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Writing, of course! Right? But…

Why do I write? There is no simple answer to that. I write because I love it; because it gives me a contentment I never imagined; because it is therapeutic for me. If I am happy, my joy multiplies by writing about it; if I am sorrowful, I find solace in writing. When I write, I may not be writing about the sorrow in the current time, but just putting down few meaningful words on a document makes me feel sane and makes me forget the pain.

We have always heard that love makes you lose sleep and appetite; writing does the same for me. If I feel like writing, I can start at 12 in the night, even after a long and tiring day; and I have to force myself to stop and get some sleep since there will be another tiring day to face. When I write, there is no hunger and no sense of time or place. Writing is another world for me, a world where I can control my negative emotions and generate more positivity.

As you day-dream in love, I dream about writing. I dream about a day when I could get up in the morning and just start writing, and continue till I feel like, without bothering about job, home, food, anything. My ideal day would begin writing while sitting under a tree, surrounded by a beautiful garden and a waterfall in the background. I crave for the freedom to pickup the pen and paper (or laptop) anytime a story idea struck me. I fantasize about the ability to go into the fiction world whenever and wherever I wished. I guess I am just in love with writing. And good thing about this love affair is that I am probably never gonna be at the stage of familiarity and boredom…there is so much to learn, to evolve, as a writer. This is just the beginning, for something which will never end since I will never stop learning as a writer.

Most of the time, while I am doing the household tasks, I enter into my fantasy world and start thinking about story ideas and plots. Most of those never make it to the paper. They just keep developing in my mind and stay there. Some are even lost. There are others which reach to the point of getting acknowledged in the form of a Word doc, but just lay there unfinished and unattended. But I write them because I know I will use them sometime in the future; even if I don’t, they help me in finding new ones and they serve as a practice for something I want to write about.

And most of the times, those stories that never make it to end or sharing with others, were actually not meant to be for that purpose. My stories give me a sense of relaxation which people usually find when they share with the closest of friends or with a therapist. I have my own counselor, always with me. I never need to take an appointment, I do not bother about the time limit, and I don’t have to care about the fees 😉 I have a very fulfilling relationship with writing.

Long back, when I wrote very rarely, I found the same fulfillment in reading. Sometimes, when I had nothing to read and I needed some therapy, I would read even my course books! Sometimes, I used to wonder if I was crazy, living in a fantasy world and finding contentment sharing with books, rather than with people. But it turned out well in the end. And I am still a lover of books, though my preference has changed a lot over the years and I no longer read any academic books to feel better 😉 Though I still read my daughter’s coursebooks sometimes, curious about what they teach now and how it is different. Though I prefer reading in English, I do love Hindi books as well, especially stories by Premchand. I am a true lover!

But now, I have two loves…writing joined the race long back, when I was just 10…but it was a close second always. Now, I cannot differentiate. So here I am, the lucky one, who found love, not once but twice. A love affair that never goes stale, partners that never become boring, activities that never become routine…and love that is different and better every day!

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…in every field of work to make success happen is – to do what you love to do! The one secret ingredient is – love!

I have read many many books, blogs, articles, stories about how some one succeeded, what worked for them etc. I appreciate these people sharing the tips with the rest of us (of course, the lucky ones make success and money, even from sharing stuff!). But the underlying message everywhere is the same – do what you love to do. Or to say the reverse, I am yet to find anyone who succeeded doing something they didn’t love to do. And I am not talking about having a decent job and some money and a good existence. I am talking about the success as in being happy about yourself and your life every single day, if not in every single moment.

If you think about it, most of us who are not struggling with major health, financial or personal issues, are successful. If you compare, you will find that there are many people who have much less than you. But I am not talking about that. I am talking about living your ideal day – every day. For example, I would want my day to start with writing and coffee! I picture myself engrossed in writing in the early hours of morning, congratulating myself for writing about 200-300 words before the start of the day, when my little angels come rushing to me, kiss me good morning while my husband smiles at me and asks how long I have been up. This is the start of my ideal day and the other part has many such moments. That is what success means to me.

What does success mean to you? I am really happy for you if you are one of those few people who are really content with what they have and are capable of living their whole life being satisfied at all levels – health, emotional, financial etc. I would love to learn from you. But if you are like the less content ones like me, who want more from their life than what they have, here is the mantra. I repeat – just do what you love! Everything else will fall into place – you will find opportunity (or opportunities), you will get lucky, you will deal with the obstacles, you will learn to stand up for your dreams, you will be alive! Just put lots of love into your dream, and go for it.

One of my favorite quotes: “I’m going to succeed because I think I’m crazy enough to think I can.”

If you are trying to be a writer, along with a home maker, full-time working woman…it is got to be tough! But you have the passion, and you love writing…you are ready to make sacrifices – you can sacrifice sleep, your favorite TV show, your moments of rest, then you probably have enough opportunities to steal the time from the day. All you have to do is just lookout for the short moments of being alone. Then, grab them, and turn them into your moments of ‘writer time’.

