Monday, July 30, 2007

Me: No, no, let me think of something decent to write about first, then I'll post to the blog.

Seinfeld ka bhoot: Abbey idiot, start writing, something, anything. Do you expect to be writing masterpieces the day you get struck by inspiration? What about practice, what about honing your craft and all that?

Me (a little scared by the outburst): But Carson McCullers wrote The Heart is a Lonely Hunter when she was only 23. And it was her first book.

Seinfeld ka bhoot:So you want to write saas-bahu stuff like McCullers? Want to describe the anguish of your neighbourhood dhabawala and the mali who comes to your place? Is that what you want to write about?

Me: Er, no.

SkB: Because if you're just going to keep writing about the people about you, you could do it today, too.

Me: Really?

SkB: NO, you Schmuck! You think anyone churns out whole books in one shot? McCullers probably spent years writing that book! You think I came up with the Soup Nazi in two minutes?

Me: Er, wasn't he based on a real person, there was a question about him in the last BCQC quiz, did you see it, there was...

SkB [Tearing out his hair in frustration]: Well, is that all it was? Just think of a person to base a plot on, and you're done? Do you have any effing idea how long it takes to write a plot, to set it up to flow right, to think of the right dialogues? You think I could have written any of those episodes without practicing first? Writing is like an airplane, not like a helicopter! It needs a takeoff strip!

Me: What about one of those VTOL jets? You know, the ones that have these engines on a hinge, see, so they can take off...

SkB [Suddenly turning serious]: Are you always this dumb, or are you just playing at it so that you don't have to listen to me?

Me: Huh?

SkB: Let me just say it in very plain words. Unless you put in very sincere efforts to write, unless you put in a little time every day on your book or stories or whatever it is you want to do, you're going to wind up doing nothing but reading about Samit Basu's success story while you work on your job. Do you understand?

Me: Yes. Yes, I do. But I get so tired, so depressed, every evening, I don't think I can...

SkB: So do you ever get so tired you forget to breathe? Or forget to eat your dinner? Or have you ever been so tired you couldn't be bothered to go to the loo? Because writing's like that - you have to do it somehow, you have to express it somehow. Unless you approach your writing that way it ain't gonna happen.

Me: But I don't feel that way all the time. Like, the urge to write isn't that strong all the time, only sometimes.

SkB: Listen, buddy, you've made me up out of some web page, and you've been putting words in my mouth all through this blog post. You didn't make me up so that I can justify your laziness. Now that I exist, I'm going to listen to any of these silly excuses. The urge to write gathers strength, the more you write. It never appears full blown - like, look at me, you read that article yesterday, yet it took you a day to even write this much. As long as you're willing to listen to me, I'll be there, I'll be your 'urge to write'. All you have to do is write something, anything, even if it's a joke, every day. Write it down proper, okay? No thinking it over. You are going to put it down in black and white. The day you don't, I'm going to laugh at you all night long.

Me: Yes, Bhoot Unkle.

SkB [Talking to an audience in a nightclub]: The other day I talked to this aspiring writer-type. To tell you the truth, he wasn't worth shit...

Me: HEY!

SkB [Ignoring me]: Though he thought he was India's answer to Caleb Carr and Charles de Lint. Kept making up excuses about how he couldn't write...

Me: HEY! JERRY! Sorry I called you anything associated with Jackie Shroff, okay? Stop it!

SkB [Returning to normal state]: That's better. Now get to it.