A Writer’s World
A writer’s world is complicated. Being one, I’d love to present an unimaginable correlation between a writer’s universe and our physical cosmos. So grab your mugs and sit tight as we enter this space-time continuum, to contemplate a writer’s world.
The analogy could be thought of as having an intergalactic correlation. Like most people, a writer has galaxies worth of thoughts, but unlike most, he/she needs to paint them with words and put them on paper. Out of those innumerable thoughts, only a planetary few worth of ideas actually make it to the paper. And if you are a writer, you know how intricate your world is. Think of the unfathomable big clusters of thoughts as the galaxies, which have innumerable small planets, each resembling an idea. Now, for writing, a writer has to acknowledge the millions of thoughts, classify the little ideas, and then finally select the one he/she wants to garnish and write elaborately.
It’s good to be organized because you know you could be stuck at unwanted planetary halts (When you stick to some ideas which take a lot of your time, but ultimately lead you nowhere) or in the long intergalactic travels through the vacuum (The times when you are in blank spaces and just don’t stumble upon any ideas or thoughts which you could write). Being a writer, you are also like that astronaut who is travelling through the vacuum to various galaxies, always on the lookout for the smallest of the worlds that could have a life! For a writer, ideas are life. And when, for a long time, a writer travels through those blank spaces, and has no ideas or thoughts to write about, we call it the writer’s block.
Having the above picture of a writer’s world in your mind, and, being alert, aware, and organized, would help you, to some extent to be watchful of your way so that you don’t tread the path leading to the writer’s block.
Outside a writer’s world, these two (Time and Space) are pictured as the most abused entities in his/her life. As I said in the ‘Writer?’ blog, every time someone meets you and says those magical words – ‘Working whenever (Time) you want’ and ‘wherever (Space) you want’, deep inside you know, as glamorous it may seem, the truth is far from these words.
As opposed to the generic conception of the world about a writer’s time, or space for that matter, it’s altogether a different story in the writer’s head. The problem is not with these parameters, it’s actually how the world sees them. The words ‘whenever you want’ and ‘wherever you want’, given to the writer’s continuum, in his/her actual world are - ‘ceaselessly’ and ‘everywhere’. An avid writer is always uptight and on the lookout for more and more to write about. Unlike many other professions, even though it may be a good habit, but you can hardly fix a time for writing. A writer may or may not get the ideas or fertile thoughts at the same time of the day, every day.
Ideas could pop up at 3:00 am while asleep, at 1:00 pm while having lunch or at 5:30 pm while going for grocery shopping. And if you are a writer, and take your writing seriously, you know you have to be ever ready for that moment. It’s a thought, an idea, the only hope for the life of a story, and you can’t afford to lose it. As soon as you engage in other activities, you know you could misplace it in the maze of your imaginary universe and may never stumble upon the same coordinates again. In your head, new worlds are created and destroyed with the smallest of situations or happenings in or around your life. So, as a writer, you know you don’t write ‘whenever’ you want or ‘whenever’ you are ready to write, but you are ‘always’ prepared to pick up the signals and chisel them somewhere in the physical world.
There could be times when you really want to write something, but nothing would come up. There could also be times when there is a flow of thoughts, emotions, and ideas that you really want to put on paper, but you are in the middle of a party, a movie or an outing with friends. Not only a writer needs to be ever ready to write, but he/she also needs to be always receptive to his/her thoughts. You never know which thought, idea, vision, or emotion would be that charmed seed, which could germinate into the best story ever!
Moving on to the writer’s ‘space’ parameter, which is quite similar to the time aspect, writing cannot always be confined to just a particular place, or a place of ‘want’, as visualized by the world and attributed by - ‘wherever you want’. In fact, most writers struggle and strive to find the right place for their writing – somewhere which inspires them, someplace which gives them the right kind of ambience to let their thoughts flow uninterrupted on to paper.
Also, even when a writer finds the right place, his/her writing cannot be restricted merely to that place. An ardent writer would be on the lookout for his/her seed everywhere. You could get ideas while at a party, in a conference, on a romantic date, at the dining table, in the playground, in a vehicle etc. And wherever you get that thought, the lines you want to write, you should be ready to put them down. Even if you can’t leave everything aside at that moment to sit and write, you could be prepared to take quick notes and elaborate them later.
So ‘whenever’ you are and ‘wherever’ you are, you should be equipped to embrace your thoughts and etch them somewhere in the definitive scope. Living in a writer’s space-time continuum is like being ‘always on’. You may have paper and pen as your best friends and preferred tools for writing, nevertheless, this digital age has given us some handy gear, which we can use almost anywhere and anytime to scribble our quick notes and even write intricately if need be.
Although most of the world confuses your space and time as a laid back continuum, you ought to acknowledge and appreciate it as the zestful universe, which it is. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a fixed place and time dedicated to your writing, in fact, it’s a good idea to have those too, but you can’t confine yourself and your writing to that. The best writings have evolved while being engaged in various unrelated activities or engagements of the physical world, at places not specifically designated for writing, and at times not necessarily appointed for writing, by those authors.
A scheduled place and time for writing definitely bring regularity and momentousness to your work, and as you would have gathered by now, the problem is not with that. The trouble begins when you, the writer, start having the same mellowed outlook of your writing realm, as envisaged by the rest of the world. Dedicating some space and time veritably shows the seriousness towards your work. So, wisdom is to reserve time and space for your work, while being ever receptive to your thoughts.
From the Editor's desk