I mentioned in my last post how much I was excited to write all the ideas I’d gathered in the last year. I was overwhelmed by the number of ideas and the thought of filling up notebooks with my words. However, I noticed my enthusiasm fading away. Maybe it was because I had a terrible headache for two days and any kind of reading or writing only made it worse.
Soon after I wrote down my second sunset as a part of my 365 Sunsets project, I realized it didn’t work for me. I did not find sunsets interesting enough to write about. The fascination with them was gone. I’d even given up Morning Pages on day two. Neither seemed satisfying or interesting. At first, I felt guilty. I’d posted about it on my blog and some readers even told me that they were looking forward to it, so I was disappointed with myself for letting them down. I was disappointed for letting myself down, too. Later I managed to convince myself that it was alright, reminding myself of the advice that I’d heard again and again: to try and see what worked best for me. 365 Sunsets and Morning Pages certainly didn’t.
When not writing, I spent my timing reading other blogs, and I’ve come across some really great writers. When I read their posts, I wish I could write like them. This has happened many times before too. Then once I told myself that these people, whose writing I love and admire immensely, have been writing for months (or years) now. It has become a habit for them, and their writing is a result of practice. I’m a merely a beginner. It makes no sense to compare myself to them.. I’ll never be like them, because every one of them has a different life, a different personality, different opinions. We all stand apart from each other, and so our writing can never be similar. Practice will make me better, but I’ll never be better than them. I’ll always be better than the writer I was. I’ll be like Ratika Deshpande. If I wish to be good, I have to practice a lot.
“Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed.” – Ray Bradbury
Over the last week I read all my diaries and have collected a lot of ideas; ideas I’m confident about. They’re all perfect for short blog posts, essays and flash fiction. And so I’ve decided to finish one piece of minimum 500 words everyday. I hope that unlike my previous experiments, this one turns out successful.
When I’d started Scribblings of A Storyteller, I’d thought I would post only my fiction here that has been published in magazines. However I haven’t written anything as such, much less have it published. If I keep waiting for that, it’ll be years before I post anything else on my blog. I’ve learned that writing a piece, make it as good as you can, and having it published takes a hell lot of time. Plus, there will be countless rejections before you get a nod from an editor. First of all, there will be the struggle of writing the first draft, no matter how short the piece.
Not so long ago, I had an idea for a story and it was so exciting that I was able to put it down on paper in one sitting. Even though as I kept writing, my mind was tempted to stop, go back and edit; another part of me told me that this idea seemed rubbish and plagiarized. Yet I was able to shut those voices out and managed to finish it without pausing even once. I felt quite proud of myself, and thought that maybe it’s easy for me to overcome this struggle of writing the first draft. Maybe because I have a shorter word count to deal with. I know that those voices will return when I’ll sit down to write another piece, but I’m prepared. If I’m successful the second time, it might then be no longer a struggle for me to write first drafts. Maybe.
I’ll try to post something here once a week. I need to put stuff out. Only when people will read my writing will I know how bad (or hopefully, good) a writer I am. I have been for long telling my diary that I need someone who understands words. Someone who understands their value, and the art and the desire to write. I think I expect a lot, but I need someone to honestly comment on my work. To tell me where I stand, what are my strengths and my weaknesses.
“As a writer, if someone falls in love with my work, I know they have fallen in love with my mind. Having no idea what my face looks like, they chose my mind. Art may be the only space a woman can be whole without being seen.” – Nayyirah Waheed
I also spent some time reading all my blog posts so far. There are some that are embarrassing, some that need proper execution, and some I wonder why I posted at all. I was going to write a detailed analysis here, but rather I’ll list all that I learned:
1) I need to revise. There are lot of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and repetition of words in those posts.
2) I need to be completely honest. I found some lies hidden in those posts which I wrote just to sound good. I’m not doing that anymore.
3) Poetry is NOT for me.
4)Don’t go over the top with descriptions. Don’t try too hard or I might end up with purple prose.
5) Get my directions right. I can’t believe I wrote West instead of South and South instead of West in one of my posts. Stupid!
6) Learn how to organize my ideas and execute them properly.
7) Don’t post in a hurry. Give it time.
8) I write the best when I write about something I love, especially on an impulse.
9) Freewriting works for me.
10) Look at real life moments for inspiration.
Although these are notes to self, I feel like I should be sharing them here, and I don’t know why.
Despite so many errors in my posts, I refrained from editing or deleting them. I want to keep them there, visible to the public, embarrass myself and make myself vulnerable, to let people see how bad those words are. I want to know what they think of it. And months later, when I’ll read them again, I want to now how far I’ve come.