What'd I say?

>> February 2, 2012

I haven't been here in so long. It feels a little awkward, somewhat alien. I've been jotting down ideas as and when they occur to me, rarely as they do. 

The idea now, however, is to to let go. To stop trying to make every sentence perfect, have every little mark of punctuation add to the aesthetics and content of what I mean to say and eventually end up saying. To embrace, admittedly, verbal diarrhoea. It will probably not end well, I am sure of that. The point, though, is that it shall begin. And, to begin, we already know is the perpetual problem. To sit down, sober or not, and to write. Whatever, whenever. There's an anecdote about John Steinbeck - about how when he was a journalist, he would arrive at his office an hour or so early and  place a foolscap paper in front of him and then, he would write. As his colleagues poured in through the morning, he would keep writing; and when he was done, he would scrunch his papers up into a ball and throw it in the bin. When the reporter who sat next to him asked him why he would do such a thing, he only shrugged and called it practice. That's what I need. Practice. Ten thousand times. Till I achieve the kung fu.

I maybe setting myself too hard, though. I mean, come on. John Steinbeck? I'm not entirely that deluded. In the edition that I'd read of The Pearl - that lyrical, though provoking novella of Steinbeck's, I remember his wife had written the introduction. With some impressive talent of her own, she'd done a fine job of describing her husband's commitment to writing, to the creative process. I don't know if I remember this exactly, or if it is slightly exaggerated in my memory- but I remember her talking about a little wooden cabin Steinbeck had built himself in their garden. He would wake up early in the morning - once he'd become a full time writer, that is - and head to his circular ivy covered cabin with a big cup of coffee and write, and he wouldn't emerge for hours. I remember feeling especially inspired after reading this beautiful memory of her husband, but instantly putting off any creative output from the inspiration on the grounds that I neither had a circular ivy covered cabin nor the will power to wake up in the morning. 

I'm a little more grown up now, and a very uneasy feeling has been occurring to me. The unmistakable feeling of time creeping up on me, and maybe, even crawling past me. Now is the time to do this, now is most definitely the time to begin. This exercise is definitely not as grand as I make it appear, but for somebody whose default setting is ultra lazy, this does make for a refreshing change. Write everyday, perhaps? I definitely need a regimen, a system - I need accountability.

I don't need an audience, though. An audience, I would think, is a liability. I've known a few people who read this blog, before it became defunct; and I remember I always ended up writing to someone, or for someone. Not a particular someone, just a nameless, faceless reader who might read me and judge me. Since what I'm doing here will be practice, I don't need anybody watching. I'd like to write for myself - an exercise I haven't indulged in for a long time. I write memos for clients, notes and opinions for work, and mails for people. All my writing, as it happens today, is towards some end. 

Then again, I've never been really satisfied with the notion of writing for oneself.  To write is to communicate, and communication needs a sender and a receiver. It seems kind of pointless to me -  a little bit like the tree that fell in a forest with nobody around to hear it fall. I know for a fact that the enjoyment I derive from writing, enormous as it is, is far outrun by the immense pleasure of having people read me, and enjoy what they read. I'm not sure I need to break out of that habit, I'm not even sure I can. I do, in any case, need to break out of not writing for fear of people not enjoying what I write. Like I said, I need to sit down. And write.

P.S. As I completed writing this post and clicked on 'Publish Post', I realised something very very important -  I don't need to worry about how it ends before I begin. :) 

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