Monday, May 15, 2006

On writing

Why do I blog?
I like writing. Simple. It is one of the few things I like doing, when left to myself. And it seems a very natural thing to do. I believe people who don't write -- not even 'serious' writing, just putting down thoughts to paper -- are potentially missing out on a great source of bliss in life. I'd rank writing right after reading as the most influential personality-shaping habit.
Why do I write?
To me, writing primarily is catharsis. Life is not easy, to put it mildly. And at the end of the day, writing is a maze in which I gladly lose myself in. It is rather therapeutic to see your thoughts, your emotions, your pain, your laughter, your days, your dreams, your nights, your nightmares, your stories, your secrets unfold as tangible words on paper while you lift that veil from around yourself, drop your guard, and set out on that rewarding journey of self-discovery which writing most definitely is.
Of course, self-discovery could so easily lead to self-deception, but then I'm trying to keep things simple here. And writing is escape of another kind, a retreat into the metaphysical, a trip into the morbid labyrinths of one's mind. And when I write, I'm at once master and slave, thought and action, light and sound, creator and destroyer, voyager and voyeur ... Writing is the ultimate release.
And secondly, writing is a delightfully creative process. To anybody who waxes eloquently about the pleasures of alcohol/tobacco/women, the standard counter I offer is "What about writing?" You have to feel the rush that comes from crafting a particularly difficult poem, with no compromises made toward structure or substance, paying equal attention to rhyme, meter and meaning, that intoxication which accompanies penning down that perfect story having a plot with enough twists to rival a DNA strand, and an equally unguessable ending, that fleeting feeling of nirvana when you successfully explain a complicated philosophical maxim with a description of its premises and arguments that is as lucid as water from a spring, to know that writing is ecstasy, writing is poison, writing is addiction, that writing is intellectual activity non-pareil.
More importantly, writing is always a journey of the soul as much as it is an engaging exercise of the mind. Music soothes a savage beast. Writing tends to the wounds of the soul. Writing opens the eyes of the soul, so to speak. You start seeing, and feeling, things you never saw, or felt, before. You become sensitive, in the truest sense of the word.
You realize that the beauty of a sunset lies in the way dusk dissolves the stains that the sun bleeds onto the skies after his daily demise.
You hear the sea roar and the shore sigh when you listen to a conch being blown.
You know how it is to hold a raw mango in both your hands and inhale deeply as if your lungs were bottomless, and feel your senses tingle as the smell invades every inch of your body and embeds itself into the fissures of your memory.
You realize love is not just about presents, parties and package-holidays, but also about pain, patience, perspective and partnership; that happiness is sometimes as simple as the smooth, uninterrupted roar of a bike when the engine kicks to life; that music is sometimes about silence in all the right places; that words will never mean what we want them to mean but we will still continue to write; that loneliness is the world's greatest disease and that some tears will never dry.
You see the joy, and the pain, in everything.
You realize that beauty is as much a part of anything as is savagery.
Writing, undeniably, is for the soul.
And lastly, writing is nothing if it doesn't lead you to question constantly, and evolve, your beliefs and the person that you represent. The self-discovery process. Writing is as much submitting wife as it is obsequious mistress, in that it merely beseeches you to be true to yourself, and your words, but you, of course, always have the choice of self-deception, in which case writing is a very useful ego-massage. Either ways, in the shadows of your words, in the turns of your phrases, in the imperfection of your sonnets, in the truth underlying your fiction, you discover your true self, and what it is about yourself that you're running away from.
Write. To discover the joy of wrestling with words. Write. To mark the passage of your time with the ticking of your thoughts. Write. To know how it is to be human and flawed.
This post is a late celebration of a year of blogging, and is dedicated to a couple of very good friends -- K and T -- who made me take my writing seriously.


Karthik said...

Very well "written"

Languorous_chaos said...

I cannot escape writing. I write(however jejune whatever it is that i write) because I cannot live if I do not write.

I cannot help it even if I want to. Does that make sense? I'm always confused about why is it really that I write...Can't explain it better than the answer above :)

Oh and yes! nice way to celebrate a year long writing tryst on your blog!

Keep writing :)

musafir said...

@ karthik: Thank you :)

@ languorous_chaos: :) I can understand how it feels. Especially how you need to write something, even if it's not good. Totally, totally empathise :)

Thanks for the wonderful comment :) You seem to be making a habit out of this!

And yes, I'lll keep writing. Can't afford to stop.

Prat said...

Congratulations on the first annivesary.

musafir said...

prat: Thanks!