It’s Mother’s Day today. Everyone on the blogosphere, on Facebook, Twitter, etc. is sending love to their mothers, remembering them, or wishing they had one to grow up with. Even my sister has been busy making a card for my mother since morning, and I’m sitting here, writing this. I don’t have anything special for her today. I kissed her on the cheek in the morning and wished her. It was like any other day. No special gifts for her. No greeting cards with “I love you Aai. You are the best” written in them or special pencil-color drawing of her, me and my sister. My mother was busy getting ready to leave for her abacus classes, while all I could think of was how exactly an year ago, this day had changed everything for us. That’s another story, one I’d thought I would write as soon as exams were over. But there was a lot of work to be done for that – diaries needed to be read, photos needed be revisited. I had to recall everything about my relationship with her to write the piece. I haven’t begun it yet. Maybe I was waiting for something – but I don’t know what it is.
Maybe I’ll begin it today or maybe a week later, when my current goal of writing 500 words everyday for 30 days will be over. I’ve written so much that I only need to write 37 words a day to finish on time. But I’m not a writing a single piece, so it doesn’t matter; I’m gonna write 500 words anyway. I want to write as much as I can. I love it.
I recently read a quote by Brian K. Vaughan:
Every writer has 10,000 pages of shit in them, and the only way your writing is going to be any good at all is to work hard and hit 10,001. And this isn’t just some tired cliche, I believe that’s a provable mathematical equation. I started writing five pages a day, every single day, when I began my senior year of high school. That means I hit 10,001 roughly a year after I graduated NYU.
And I’m convinced it’s true. When I look at other people’s writings, people who have been doing it for years, I just think to myself, Man, this is going to need a LOT of practice. Vaughan counted his progress by pages and it took him five and half years to reach 10,001. I’m going to go by word count, because in the past when I’d set a goal of writing two pages daily, I spread out my words and wrote them in a large size to fill those two bloody pages somehow. I’ve never cheated in school or in anything else, but here I was, cheating myself.
So I’ll go by word count, because you have to keep writing until you hit your target. On average one page has around 250 words, which means to reach page 10,001, I need to write 2.5 million words. It will take me almost seven years if I write a thousand words everyday. It’ll take time, but I’ll get better too.
This month has been quite great. My daily writing practice has inspired some new ideas for short stories which I’m very excited to write. We have so many celebrations coming up – almost everyone in my close family got married in May so lots of marriage anniversaries, especially my grandparents’, who’ll complete 50 years of their marriage on the tenth of this month. There’s also my birthday coming up.
My Boards’ result came out on the 6th, and I scored 94.6%. I laughed and cried and hugged my mother all at the same time because my performance had been very poor since the 8th grade. So to score so much after 3 years was overwhelming. Wishes and blessings have been pouring in since two days, and my mother’s so proud. One of her friends, who I adore very much had told me that she wanted me to do my best in my exams, when on her birthday last year I’d asked her what she wanted as a gift. That was a huge motivation for me. Until now, I’d failed terribly at keeping promises, but this time I kept my word, and I’ve never felt happier.
The only thing that has not given me joy this month is a friendship that came to an end after eight years. She’s still here, living, breathing, but not a part of my world anymore. And I don’t know why. My mother said some people stay with you only until they are meant to. After that, the road diverges, and you have to continue ahead alone. I’ll meet new people there, and maybe, someone will like me so much that they’ll stick with me for the rest of the journey. I hope I find a new friend soon, because when I feel alone, I think of her, someone who’s no longer with me, and it feels very empty.
Until then, I shall open the pages of a paperback, sniff its sweet perfume, and go an adventure with my fictional friends – those who’ll never leave me. And I won’t leave them either.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. -Charles William Eliot