“I was so afflicted, while I strayed off the path, by myself, to dream, that my mind — of its own accord, through a kind of inhibition in the face of suffering — ceased thinking about verses, novels, of the poetic future my absence of talent prevented me from counting on. Then, well outside of all these literary preoccupations and unrelated to them, suddenly a roof, the sun’s reflection on a rock, the scent of a path made me stop in my tracks because of the particular pleasure they gave me, and also because they had the appearance of concealing, beyond what I saw, something they invited me to come take and which I couldn’t, despite my efforts, discover. As I felt that this mystery was contained in them, I stayed there, unmoving, looking, breathing, and with my thoughts trying to go beyond the image or the scent. And if I was forced to catch up to my grandfather, to continue on my way, I tried to recapture them by closing my eyes; I tried to recall the exact contour of the roof, the shade of the rock, which, although I couldn’t understand why, had seemed full, ready to burst open, to reveal to me this thing for which they were only a covering, a lid. These weren’t the kinds of impressions that could restore my lost hope that I could one day be a writer or a poet, for they were always connected to a particular object devoid of intellectual value and unrelated to any abstract truth.
But the moral obligation imposed on me by these impressions of form, of scent and of colour — urging me to try to perceive what lay behind these impressions — was so taxing that I was quick to find excuses that would allow me to shirk these efforts and spare myself this fatigue. Happily, my parents called me, I felt that presently I didn’t have the necessary tranquility to effectively pursue my investigation, and that, lest I tire myself out to no avail, I should cease thinking about it until I was back home. So I no longer concerned myself with this unknown thing that had been encased in a form or a scent, I felt tranquil, for I was bringing it home, protected by a coating of images under which I would find it living, like the fish that, the days I was allowed to go fishing, I brought back in my basket, covered by a layer of grass that preserved their freshness.”
I was not always a writer. I started my journey as a science girl. I worked in banks and software firms.
But who was I kidding? I love writing since I was a little girl. At the end of the day, you could find me scribbling away in my personal diaries. Holidays meant buying new books with all of my pocket money and reading all the books in one day. I even finished reading my course storybooks end to end the day I got them.
All of this was fine. But I didn’t know how to write well. I had no idea that we need to edit a piece after writing the first draft. Before starting On My Canvas, I had three other blogs that are now resting peacefully for I didn’t try to level up my game of writing. Truth be told, I didn’t know I had to.
After staying in the corporate world for a few years, I quit my job to write and see the world. And then everything changed. You can read more about my career change and life journey in my author bio.
Soon I was writing every day. I was editing. I was watching blank pages for hours without giving up. I took online courses and signed up for a writing workshop in Bangalore. Whether traveling or not, I took out some time to write.
By writing more regularly, I learned every day. As I wrote and published more, challenged myself with diverse freelance writing projects, read many books and articles on writing, talked to other writers, took feedback on my work, and grew general awareness on good writing, I started receiving a lot of positive feedback from other writers and readers.
I have learned (and am still learning) the tips and tricks of writing the hard way. Every time I fall, I pick up myself with even more determination.
I have created this space to share my learning on my steep writing and blogging journey. I promise you that none of these writing guides would give you generic advice. I will only write about what I learn along the way, what I read, the mistakes I make, and what works for me.
Hope you stick around.
Show up on your writing desk every day and the rest will work out. Good luck.
Feature Image Courtesy: Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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