5 things a writer can do to avoid getting punched in the face

As a writer, you are probably more self-absorbed than the average person. You find it cumbersome to socialize. You hate confrontations when it is your turn to listen. I am not saying you can be moody too. Just that there are motherless honey badgers in the Kalahari dessert with shorter fuses. Only in language have you found the comfort you need, without feeling inadequate about expressing your emotions. For you, writing is more than a celebration of the art form. It is your bomb shelter. Your refugee camp. You take it way more seriously than you should.

It is perhaps why you egg, at times, those you interact with to physically harm you or give up their respective belief systems to consider placing a voodoo curse on you. So here are five things – as a writer – you (we) can do to avoid getting punched in your (our) faces.


Nilgiri Langur

Do not grammatically correct people in the middle of an argument

It is an awful thing to do because it has little to do with the respect you have for language. In fact it could only mean one of two things. You are a petty person in a conversation that is remarkably going in your favour. And you want to end it on a condescending note. Or you are a soldier clutching at straws. Struggling in a quicksand of defeat. You lost the war, and the battle. Your soldiers are retreating. It’s all gone to hell. But you don’t care. You lay there, with blood-caked limbs, thinking of insults to throw at the army chef for the canned tuna served last night. If you ever make it back to base camp, of course.

Sharing isn’t always caring

Recommending a book can be a beautiful thing. Sometimes you can make meaningful additions to people’s lives with timely recommendations. An honest review. Give them hope. Ideas to travel. Something to chew on when everything else is going wrong. However you may end up irritating them with a hint of condescension. For instance, if you find out that someone you are close to hasn’t yet read your favourite book ever – do not lose your mind.

The authors of those books you love so much have enough admiration already. They sleep just fine. You should too. A person’s reading habits need guidance, not a sanctimonious cult leader. It is acceptable that people might not appreciate the sort of books that you do. In case you haven’t noticed, that is pretty much how the world works. It’s why someone else might throw your grandmother out of a moving train for an extra cookie and be a better person for it.

Grey Langur, MudumalaiYou may say that you are a dreamer, but you are really not

Being a writer is not a dream that came true. It is a bomb shelter. Please stop telling everyone else how fulfilling it is to be a writer. Or how awesome your professional life is.

You write content. It doesn’t imply that you feel contentment. If you weren’t a writer, you would have probably cut yourself, like that stupid song said, to bleed just to know that you are alive. Since now that you are a writer, you know that it saved your life. It is therefore understandable that you feel the need to talk about it. But please, for the sake of not getting punched in the face, do not romanticize it. No one wants to hear another remixed version of what it feels like to be a writer

 “I yam what I yam (tooo-tooo)”

Words are not detergents to wash your dirty laundry with. Writing is not a defence mechanism to deal with people and your problems with them. You cannot use it to substitute actual conversations. That’s the kind of stuff that people should get punched in the face for.

The next time you want to tell someone about how you feel, just talk to them. Stay away from complex synonyms. Leave your appreciation for archaic idioms out of it. Don’t rely on people to go through lengthy personal blog posts, sad tweets and Facebook rants. Nobody has the time to visit dictionary.com whenever their friend has a problem with them.

As a writer, you cannot fathom the level of annoyance it may leave people with. You have five digits and a functional brain. Use them wisely. And for the love of everything decent in this blue planet, please do not quote Nietzsche.

Nilgiri Langur, MeghamalaiYour Saturday plans weren’t that great to begin with

Just quit. Enough is enough.

Think about it. Isn’t every word you use a made-up word? Doesn’t every sentence you write take you further from what the universe wants you to know? The joy the galaxy wants you to feel.

Writing barely qualifies as art. We abide by a set of fantasy rules to think that we are really good at it. But is it really worth getting physically injured over? Maybe you should pick another career to compensate for your incompetence as a human being.

Grey Langur

The Langurs (Grey / Nilgiri) featured in this post were photographed at Thekkady, Mudhumalai and Meghamalai.

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63 comments

  1. This was hilarious! It was like watching Hemingway in a bar fight. Incompetence as a species seems to be an intrinsic part of being human. Considering the alternatives, word bombs seem to be preferable to drone bombs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yavoosa! That felt so good I just had to make up a word! Thank you so much for saying such lovely things, you are positively sirtatumasticoblamus. 🙂 I do believe our species once had a chance with the ocean-beds and then again, with the tree-houses but noooooooo, we just had to crawl over to the surface.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d imagine that Yipee and YawHoo were made up words, too. 🙂 In fact, it’s quite possible that in the beginning woman looked at man and said, “ugh!”

        I think it’s time to go back to sleep. I’m getting punchy. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Comrade is there a message with the monkeys 🙂 and what is the fascination for the katana blade 🙂 the post is awesome and I have sent it to my fellow writers 🙂 people aspiring to be writers 🙂 Hopefully we will see you publishing a book soon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a good chuckle reading this, so thanks. I’m actually looking for a steady job right now and actually welcome working in a finance firm (just not one that works half days on Saturdays) at this point. I’ve always found time for my writing, thankfully. I don’t know where I’d be without it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahahaha! I love this so much! It is so true, don’t fix people’s grammar in the middle of sentences, uh yeah, not a good move :p And yes, we write to remain sane, or at least sane enough to not be committed by your family and friends that may or may not love you depending on your “creative juice” inspiring moods 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aye!!! I can’t go back to yesterday..coz I was a different person then…and today is much too somnambulant for any comment …but to or row I says we duel 😀😀

        Like

      1. it’s literary criticism, pretty much against author bio’s, (been a while since I read it) something to the effect that you shouldn’t judge a book by its author. I thought of it now because I try (didn’t always succeed) not to fall for the myths that surround certain writers (or musicians) and just enjoy the work. what I’m trying to say is writers who talk too much about writing and their personal lives, I suspect them of building their own myths, and, my personal opinion, I really don’t care, though it is very hard to avoid and well… everyone has their heroes

        cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome, that post is so accurate, so in your face to all “artists” I know, that I almost fell of my chair laughing. The blog world is filled with some such pretentious a***holes but the real world has so many more. And believe me, there are loads of people who work 9-5 jobs and half day saturdays who also behave like this….
    Rocking 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah quoting others is so last synonym , I mean season

    Here’s a quote ,

    ‘Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it’

    Ghandi

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice to read. But there are writers who write because they are best at what they do compared to “other” jobs. The types notorious mostly with their shabby dressing and bear, I find that kind to be obsolete and almost non-existent nowadays. — No comments on blog writers , though!–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shabby dressing and beards, when pre planned, come across as being pretentious comrade. As lifestyle choices, i think they are rad though. I don’t think blog writers deserve that many brickbats, i doubt if any of them ask readers to pay either thanks money or attention to their pursuit of the crafts. There’s a far more tumultuous place in hell or wherever things are very uncomfortable for the Chetan Bhaghats of the world is my humble opinion.

      Like

  8. Aww..heavy dosed one about wordistic artistry.. the points get brutal as they proceed.. the third fourth fifth were nailing to the core..as if i was waiting someone to spell n spill all this..words as a profession n serious art is almost indigestable to me in many ways..wud rather not point them out like u do ( i may not be as efective as u do too).. Words are no natural let outs, often are made ups as u say..but thay is what the condition is..the so stuck mad souls find liberation..i leave it that way, spirutualistic. Often i do feel writing a heavy bearing n unabashedly let out art..n go on the hiberation mode n watnot. I surely know everyone else does feel thay way.. But certain things n souls remain the way they are:)

    Liked by 1 person

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