100 Days of Blogging, Personal / Interests

The Reader’s Compliment

I have been a reader for nearly two decades now, counting the picture books, and a blogger for seven years. Also been a professional book reviewer for five years. A ‘published writer’ is a feather I added two years ago, and I am working on two more novels now.

There. Bragging done. With no exaggeration. It felt good to write all that down.

There have been many instances where my writing was praised, and a few (thankfully) where it was ridiculed or pronounced just passable. I have never looked at writing as a monetarily profitable option, rather indulging in it for the creative outlet and happiness it gave me (like so many of my brethren, the fellow writers).

No matter what the purpose, the compliments that my words brought me were always treasured. Those that came from friends were saved in the niche for my patronus memory, and those that came from strangers have resulted in one of two things – the stranger becoming a friend, or the compliment prompting me to set my own bar of standards higher until I pronounced my own words satisfactory.

The past two days (not counting this blog here though it is an essential part), have been good for me as long as writing was concerned. I had touched up on the climax of one of my novels, putting off writing the ending just to savour the pleasure of that task nearing completion. And more importantly, I had just gotten over a heavy writer’s block where my magnum opus, my personal pet project was concerned. Writing nearly 12k words in one day, I managed to just sprint past a self-imposed mental image of a wooden block that stopped my writing.

A little analysis showed me what the reason was. A reader’s compliment. I do not stress on the ‘friend’ here, because as far as my writing was considered, she is always the reader first, and the friend came only next. A lot of my words have received various compliments thus far from a lot of different people, but the one that effectively made me want to write more and more was the single phrase.

I would have done the same thing had I been in your character’s place because the story is that relatable.

While we all see a little of ourselves in the books we read and the words we write, the timing of the compliment was all the difference I needed. The response came to my question asking if I’d gone overboard or bland with a particular character I had crafted, and it quelled all questions I had. The confusions vanished, and the editor’s part of my brain took a long vacation as I continued crafting further dialogues, enjoying the story with the anticipation of my readers’ reactions.

Every writer needs more such moments in their lives. There is no real booster than a timely, aptly worded compliment to break down that imaginary devil of a block, and I am thankful to be around people who encourage the writer in me. Recording this today in the blog to revisit and reread whenever I have mixed reactions about the words I write.

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