I have a draft of a book I have not completed yet.
There. Confession done and dusted. Much like any ‘aspiring author’ (I hate that term. You either are an author, or you’re not. But I’m using it for reference as it is popular) I have these sudden urges to write, and I sit down to write the lines that appear in my thoughts continuously. This is almost always done in a hurry and once the initial urge fades, or when I hit the proverbial ‘writer’s block’, the half-baked draft stops there.
I have always been comfortable writing the short blog pieces that do not require any prolonged effort and can be written and read in a short span of time. Being an editor came naturally. It was easier to find the things that needed to be changed in other peoples’ manuscripts. Finding out things that worked was easier when the work came from others. I had to have the building built before I could beautify it – before I could do the interior and exterior decorations that would make the raw building presentable.
But why do I have this strange hesitation while building my own structure; writing my own manuscript? The easiest excuse would be that I am a procrastinator. The harshest excuse would be that I am incredibly lazy. The most outlandish excuse would be that I am waiting for the perfect plot pieces to fall in place.
The honest explanation, however, differs from all the above.
I have been a reviewer far too long to be able to look at books with a non-critical, passionate eye. I am also extremely self-critical, always chasing the elusive perfection that dances tantalizingly just out of reach. I have been published twice already, both as part of anthologies, and have received bouquets and brickbats (a lot of the former, a few of the latter, thankfully) and have taken them all with an extra dose of salt.
It has been a very reflective journey, always with the criticisms reaching farther, deeper than the praises did. But of late, few of my words have garnered appreciation from the most unexpected quarters, and that has rekindled the old desire to write. Of the twelve half-finished short stories in my collection, I have managed to complete two today, both with the endings falling right into place as if they had always been at the corner of my mind. It was a very productive day for my writing, and the results are charming and even satiating the extreme critic in me.
Maybe 2017 is the year where The Indian Hagrid debuts with a full-fledged novel, the one where the psychologist, the System Architect and the Stand-up Comedian walk into a shopping mall…
Okay. Stop. No publicizing that until at least the first draft is complete.
For now, time to go back to the good old notebook to complete the ‘character list’ flow chart. That is where things begin.
Wish me luck, you guys! ❤