The brief hiatus in my writing was brought about, partially, by a visit from Miss Procrastination, an old acquaintance. Though she pretends to be a friend, nothing can be further from the truth. She does everything in her power to keep me away from my writing work and I must admit, succeeds at it too. Even though she loves to take all the credit, she owes her success to me for it is my own fear which prevents me from putting pen to paper. My own fear being fear of failure and it is, at the moment, the biggest demon in my life which I cleverly avoid by keeping the company of the accursed Miss Procrastination.
This fear is so great that whenever I sit down to write it is with this conclusion in mind that the finished product will be mediocre. Since my mind is made up the result, also, is never good. I have provided my fear with complete access to my mind, heart and soul and in doing so, killed my self-belief and replaced it with loathing. So that everything I write, I hate. This was especially true over the last month and in the search for an escape from this fear I came across this.
‘Until you know who you are you can’t write’ – Salman Rushdie
Questions started pouring into my mind. Who am I? As a person and as a writer? Are they two different beings or one? Am I an honest writer? Is there any other fear which has me in its grip? Should I write with the blue pen or the black one? Do I finish the incomplete projects even though the new ideas are more exciting? Will I ever be able to produce a good work of writing? Why am I afraid of going through the process of creation?
The last question was my Eureka moment. I am running away (sprinting it seems) from the actual physical pain of writing which involves isolating myself not just from the external environment but from my non-writer self (which tempts me to play Angry Birds Space). I am running away from re-writing and editing, from spending days on a single page or chapter, from finding the right words which will lend expression to my characters’ feelings, from abandoning an attempt at a story even though it has an awesome title, from sleepless nights and feverish anxiety…and above all from discovering the truth -do I have what it takes?
There was no relief in this discovery – only a sense of shame and guilt, followed by anger.
This mixed plate of feelings helped me overcome my fear and I have banished the demon from my writing kingdom. With the demon gone, Miss Procrastination, too, has become redundant. She packed her bags and left a few days back to inhabit, I’m guessing, the dwellings of some other artist.
It’s very quiet around here now and although no writing revolution has come into my life yet, I have managed to put pen to paper.