You can’t run, but you can write

Writing might feel like a strange purpose when you aren’t paid for it. You should keep at it because improvement only comes with practice. However, a writer’s pursuit for perfection is a never-ending journey. That’s a fancy way of putting it. The truth is that there are neither zeniths for us to attain. There are no moon landings. No timeouts either.

But there are are perfectly-valid reasons for you to stop procrastinating and start writing.

Vattakanal

The creative process can be an intoxicating dilemma. One moment you feel warm and you ache to grab the sun. You want to hold it in your fist and squeeze it until it leaks light on everybody. Hold your readers’ hands and show them around a beautiful abode. Rub lemon balm on their foreheads. Tell them that everything will be okay. Other times – you want to grab people by the collar and scream at them. Pour burning wax on farcical myths they subscribe to. Showcase how destructive their contributions to the planet are.

The commonality being that you just want people to hear you out.

Kodaikanal

It isn’t that we, as writers, are more aware of the world than the average person. Writing isn’t analytical reporting. It is as much intellectual altruism as poking a tomato with a spoon can be referred to as cooking. We aren’t better equipped to orchestrate interesting discourses either.

Writing just feels good. The topic doesn’t always matter. You don’t need a debriefing. Or an official email. It could be about something that has been on our mind for long. Perhaps an uncommon experience. You need to translate it into words. A few people may read it. They may connect to it. And you feel even better. Then, you start hoping that it makes them feel better too, bringing them closer to their own pursuits.

It is why you must write regularly even if no one has offered to pay you for it yet.

Write like Pied Kingfishers hunt. They observe from a high perch, and hover in the air before diving below to catch prey with speed and accuracy. Don’t decide on the subject matter unless you can commit to it. Never rush in to conclude on a clever note. Your readers aren’t looking for answers. They want conversations. As a good storyteller, you can move them with questions too.

But it is pertinent that you aren’t a stranger to the writer inside you. This isn’t cycling. You can forget how to communicate to the best of your declining abilities.

Sunset

So write like your city depends on it to get through the night. Like you are saving a sunset from being swallowed by the ocean, hissing and spitting blood orange songs.

Write like you care. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have brought your life to a screeching halt, and tried your hardest to spill forth words, if not – gently leak them out. Don’t question your talent or purpose just because people aren’t making money of it yet.

Write out of love. Talk about pain. Discuss your successes and failures. And all the while – commit to learning about form, structure and psychology.

Write because you can.

Because you must.

(Photographs: Thekkady, Kodaikanal, Ponneri, East Coast Road)

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51 comments

  1. “Writing is as much altruism as poking a tomato with a spoon is cooking.” exquisite comparison because it is so true. I write because if I don’t I’ll be tormented by the images and ideas until I do. And I completely agree with you that we should stay off of soapboxes that we may think to climb on through arrogance. I even wrote a poem about the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re more refreshing than lemon water sometimes. Even when I make the water warm, it doesn’t compare to the sensation of perspective you so naturally uproot. You’re more than a birder and a writer. You’re an essence farmer! Thanks for sharing your harvest 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Loved this.
    Why we write is question sometimes I ask myself. And I always ends up in the answer that writing makes me calm and give me a different level to share my thoughts. Even a pen and paper can do better than a human sometimes. Its the ocean of unlimited thoughts where no one gonna stop us from anything.

    This one is so nice. 🙂
    Do we need a reason to write? :p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, I can’t recollect writing this, I do remember only giggling while posting the Pied Kingfisher duo photo. Yeah that’s probably what was going through in my head. Now if you’ll excuse me, I ll have to find a handbook to gracefully age!

      Like

  4. Wow! Thank you so much for this perspective. I am on of those writers or maybe only one who procrastinates.. I will have a ton on my mind, I won’t write them for many reasons. I Think the only reason why I have to, is because I CAN.
    This made my day already. ..
    Happy holi 🙂
    Thank you for bringing colors to my thoughts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Madhvi! Procrastination can be addictive, sometimes it must be intravenously removed at all costs.

      I am really happy that you got something to think about.

      A very happy and colourful Holi to you too, young lady! (Smile)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder how I missed all these beautiful posts earlier. Thanks for posting again. As an artist, sometimes the fear of blank-white cripples me and even if I had an idea I wanted to draw, the fear holds me back. It’s a similar fear when it comes to writing. I have stories that I’d like to tell but I succumb to those mental knots. ‘Write out of love. Write because you can. Because you must.’ Thank you Birdman for placing a little lamp of hope on top of Mt.Isyllis. I hope I will begin to tell some stories too :). And I read this today, which I thought is related,
    ‘De Botton distills Nietzsche’s convictions and their enduring legacy:
    The most fulfilling human projects appeared inseparable from a degree of torment, the sources of our greatest joys lying awkwardly close to those of our greatest pains…Why? Because no one is able to produce a great work of art without experience, nor achieve a worldly position immediately, nor be a great lover at the first attempt; and in the interval between initial failure and subsequent success, in the gap between who we wish one day to be and who we are at present, must come pain, anxiety, envy and humiliation. We suffer because we cannot spontaneously master the ingredients of fulfillment.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a powerful excerpt shru, the last line is absolutely killer!

      Fear of the blank-white seems to be part of process to improvement. Those mental knots though are a different matter. It seems to take more than just guile and resilience to take control of the subject matter.

      Thank you for the perspective ❤

      Like

  6. I am struggling with writing at the moment, have been for some time. I’m not sure if the day-to-day activities keep watering down my thoughts or whether the thoughts I’m having that I want to write about are not as concentrated as I thought them to be. This concentration of joy or frustration or need to share is what usually compels me to take time out to type it down all-at-once. However it is, all is quiet on the DirtNKids front. Not even the birdies have been hearing from me lately. :/

    Thanks for reposting this one. I needed to read it. We should do many things like the birds do! Oh, to be be free to migrate like the birds and to not have the baggage of the homo sapiens to drag along…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sure it is merely a temporary quagmire, my friend. To find the time to write or to wait a little while longer.

      The birds definitely aren’t going anywhere. We aren’t going anywhere either (I sure ain’t!).

      Let’s migrate with our minds for now and grow ourselves new pairs of wings for the future to come (biggest smile).

      Liked by 1 person

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