I stopped posting on my blog in late September. I was changing jobs and that involved tying up a lot of loose ends, so I really didn’t have the time to write decent or at least entertaining posts. Now I’ve been in the new job for nearly three months, settled in all right, travelling a fair bit – I have both the material to write about and time in which to write about it. So I should go back on my blog, shouldn’t I?
But I’ve been thinking about my blogging. It started out as a search for affirmation. I hadn’t written for a long time and I needed to know whether I could write worth a damn. Now I know there are 30, maybe 40 people out there who like the way I write. Some of you are even kind enough to say so. And some of you are scathing, but funny. Of course it’s all about the comments. There’s this sense of community. People we know, cyber-presences we even like, without the need to be polite or to get dressed when you interact. People who are around without ever actually getting into each other’s space. Perfick, as Pop Larkin might say. Quite perfick.
Thanks for dropping by, folks. Getting to know you has been good.
I’d love to be a writer. A person who makes a living by writing. I’d love to write stuff that’s clever, put together words that can stir the reader, make him think, laugh, react. And at the end of it, earn his admiration. A good writer. A story-teller, a thinker.
That means work. Research. Thinking. Planning. Plotting. Writing. Reviewing. Re-writing. And the business side – finding an agent, a publisher, all that jazz. It’s a long process, it doesn’t happen overnight (unless you’re Siddhanth Dhanwant Shanghvi and get a good press for the most utter mush.)
Because after all, I want to be a successful writer. Of course, being read is itself a kind of success. But do I have the stomach to spend a year or two writing a book, getting it published, then watching it sell 1322 copies in three years? It would kill me. Because I’ve had things easy in life, I don’t know whether I have it in me to buckle down and go through the grind. There’s no fire in my gut, I don’t really want anything badly enough.
That’s the rub. To produce something good, something of value, you have to want it badly enough to give part of your life to it. If not your whole life. And I’m having too good a time in my life the way it is. Do I want to change my life? Do I want it badly enough? Only one way to find out, of course. Go out on a limb so that I have to write if I am to survive.
Difficult. My day job pays the bills, keeps me in a nice flat in a nice part of town, sends me to interesting places. Do I dare give that up on the off-chance that enough people will like my book to pay for it, pay me to write more? Nope. I do not dare. “Time to turn back and descend the stair / with a bald spot in the middle of his hair”.
Besides, I don’t even know what I’d write about. What moves me?
More than anything else, I like humour. The most under-rated genre of creation. Oh, it can pay well. Dave Barry probably makes far more money than, say, Julian Barnes. But we still have the entire “burbling pixie” syndrome. The Master was just about as good as it gets, but was he ever considered a writer? People have a sneaking guilt about laughing too much. Just because the world is mostly a pretty terrible place and human beings are quite vile, we feel that we should go all sombre and long-faced and stop laughing. Silly, because the only way to deal with a crazy world is to laugh at it. “Nothing is real / and nothing to get hung about”.
I love my city, but do I know enough to write about it? I don’t think so. Not enough about the geography, let alone the history. Going everywhere in a chauffeured car, I don’t feel the city. This is the right time of year to try that out, February onwards we’ll be back to sweat and B.O. It’s an idea. But who will overcome sloth to implement it?
Travel …. I just read two Pico Iyer interviews (thanks to the Griff) and Mr. Iyer says he plans his travel, does a lot of reading about it before he starts. He also says he takes copious notes and then “leaves them on the other side of the room” while he writes, now that sounds a lot like me. I had a week in
So basically, I need to get off my ass and write. If I want to gain readership, I should write about Ibiza. Or Jessica Simpson. Or Greg Chappell. Just start writing. ANYthing.. Then keep adding to it whenever. The end result – if it ever ends – will appear to be cobbled together, but then I can only become a writer by writing. And by reading, as the Bouncer pointed out once.
So I guess that’s what I shall do. Set aside an hour every day to write. Anything. And perhaps in 2008, there will be more of me to read than there is on my blog.
Meantime, there’s always the Simple Desultory Philippic.
Have a good one in 2007, blog-folks.