Sunday, July 3, 2016

Try Everything!

This song by Shakira has become my anthem. It silences my insecurities and shouts out the affirmations that I need to believe in.

Today I wish to talk about the process of creating a novel.

Becoming a novelist is a dream for many. Writing 50K-80K words to tell a story is not a joke. Those who have attempted and failed would agree with me. The ones, who never began, will never know the delight of holding the paperback of their own book.

When you begin, you have grand plans; you are pumped up with energy. You have done your research and have plotted the entire story. 2000 words a day and the novel will be ready in a month. Then life interferes. Naysayers try to detract you. Critics pull you down. The ones who failed tries hardest to ensure you don’t climb that elusive ladder of success. And if you do, they will try to drag you down with all their might.

As it is, the task of creation itself demands much of your energy and enthusiasm. The negativity that we face from these people, sometimes, envelops us in a mist of self-doubt.

What can we do during such a time?

Try everything to get back that initial enthusiasm. Take a break. Work on your craft. Invest time to read more books in the genre that you are writing. Read books that don’t fall in your category. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Fail, but start again. Reel in the darkness trying to string together words but stick to it with stubbornness. Allow the characters to tell their story through you. Be open to imbibe words, the magical beings that journey across the cosmos to create a new world. A world owned by your protagonists.

Stick to your timings to write. Make it a daily ritual. Words will begin to flow. If they don’t, persist till they obey you. There are no greater friends than words. They can soothe you like the best balm in the world. But they can also drown you in angst. Tantalizing and tormenting the writer playing hide-n-seek is what they do best.

Remember that no one has ever achieved anything without failing. If you wait for your sentences to sound perfect every time you write, you will never tell your story. First drafts are always crap. It is the subsequent drafts that mould and polish your story. Stick at it with patience and you will have your masterpiece ready.

Whenever you feel that you are failing, go ahead and listen to this song. Trust me, it will pep you up.

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