The other day, I had a chat with a fellow ‘penmonkey’ (May I, Chuck?). He’s one of the few early ones I met on this journey. He asked why I took writing so serious. So I said, well for an art that discovered me, I can but only pay a long overdue homage. But then outside the conversation we were had, a thought struck me. I wondered if I really did take writing seriously -If we writers do take the art seriously.
You see, writing is not one of those things you decide to do out of world-weariness or for the lack of something better to do. It is not a quick escape out of this world. In fact, I don’t think you can escape the world through writing. Everything around us pretty much influences it. When you master the art, it breathes in everything around you –animate and inanimate.
As a writer, you are giving meaning to things around you; known and unknown. That, my friend, is a huge responsibility. And this responsibility, most writers have shirked. In my own pursuit for full realization of this ‘gift’, I have come to know, experiment with and accepted that the art; a complete essence on its own, requires and demands of us (writers) a couple of things more than just inscription.
1. The art demands respect: If you can’t discipline yourself enough to respect what you do, then by all means, this may be the best time to consider if you really want to be a writer. The art demands that it be treated with respect. The exact amount of respect you give to everything that is important to you – your job, your wife, your family, yourself. Yes, of course! Disrespect for the art began with you.
2. Your full attention: If you’ve got to be a writer, you’ve got to be dedicated to it. You haven’t written in a while? Write! Not inspired to? Let others inspire you. I have always said that I was inspired to write my first poem by reading one from a friend. If you cannot find inspiration from within yourself, then search out of you for it. Read books, visit blogs, stare into space. Do something. Anything.
3. Don’t force it: You don’t ‘have’ to write. Yeah. It’s not like your life depended on it. Now before you call the books on me, this is what I mean. Writing is more graceful when it’s in tune with your inner self. So instead of ‘rushing’ it, you should nurture it. You should align your within with the art. Or you risk contracting a psychological condition known as ‘Writer’s Block’. Now mind you, this is infectious. Avoid close contact with people with this condition. They are likely to transfer their disquiet to you. Seriously? No.
4. Make time: Everyone is busy with a lot of things! Work, kids, a bad rash, an itching back, the economy? That’s just normal. If you write to live or writing means to you what breath is to life (as professed by lots of writers out there) then you certainly are tumbling down a ‘dying’ road. Between our daily clutter, we find time for what’s important to us. And if we can’t find the time, we make the time or we’re just not that into it.
You still don’t think writing deserves your all? Well, maybe it doesn’t. So please, don’t waste anymore paper. Put down your pen and bring down that blog. And you are too busy to be reading this. Seriously. I apologize for candidly engaging you.