You would encounter sharp rocks jutting out of every mountain you wish to climb. Let me show you through my perseverant journey as a budding writer, that why do you have to keep going on even if your hands bleed. Never give up. Fight for your dreams. That is the only way to succeed.
You start. You are exhilarated. You shriek at the top of your voice from the roof of your confidence. You laugh from your stomach. You give long motivational speeches to your friend about how they need to start living. You wake up singing a tune about the morning sunshine. You look forward to Mondays because life has taken a route that you could only dream about.
People say you are inspiring. They applaud you. Your friends like and share everything you post. They read everything you write. Some of them even help you correct the grammar. You are glad as being corrected by friends is better than being ridiculed by your other readers.
You don’t worry about the money, yet, as the savings save you. Your family is appalled by your decision. But they don’t say anything this time. The last time they did, their words dug a deep valley between you two.
Your Mac is your new Nietzsche. All your philosophy seems to pour out of it.
Every rising sun,
every golden hour,
every dark cloud,
every rain shower,
every red hue of the night,
every Gulmohar leaf,
every white hibiscus on the beach,
every Kingfisher perched on the electric wire,
every dead rat on the street,
every mosque, temple, and church,
every friend and his or her word,
every act of generosity,
every act of indifference,
every lesson learned,
every thought redeemed,
every moment of depression,
every moment of elevation,
all seem to inspire you to write.
How can you not write? This is what you chose. This is what you were craving for. This is what you thought you were denied.
You write long motivational posts about what you have learned. They are so rich in experience and love and motivation and fearlessness and meaning of life that people applaud them.
But then less of your friends read what you write. Even lesser comment. They don’t have time to fix your grammar. Your family still doesn’t say anything but hints at the lack of your achievements.
You wake up wondering how would the day go. You have forgotten the sunshine song. You scroll your phone to see if the publisher replied. If the guest post got accepted. If the article got any likes.
You forget the idea that you thought to write about the last night. You missed the morning running session as you couldn’t sleep the night before.
Nature seems still. Even the cool breeze has settled down for the hour. The Kingfisher hasn’t shown up for days. The white hibiscuses were picked by the lady who goes to the temple and offers them to her god. Each thought sinks you. Each golden hour is a reminder of what you didn’t do that day.
Slowly the golden cloud of being different and being fearless have floated away. You feel alone. When you started, you were in the limelight, but now you are almost a forgotten story. When you started, you had no expectations of yourself, but now you know what others have done and what you can do, too. You have read about it all.
You feel drawn into the fear of losing it all. Into the fear of being subjected to laughter. See, she had started this fancy career; she said she was an itinerant writer. Look at her now. What has she done? You imagine these comments. You look at yourself in the mirror. You ponder if you would be able to do it?
You fret. You sweat. You fumble.
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What you forget in these moments is that you have always been fearless.
Remember when you were a little girl. Your father used to drive the Bajaj Chetak scooter. He drove it to the shop and then rode it back. Every evening you would wait for him. As soon as he climbed up the stairs, you would stutter out some words in your language and then wail. Your parents understood.
You wanted to go on a ride. You craved to ride the scooter with your father. You would not stop crying unless he took you out.
They gave up in front of your perseverance. Your father would carry you downstairs and place you in the leg space of his scooter. You were only 7–8 months old so you couldn’t stand. You sat. You would finally wipe your tears. He would start the scooter, and as the scooter cried broom-broom, you smiled. He then drove on the street outside your house for ten minutes. You looked around. You laughed and laughed and laughed. As if you were waiting for that ride the whole day.
Your parents say you were stubborn. They say you could not even stand, but you were not scared.
Think of that girl. Weren’t you her?
From where have you accumulated all these fears now? Fears are baseless, even the little girl knew that. She had faith. She believed in her father and in the universe and in herself.
Laugh like that little girl again. Look at the world with those inquisitive eyes. Fight the universe until you get what you want.
What you are going through is just a phase. When you think limelight is fading away and fear and rejection are riding high, look around. A lot has changed since you started. You knew nothing; now you understand a lot more. But don’t be intimidated by that knowledge and the success of people around you. Use them to guide your path. That is what they are for.
Don’t be scared now. When you have broken hearts and fought everyone around you to start it all. You had felt that you were losing your life. So you chose this path.
First, you trode fearlessly. Now you are scared when you have climbed up so much already. This is just fear speaking. These apprehensions say nothing about your work. About your efforts. About the results. It is too soon. And if you put enough time and dedication and go on fearlessly towards your goals, you would not have to even think about any of these things.
Do you know what is happening to you?
You are scratching your way up the jutted out part of the mountain. You can neither see the summit nor the base.
When you look down, you only see the vast open pasture. You cannot see how steep you climbed up, how far you have come.
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When you look up, you see the open sky, but you have no idea when you would reach the summit. When you would get something to hold onto.
You are hanging from these rocks that seem to obtrude your way. You are holding onto them desperately. You feel that you are hardly moving up. You grasp onto a slender branch of a young tree. But you can’t lift your weight on its fragile strength. Your hands and knees and feet are scratched. The sun is glowering hard at you. You are hungry and thirsty.
You feel like giving up. Your hands are tired. You wonder if there is any point in even trying. That you would soon fall. That you would never reach the top. You gauge and weigh everything you do. Would sticking your right feet to the mountain help? Would clasping that small part of the rocky edge help you climb up? Is pushing yourself up with your knee even if you move only an inch a good idea? Would breathing deeply and just resting a moment bring upon your doom?
What you don’t see is that you have come so far. That the summit is not near, but there is a resting space, a flat stone, just a few meters away. That if you relax, just for a minute, you would regain energy to keep climbing. That the sun is going down just in half an hour. That the ones who are on the top and are echoing the world with their words also took the same route. They also thought the way you are thinking. They also had doubts.
The only difference between them and you could be that they didn’t give up.
Now it is up to you.
Do you want to be the one who tried but didn’t make it?
Or the one who was fearless and held on until her hands bled?
Let the only difference between them and you be that you did it your way.
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