Archive for September 21st, 2008

That brings me to my next subject of discussion – the muse. You know, inspiration is so transient and if I waited for it, I would write only about ten words a day. Most of the times, there is no inspiration and you just hack away at it. Lack of inspiration to plead off work is something only lazy and non-serious writers do. Serious writers hack away at it, knowing that what they are writing is rubbish. They know they will have to revisit what they’ve written. Once if they’re lucky and several times if they’re really unfortunate.

The journalist then asked me to show her where I worked, expecting, I think, a huge room with a scenic view, a solid mahogany desk and huge bookcases sporting leather-bound volumes. Imagine her chagrin when I led her to the spare room with a dictionary, a thesaurus, packets of savoury snacks, used tea cups, snotty tissues and my laptop littered untidily on the bed.

It’s true. I don’t work at a desk but on the bed in the spare room with the telly on all the time. I do have a desk but I don’t like it. I keep promising myself that I will get a huge mahogany one I like (even I have fantasies about what a writer’s life is like) if only out of consideration for my poor back which is strained beyond belief for six-seven hours every day which comprise my work day. But, so far, my back hasn’t complained and consequently I haven’t done anything about it.

Then there were questions like – Do I write according to a plan? Well, the answer to that is, I try to. I always begin with an outline and stick to it till about five chapters. Then I usually have to abandon it. The reason is that when I write the outline, I don’t know my characters. They are, at best, ideas in my head. But when I sit down to write, these characters become personalities. Very strong ones who have their own ideas about where the story should be going and are not shy about dictating their terms.

Do I carry a notebook and pencil everywhere I go? Well, I try to. But don’t always remember to. Oh to hell with it, I never do. I don’t make notes, but the good thing is I am an elephant. No, not physically but memory wise (okay, physically also). So I always remember things.

Towards the end she asked me if I wanted to add anything. I did. I told her, the only other thing I do is write. Everyday.


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