Thursday, May 11, 2006

The release of Writing.

I've loved to write since i was a school girl. And wanted to be a writer ever since i knew the meaning of the word. And although i haven't done any creative writing in a very long time, just penning down my thoughts from time to time has done me a world of good.

I had started to believe that i'd lost the hang of writing. I had started accepting the fact that maybe i would never again know that thrilling feeling of being out of control, when the words come out so fast and you can't write or type fast enough to get them down on paper. This blog has helped me get that feeling back. It doesn't matter how i write. It does not matter at all if i have no readers on my blog. (Readers, this is not an excuse for you to not comment! I still want comments!) That feeling is reason enough to write.

One of my favourite authors is Stephen King. I am not a special fan of horror books. But i read all of King's books because he just writes so goddamn well. A couple of years back, i found that he had written a non-fiction book on the art and craft of writing. The book is called 'On Writing' and is a simple, well-structured book. Read it if you are interested in writing and read it even if you are not cause it's an interesting read anyway. It provides interesting insights into King's life and lets you see what a professional writer actually things of the art.

King makes a couple of perceptions that i was very surprised to read. Because they mirrorred what i thought as well. I don't think too much of my writing skills. I sort of feel that i'm one of those people who'll keep talking of the fact that i want to write and never write anything good enough because i will never devote enough time and patience to the art, as much as i respect it. A sort of dilettante in writing, maybe. Is that the right word??

Well, i'm getting distracted from the point i was trying to make. The perceptions.

Number One: King describes a feeling similar to the one i have when i'm writing. That glorious feeling of being out of control. When the words rush out so fast that your fingers fly over the keyboard until they hurt. He calls this feeling 'falling through the hole in the paper'. Now, i don't know about you, but i find this description beautiful. It's so simple and it's exactly what happens when you're writing. You sort of free fall, out of control. And when you're doing creative writing (i've never experienced this much, because like i said, i haven't been able to do any creative writing recently. My muse refuses to come.), the hole in the paper is a sort of wormhole into another parallel universe. A universe that you create. Imagine Tolkien falling through the hole in his paper into Hobbit Land... Actually walking with Frodo, Sam and Aragorn. So King's description is magical and so true!

Number Two: King says that when you write a story, the author very often does not know the end of the story until he finishes writing it. There is something so awe-inspiring about this thought. Because the fact that the author - who is literally God to the characters in his novel - does not know the end of his book, gives the book a life of it's own. It makes the story a living, breathing thing, which nobody can control. This is an idealist view of writing. And i loved the fact that a writer like King still believed in it.

Number Three: The feeling of complete exhaustion after you write something. When you write with feeling, you write with mind, body and soul. And a bit of all three is left on paper.

Number Four: The fourth perception is not something King talks about in the novel 'On Writing'. He says this in another of his novels - i think it was 'Misery'. He says that no matter how many people a novel is dedicated to, the novel is written for the joy of the writer himself. The writer may love the fact that many people like his book, the book is a best-seller, the book is acclaimed by critics and the money his book gets him. But the book is written first and foremost for himself. King puts this across quite bluntly in the novel. He says that writing is a onanistic act. He's right! Writing is a private, exquisite pleasure. It cannot be shared and enjoying so much pleasure on your own makes you feel guilty!!


Radhika said...

I beg to disagree there..
as a fellow 'dilettante' writer
1. i feel totally IN control when I am writing..i mean..what i am writing is entirely mine and one of the very few things i CAN control
2. I do not feel exhausted about contraire I feel totally a rush of blood to my head..I feel like patting myself on the back for a job well done.
Of course, writing is a private, personal pleasure, more written with the self in mind than an least the kind of stuff that we do..but dont we all revel in appreciation?
I mean if people like our work, thats a double bonus!!

johnny boy said...

Hey muse! :)
Good one... Writing is a passion for me too! I jus feel sooo comfortable with a pen n paper in my hands! (Translated to Keyboard and notepad open in front of me) :-) hehe..
I guess in my case, I am someone who lovvvves to do things creatively and make people smile! I donno but the feelin I get when someone smiles bcos of somethin i said/did, is jus beyond any explanation I attempt! :)
And my work-life does not give me the opportunity to fulfil these wishes of mine! And hence, writing becomes all the more important to me... I jus lovvvvve to write. Long live blog-o-sphere!

johnny boy said...

Exactly, the crux is not how well we write, or how good the stuff is.. Its just the excitement we get out of writing our minds out. For me, its a fantastic feeling to write something, and then sit and read it myself :-) I love it! Its as though I am talkin to my bestestest friend - ME :)