I’ve had my head in a muddle the past few days. Well you already know that, but from the obvious things I have written about in the last few posts, I’ve had my head mixed up with the state of my writing, in particular. I’m tossing up ideas of a overhaul for the blog. I’ve gone full circle and back on that one. I’m sending out my samples to people around Goa. I am constantly getting disappointed with the lack of enthusiasm around here. I have a couple of half-baked ideas but I am sputtering at the start, unable to give it that heave-ho that it needs to turn into a well-formed work. And it seems like the words that need to find their way out are just bubbling beneath the surface. I’m feeling a bit stuck.
There is work. And there is this blog. And somewhere I want the two to meet. I know most people would scream and shout and tell me never to mix the two. But I am on that road already — the one that takes you to the thing you love, gives you that mighty high from the joy and satisfaction that comes from doing what you really love all the time, and makes you want to never leave. So no, I don’t think I can chuck this again and go back to a life of writing contrived, empty words that don’t mean anything to me. Words that don’t reflect me in some part.
I want to continue to write about the things that I care about. Things that I can put my voice into. Things that I know and feel for. Blabbering on about my life as a self-proclaimed Goan, about bringing together my love for food and the love for words, about my experiences as a kitchen newbie, about Goa, about travelling around, about living away from home and finding your way around.
I want this to become the thing that brings home the bread. The thing that I spend endless nights labouring over. The thing I want to come back to again and again. I want the two to meet. To become the thing I do. And not just the thing I do when I have nothing else to do.
I guess what I’m saying is I want to be a writer.
I am neither qualified, nor do I have any accolades to prove it. All I have are my words. Lots and lots of them. But being turned down by half twits, getting edited by people whose grammar is worse than mine, sending samples into the ginormous black hole that is “writing opportunities in Goa” has a way of making you wonder what those words are worth, if it doesn’t lead me to being this writer that I want to be.
When does one become a writer? If the word “writer” conjures images of a misanthropic person holed up in an attic, banging away his/her next bestseller on a
typewriter Macintosh, wipe that away now. I have shied away from calling myself a writer for so long now. Silly really, considering its the only thing I have consistently stuck to, since the day I could string a few sentences down together creatively. Since the time my dinky baby poems were published in a community magazine. Since those adhoc attempts at interning with music and lifestyle magazines. Since struggling and fighting to keep a high school magazine alive. Since the time I spent endless hours of college class time furiously scribbling stories in a notepad hidden under the desk, rather than taking down copious subject matter notes like I was supposed to. Since I decided to take off on a whim and enter the world of advertising. Since I bumbled along that for 6 long years until I realised it wasn’t the kind of writing I cared for. Since I quit it all to the writing I like. Since I decided to spend my days and nights dedicated to indulging in the things I love — and reading and writing all about it.
And that brings us to where I am today. To spewing one too many words, here and here. To days spent chalking out story ideas in numerous word documents. To jotting down random thoughts on my phone, in a book, while I’m out running, when Im shopping, in a car, on the beach, desperate to turning each of them into words that tell stories. To a point where I write and rewrite blurbs and plot lines in my head all the time. To constantly thinking of new ways to express my food stories. To turning to this blog, every day. Penning down so many of these words. Whether I post them or not.
This is my scribbling pad. My training area. My practice. My daily riaz, as it were. Having a deep background in Hindustani music, its ironic how these concepts of discipline, structure and tedium that my mother (also my music guru) dinned into me for so many years come back to me now. The art may differ, but the path remains the same.
Music then, writing now. But the daily rigour continues. And then I saw the same thoughts echoed here, in a way that really spoke to me.
If I keep writing words then I’ll become a writer.
So I guess what I am saying is I want to be a writer. But in so many ways, maybe I already am.