, pretend that my life depends on it. I am happy to announce that the results have been as pleasant as the process has been infuriating. Each day, I sit at my computer, determined to write something. I don’t plan beforehand about my subject, letting the glare of my computer screen illuminate my creativity. It turns out that the said illumination is a slow process. Inevitably, I have found myself thinking whether I actually have something to write about or do I just love the idea of writing. I feel like a fleet of soldiers commanded to conquer something but not given the target.
Extended periods of absence from writing has made ideas hard to come by. But in the end, thankfully my love for writing triumphs over the rut in my mind. Maybe a few hours late, but I am able to think of something (however prosaic it may be) and put them into words. I am sure this has happened to all writers (successful and aspiring alike). Maybe the God of writing is a cynical being who paves the path to literary glory with agony and frustration. Maybe the God of writing doesn’t exist at all, who knows. But the idea is to keep writing I guess; honing your skills and stimulating the mind. However vexing this process may be, the end product still gives one a sense of achievement. It is a brilliant thing to look at something that has been created as a result of your thoughts and efforts. The joy of creating is one of the greatest in the world and I am sure the struggle to reach there is worth enjoying too.
When I read “To Kill A Mockingbird”, I was staggered by the ease with which Harper Lee seemed to write. She made it all look so easy. Later I read one of her interviews where she said that a good writer writes to please himself and as a means of endless self exploration. What a profound thought this is. Maybe this is why some people love to write; to discover themselves and give themselves a voice. However exhausting this road to self discovery may be, I imagine it would be endlessly rewarding to finally meet my true self.