Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why I have not written or Why I still hope to write

I have not been writing for such a long time that it feels very strange. Maybe, it is because I haven’t been reading as much. Books have become rare guests into the steadily evaporating minutes in my life. Some days, when I am relieved of my worries and bills, I cast my eyes on my fading friends, lying unattended as show pieces on the wardrobe in the hall. I feel sad for them, like one does for people who have fallen from their high posts. Yet, I do have hope.

My laptop often lies unattended in the bag in the corner. On days when I am bored, I look it up and find half written articles and stories, incomplete drafts that beg to be completed. And yet, the drive is gone. Not forever. At least, I hope not. Yet, it is gone. Something is missing.

Yet, I wait. In hope. In silly, miserable hope. Every moment waiting, like the dry, wasted hay under the sun. In the hope of a faint spark that shall set fire to my imagination again. A fire that shall again burn through the dark recesses of my mind and light up my days. I wait. In hope.

Yet, there is a hidden fear. A fear of failure. I do believe it is natural. To fear being a failure, when you have already been branded one by everyone who seems to put up a claim of knowing you. My life seems so much like that of Philip Care in W. Somerset Maugham’s ‘Of Human Bondage’, that it feels scary. What if, like Philip, I end up finding up I have no talent in art? What if everyone around me is just being encouraging, without realising the fact that they are setting me up for a heartbreak in my quest of artistic success? Will it be too late to turn back, and try and find an ordinary career then? What then, shall I choose as a career? So many questions, so little answers.

“There is nothing so degrading as the constant anxiety about one’s means of livelihood. I have nothing but contempt for the people who despise money. They are hypocrites or fools. Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five. Without an adequate income half the possibilities of life are shut off. The only thing to be careful about is that you do not pay more than a shilling for every shilling you will hear people say that poverty is the best spur to the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their flesh. They do not know how mean it makes you. It exposes you to endless humiliation, it cuts your wings, it eats into your soul like cancer. It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank, and independent. I pity with all my heart the artist, whether he writes or paints, who is entirely dependent for subsistence upon his heart.”

Like the art teacher says ‘It is cruel to learn about your mediocrity too late in life.’

Indeed. This is one of the haunting prospects that face me. It is difficult.

This is not a defense of my procrastination. No. It is an explanation of my current emotional state. It is an explanation why I have not yet closed down my blog. It is my last line of defense. It is the reason why I have not yet given up my hope of being a writer. I cannot. Like my brother pointed up, you need an almost impossible target to aim at. It will drive you, when nothing else does. And so I wait.

Till the day the fire burns again. And I write again. 

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