Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm back. I think.

Happy New Year, by the way.

For a long time I've been trying to figure out why I haven't been writing. Two years back, I was flying like the Rajdhani, struggling just to keep up with the ideas springing to life in my brain. A novel, the novel, just bubbling over inside, building up it's flavours so fast it was a full time job just to put them all down on paper. Short stories, like little rivulets of excess story, trickling down the cauldron of Novel.

Then, somehow,the fire went out. The cauldron bubbled for a bit, throwing out a few last precious sputters, and settled into a seething mass that tormented but produced no output. Everything I wrote since has been flat and lifeless. Attempts at pushing myself have been worthless - I myself can see the poor quality of my writing, I can see that my older stuff was better, why be surprised at anyone's rejection?

It took me this long to see what was happening. What it was, was that the input to the pipeline had dried up. If your output is supposed to be prose, your input really needs to be prose. Whereas what I've been doing for a while now has been something else altogether - reading comics by the scores. Watching movies, TV serials. Reading web pages by the thousands, yes, thousands. This stuff probably helps me if I want to write for comics or make movies (indeed, ideas for movie plots have begun to bubble up these days). But that's not what I set out to be - I chose writing, long before I realized that it was a choice I was making.

All it took a couple of weeks of full-blown reading - 4 books in 3 weeks, and counting, to start building up the Writing Cauldron again. Reminded me of how long it's been since I read books like that, in great gulps, every spare minute I got. The cauldron hasn't yet reached boiling point - it'll probably take another few weeks of the intense reading - but I can feel something happening there.

Let's hope I can keep it going.

PS. In case anyone, (I'm referring to you, George) notices, yes, I've been finishing a Palahniuk book. Shows up in the writing, doesn't it?