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Posts Tagged ‘help for writers’

I guess this post is in response to my readers’ constant queries about chucking their jobs and taking up writing and how I feel about it. My usual advice is caution. Not because the proposition is dicey – I have written a post sometime ago about how aspiring writers in India have never had it so good – but because I feel one should wait and find out if they have it in them to be writers.

People make these decisions under a misguided assumption about how writing being a glamorous profession. It is not. It is just like any other job and requires you to show up at work day after day after day whether you feel like it or not. In addition to that, it is a lonely job. At least in a normal job you have coffee and cigarette breaks where you can have laugh away your frustrations with buddies and subvert your suicidal tendencies.

I, myself am seriously considering switching from my sixth floor flat to one on the first floor. So the breeze won’t be as nice but at least there will be less of a mess to clean up. I may even escape with just a broken limb or two and little or no irreparable damage.

All these thoughts got me thinking about whether there was a way one could find out if they have it in them to be a writer. And then I happened to go to Shelfari where all these people were raving about this site which, apparently, is a Godsend.

It is a bit like tail the story, an experiment that I myself had started sometime ago whereby I (or anyone) started a story and then someone else took it up and then someone else and so on. My experiment was a success for while but then it fizzled out, mainly because I didn’t have the time to moderate it and propel the story forward when interest levels waned. Plus the subject I had chosen, a sci-fi kinda thing, didn’t exactly set everyone afire.

Now there is panhistoria.  There are dozens and dozens of novels with numerous people writing them. The novels are in every sort of genre from horror to fantasy to action to romance to westerns. You can simply ask to join in on any one of them. Or you can start your own novel.

There are not many moderators with binding rules so your creativity is not curbed. Besides the interactive participation, having people wait on for your additions to stories keeps you on deadline. It forces you to write regularly which is a good thing of you are a procrastinator. Plus there’s an element of competition which always helps. You try to wow the readers by outdoing the author before you. As a result you read more – you’ve gotta first read to outclass ­– and hone your writing skills.

If you want to be a writer, go there and see if you can stick it out, whether you have enough ideas in you and, more importantly, if you are having fun.

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