Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I want out.. (Part 2)

So, one said I needed a hodka and two slaps. And maybe that one was right. Another said: comfort zone! comfort zone! get out of comfort zone! Followed, of course, by questions of the what is it that you REALLY like nature, where the answer can't be writing. Because even I know that's silly. Writing what? Okay, writing about people. Which people? Who people? People-like-me people? I don't know. Suggested solution: get out more, travel more, write about people UNLIKE you people. Yes.

Appreciated. Maybe I needed that, too. All this great advice from my level-headed everyday homies. Maybe I need to listen to them. Or just turn in early today. That'll stop me from acting all hormonal and whiny. Maybe I'll put everything out of my mind, heat a glass of horlicks milk and take refuge in the book I'm savouring, the one that has to be discussed with frothy friend over coffee this week, the one that I, of course had to -- in the interest of narcissism, curiosity and a vague literary pursuit -- lay my hands on, since two of my friends, read it and said I HAVE to read it since one of the main characters was not only JUST like me, but in fact, like, so TOTALLY me that, really, like, O.M.G.

It was impossible to be friends with guys. Every guy she’d ever been friends with had ended up wanting something else, or had wanted something else from the beginning, and had been friends only under false pretenses.

She was petrified of becoming the half-alive person she’d been before.


Yea. So. That's coming along nicely.

But back to my fleeting career choice woes, I appreciated even more, a gently-worded email. From a friend who points me towards certain gems of Vikram Seth and leads me to what Hemingway says (to Owen Wilson:)) about writing and passion and making love to a truly great woman. Really, what would I do without him, them, the nudgers and slappers, the counsellors, the listeners, the book-recommendors, the ego downsizers -- all of whom are pillars who don't buy my bullshit. Gratitude!

The email:

"Reporting is, like what my sister said, a blue collared job. Despite all the glamour, that's the hard truth. I get tired of it sometimes. I am in it because, I think, it gives me some creative satisfaction. (also it's an ego trip too) I don't know how long I will last. Journalism gives us a chance to boost or massage our egos, which is very important considering we are all egoists if we enjoy writing so much. Would you like to be making shitloads of money and be an obscure PR chick writing press releases? If you have an alternative in mind that will keep you happy, you should quit. You do want to be writing, isn't it? So to be practical, it's always good to be in journalism. It gives you an opportunity to practice your craft and also enhances the range of experiences, not always necessarily firsthand but nonetheless experiences. I think you have to find ways to break monotony, it's that simple. With your mental energy, it's easy to get fed up with doing one thing. I might be wrong but I would go with that right now. That's your strength. Just find ways not get into a rut. It should be easy for you."

Lovely, isn't it? I read this at least thrice. (-Thank you:)

And I feel assuaged. (Also, on my way home, I had a slab of apricot-raisin by myself that I don't feel guilty about because I'm back to yoga and it'll get sorted). Maybe I am overreacting. It's true though that sometimes the reporting can get tiresome. And at times I'd rather eat a vada or even entertain someone that says LOL, than report. And I HATE vadas maybe less than people who say LOL. And at times, it is possible, I undervalue the insight you get from talking to random people about random things - insight that sticks, creates trivia, memories, anecdotes, stories. Still, at times I hate it. I'm still keenly aware of how strange it sounds in my head when I tell people I'm a journalist. Less now, but it's there. And loving writing but treating reporting like a stepchild can create an imbalance that makes you doubt the choices you're living with. It is possible there's no turning back. Also that maybe I don't want to. There's a promise that this too shall pass. But I guess in the meantime I'm going to have to just work on it, and avoid having my tail caught in a rut trap.

P.S: Hodka = the fantasy drink that is horlicks + vodka


***
Edited to add what one of my favourites, The Unbearable Banishment, sent across:

so you want to be a writer?  
by Charles Bukowski

if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
fame,
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.


if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.
--

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

journalist: breezy, nit-witted

(if you remember)

- k

hodka, wtf!

Incognito said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJKythlXAIY

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Wow. And I thought Part 1 was rough seas.

People who say LOL aren't as bad as people who say nom-nom. So, you see, you can always find worse. Sink lower.

What did poet Charles Bukowski say about writing? I thought you'd never ask.


so you want to be a writer?

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it

unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be so like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself
and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in
you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

Anonymous said...

why no writing about people-like-me-people?

f* me in the eye, miss n, but you're bloody good at that. this blog is proof of that.

(slipped some vodka into my orange juice, oh dear, drinking alone tut tut)

and, "difference"? all of these comments, and you're wondering about difference? where do you get off?

look, lady, you got talent. dont piss it down the toilet in search of some great novel, dont fritter it away either by telling yourself this is good practice

lord knows if I make any sense
- k

(and dont get me started on this blue collar white collar stuff, work is a honorable thing, so choose carefully)

Nimpipi said...

K: Breezy, nitwitted, Of course I remember! I'll find the date of my email if you don't believe me! And hodka's great.


Incog: Haha. I get you. Funny boy huh.

UB: Oh come on! Lol is INFINITELY worse! Nom nom works when kittens speak.

K again: I get you, too. I do. I do. Sigh. And amen to the work being an honourable thing. blue collar white collar we were just kidding around, i guess. you know, like florists are pink collar. :) time pass rubbish.

Anonymous said...

the point I am trying to make is, the consideration of what to write is yours and yours alone

the best anyone else can do is react to what you do

kudos on asking the tough question though

- k

Miss.Mystic said...

Well lets have some hodka shots! I like UB's poem , really captures the essence of what you are telling us all. Btw, Happy Holi :)

Sanchari said...

What can I say, except I was in that position a year and a half ago. This trip to India (four months by myself) gave me enough to work with. Now, I can write. I am writing. A lot. Getting out of my comfort zone helped.

P.S. Also, Bukowski is right. Do it (whether "it" is writing fiction (?)/journalism), for the right reasons.

Ellie said...

Excellent sequel!