Writing, my coy mistress

I haven’t done any writing in a while.  And by writing, I mean fiction, creative writing, the field that is supposed to be my vocation in life, the thought of which should be governing my career.

Sure, I work as a content writer, so it’s not like I’m completely cut-off from words, but really, to define describing shoes, clothes and jewelry as ‘writing’ would be sacrilege.

I feel horribly guilty about it.  I can picture myself, just a few months ago, reassuring my Professors that, of course, I wouldn’t stop writing, of course I’ll always take out time for it, of course I won’t get distracted by the pressures of a working life in Dubai.  But it happened.  Between commuting to/from work, getting some exercise in and trying to have a semblance of a good night’s sleep, I’m left with very little time, which I like to utilize by watching some trash tv which simply requires a bit effort from just my eyes and not from my brain.  My social, physical, and literary lives have all taken a nasty hit from employment. Boo for jobs, boo for having to be an adult, hurrah for paychecks!

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It’s not like it hasn’t occurred to me that I should just shut up and write.  It has.  Plenty of times.  But every time, my mind conjures up an excuse on its own, usually something along the lines of “Oh, you’ve been up since 6 am, you’re mentally exhausted, how can you focus on anything right now?’  What I always seem to forget is that, this precisely is the condition in which I’ve gotten some of my best writing done.  Flashback: 5 am on the terrace of the dorms, pacing back and forth, and trying to come up with a good enough reason for why exactly a man in his red underwear is standing in front of the children’s room.  Few minutes later, excitedly typing.  An hour later, 1500 words churned out and proofread.

There is really no feeling that compares to the satisfaction and relief you feel after you’ve finished a piece of writing.  Before you start, you’re mostly hopeful and have some sort of vague idea about what you’ll pen down.  During the process, your anxiety levels rocket up, you’re flailing about, trying to piece together a narrative and feeling a little ridiculous that you have the responsibility of charting out a character’s life when your own is like an emotional war zone. If you’re a nail-biter, you can say goodbye to manicures for at least 3 months.  But after, right after you’ve typed the last letter, your body literally sighs.  It goes a bit lax and the frantic, demonic energy that was fueling you all night long peters out into a puff of smoke, and you feel satiated.  It’s kind of like taking a sip of Coke after you haven’t had it for a while.  Almost, but not really.  Of course, you realize you have to proofread and maybe shift some sentences around, tweak the structure a bit, but that’s a bit like putting blush on.  It’s juts a small, almost frivolous step, an easy-peasy finishing touch to the smokey-eye dewy-skin look you’ve spent the past half an hour trying to create for yourself.

God, I miss that high.

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Ah, the pretension of aspiring authors. I used to roll my eyes at them, and now I crave their company!

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