The delicious tease of getting a favourable response on a post is that you want to either repeat or possibly better that in your next post, which should happen as soon as possible. But the problem with such teases, and desire in general, is that they can rarely be realized. You can be on a roll with video games(or so they tell you) but very few things roll in real life. I wish I was a rolling writer(as well as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine in the period 1967-80) with the ability to write brilliantly with Trollopian regularity. Or be able to write at all. But sadly, unsurprisingly, I am not. There are two basic pieces of advice you can narrow down from all the “how-to-write” material out there. Read a lot, write a lot. Some will expand on this and add, read 30-50 pages everyday of your favourite genre, write 2000 words/5 pages everyday. I wouldn’t say that the commonest method for writers to write – when inspiration strikes – is necessarily a good one. By all means, do write when inspiration strikes. The stupid thing would be not to. But what about those who have to write professionally with all the accompanying noise of deadlines, angry editors etc? If you are lucky or hardworking, you could do a decent amount of quite interesting and acceptable writing done. But, what if you’re just not with it today? That you’d rather be happily doing the dishes than writing out that music review on that album you really love? Seems easy and tempting to write about something you would love to write about, but what happens when there is a bit of blockage issue there?
I can’t really talk about having to write things you don’t find interesting. I’ve been writing for websites on and off for years and add school work to that, there is plenty of writing that I have to do that I would rather not. Those are, like trying to mobilize while being stuck in traffic, things you have to do to get on with your life. But what about things you actually want to write? It is not only a question of the mythical writer’s block(something that psychologists lately have been trying to either disprove or elevate the psychological ramifications of) but of writing in general. How do you get at a moderately fit writing level? There are no musical scales to practice, unless some of you solve grammar and vocabulary exercises. There are no 30 minute workouts. There are no studios to go to work your craft. And isn’t calling writing an art or a craft slightly formidable? I suppose there must be some aspiring writers out there comfortable calling themselves artists. If writing is an art, can this decades old medium called blogging be considered art as well?
But what we are trying to do is slightly different here. It is all about perspective, as they say(more on this in a future blog post). We are trying to find a writing lifestyle, keep a writing lifestyle and raise a writing lifestyle. Writing is a lifestyle. I don’t monetize this blog. I doubt if it can be something that can be monetized. I wouldn’t call this a hobby either because I have every intention of being a serious writer of some capacity, of some medium. But, for about a month, it has been affecting my life more than I expected it to. I think about it often, I bounce around ideas for it semi-consciously. I only think about it seriously when I actually sit down to write but I want to do more to make it grow. I want to able to write everyday because I am greedy. Greedy for getting that slight feeling of accomplishment I get after posting it. For feedback. Greedy for the next post, and the next. I don’t know if I will feel this way in a month for as we know in the case ‘of opinions’, feelings are also subject to change.
I have tried to write everyday for a long time. I usually keep a diary which has less to do with daily events and more with reflections on things, though a lot less formal than here. But it does not carry any of the aims that the “write everyday” mantra prescribes. Writing everyday, especially for a passion project like a first novel, is extremely difficult. You have to be completely self-motivated. A novel has to be completely inspired and yet, you are trying to translate the professionalism of print or web journalism into fiction. You don’t know if you will feel, if not inspired, even inclined to write your gargantuan passion project in your stipulated time. Anything else, even going to the grocery store might seem more interesting.
So maybe, writing is better off being a lifestyle than a task for a specific period of time. Which doesn’t mean you should be glued to your laptop all day long. You should be prepared when inspiration strikes. You should learn to coax your imagination, create an environment for it to flourish. Write down your ideas on your phone when you get them. If no writing material is handy, let it simmer in your brain until you can write it down. Write it out in more detail when you actually have time. Feeling guilty about not being able to maintain a routine or not writing up to your standard can feel worse than not writing at all. There must a reason why writing does not have scales, postures, rules or game time. And that is because it is neither an art nor a sport. It is a primary activity for the modern world to understand itself.