‘Writing is like going back to dark places’ is a recent thing that fell into my ears. A renowned author has said this in an interview to a newspaper. He’s not the one to voice the pains involved in writing a novel or a full-length book. A female author shared similar concerns in a blog post urging readers and publishers to respect a writer’s hard work. In fact, a number of authors have also fashioned themselves to declare writing a painstaking job which demands rigour, slogging and labour.
I empathise with them. But it is so because of the psychological breakup on their side. You can call it a laborious task, full of drudgery. And it is. But only to those who have tasked themselves to writing books only. To others who’ve pledged to tell tales–fresh and fine–might not like to cry for the time spent in to crafting a novel, it is pleasure, retreat and meditation. They are not confined in a room stuffed with writerly paraphernalia but a mini-world where they live, breathe and worship imagination; where they weave stories; and words walk to them spontaneously.
I don’t remember any of the classical masters in any language being a tad loud regarding the labour that writing is. Kalidas, Shakespeare, Dryden, Keats, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Prem Chand, Rabindranath Tagore and many others have given us the best of the stories and works. Yet did we ever hear them bewail about the rigours of writing? Never did they. We understand why today’s writers rue the hours that go into clubbing sentences after sentences together to write a good story or an article, per se. Their diligence goes underpaid. And recognition comes their way much later in life, especially when their skin has dried and have lost the glow. But did any author, famous or otherwise, ever have a cakewalk with their writing career? Never. Most of them were recognised much later in life especially in the latter half of their lives, and sometimes posthumously. Franz Kafka, the author of The Trial and Metamorphosis, was dead when his novels gained acceptance.
But we can entirely criticise the contemporary authors. The pressure on them to stay ahead, tell a different tale and gain acceptance is far too higher. The community has mushroomed unlike ever before. The contagious impact is inspiring many more. The internet has toughened the competition. Despite everything, authors need to live their works like their own life so that the grudge of alienation does not perturb them. Let us not become writing diggers by saying or meaning that ‘writing is like going back to dark places‘.