Let’s say you start early like me. As soon as you are awake, switch on the ‘writer mode’ and while you finish the household chores, try to do the thinking part of your writing piece. Of course, you have to listen whole heartedly to the children; so when you need to, keep a book mark at the thought in that moment, and switch off the writer mode. I do it all the time. I can always go back to the same thought once again, start imagining the story exactly from where I left. This requires some practice, but as far as I know, if you let your thoughts wander away, you will only gain as a writer 🙂 Let the mind wander, just keep visualizing the work at hand and you will be fine. I have sometimes imagined the most impressive line/dialog or even the ending in this manner.

Then, when you have to commute to the office for longer than 10 minutes and you do not drive yourself, take out your laptop and start writing, whatever you had thought throughout the morning. If you do not have a laptop, pen down the words on a paper. I always try to keep a notepad with me, so that I do not miss an idea. I realized this the hard way! I understand, it will be a task to transfer the writing piece to laptop/PC later, but that would be less time-consuming if you have already composed. Also, while copying the work to PC/laptop, you could actually review it! When you are done, you will have the proof-read draft version and will not need to visit it again with the intent of correcting small mistakes! It is time-saving after all! I remember writing a story on the way to an interview, a poem on the way to visit someone. It is fun! If suppose you do not even have a piece of paper, just take anything writable (back of an ATM slip, tissue paper, even your palm) and note down one or two words that would preserve your idea and you can develop it later. This is one way of ensuring you do not have to bump your head to remember what it was that you wanted to write and losing the idea forever. Many writers will tell you that they have lost some wonderful ideas by not writing them down immediately. And with my experience I know that how much ever you scratch your head later on, sometimes, you cannot remember!

Sometimes, it might happen that however hard you try, you cannot do anything creative on the way. Well, I mostly force myself saying I have to do it since otherwise, I am not serious enough about my writing. Sometimes, nothing works, and then, I use that time to finish some task pending task from work and then, use the scheduled time for the latter  to write. And sometimes, I use the commute time to just relax, observe my surroundings and let my mind wander.

There was a time when I used to think I would either write the whole thing in one go or wouldn’t do it. I would sit down to write only when I had enough time to finish it. That was when I used to write poetry…and I thought a poem couldn’t be composed if you lose the flow. Well, I realized because of this habit, I ended up not writing many things I thought of. Hence, I changed my habit. But old habits die hard. Many a times, when I sit down to write something just before going to sleep and I tell myself I will write only for 40 minutes since I need to wake up early, I hardly stick to the time limit. When I finally switch off my laptop, it is many times over 90 minutes! So, I end up losing my sleep and bear the consequences the next day. But in the end, it is worth it. I feel productive.

There is another way I steal some time from my day. We all have those moments when you are preparing for a meeting and you realize that you are done and still there are 10 more minutes before the meeting begins. Steal those 10 minutes to write even a couple of lines, or use them to read through what you intended to read for the purpose of reviewing. Though it is not much you will achieve within just 10 minutes, but think how those minutes will accumulate into hours over a time period!

Then, there are those times when you are cooking and you are waiting for the curry to cook and you need not do anything in those 15 minutes, well, write! Or when you are watching your favorite show or movie on TV, you can use the breaks, which are mostly unproductive, to write. Perhaps you do not have enough time to write on the laptop, then write on a paper. Again, think of the cumulative effect of those few minutes you steal from your day on a regular basis.

So as many writers must have said it before, I am going to repeat. Writing is a hobby and you write because you love writing, but you are not writing for the purpose of not getting read. In fact, every writer writes for getting read. In order to achieve that, you need to finish the task – a blog post, an article, a story, an essay…it needs to be complete before anyone can read it. To complete it in one go is not possible, even with a short post/story. And you might not have enough time daily in your routine to fix a schedule of work for yourself. However, you can steal time – little bit every day and still get the work done. Don’t we finish our office deadlines? Today, I got up 40 minutes later than my usual time and I still managed to send the kids to school at the same time! I am sure we all have had such days, but we still manage to make sure that we stick to our time lines for all the regular tasks, so why not for your writing? Try making a habit and stick to it most of the time. When you are able to accomplish even a single task, you will be motivated to practice this more.

But there is one thing about stealing the time – you should not define any rules for it. You cannot tell yourself that everyday at such and such time, I will write for 10 minutes. It is good if you can stick to the rule, but with stealing, there is always an unpredictability associated with it. Hence, it might frustrate you if you try to make any rules around it. It is better to just find some time any time of the day. That way, the zeal also remains intact; routine can be boring. You need to be flexible enough to understand and identify the days when you are more motivated and utilize them to maximum while the days when you don’t feel like writing, you could use to relax or read or research.

This technique of stealing is not only for writing, you could use it for so many other things in your every day routine. Try it for a week and see how much you gain out of it…

Your thoughts?

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Read the review Love No More (Love, It Is!)

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