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The Curse Of Writing!
written by: Pranjal Srivastava
People can dream of becoming a doctor, engineer, scientist or anything else but one will never dream of becoming a writer. Writing is something that one can never learn. You can learn anything in this world but not writing. It is in-borne, and it stays within you always. If a person writes, then he always knows deep inside his heart that he is nothing but a writer. There is no escape or redemption from writing. Words are the deadliest weapon. It has started wars and I believe it will be the sole reason behind the doom of this world!
No one is a born writer. He is just a reincarnation of some writer of the past. Writing can never be inherited. Art is the shortest path to attain nirvana. Writing is also just another art form, but it takes to the place exactly contrary to Nirvana. It doesn’t give you peace.
Have you ever seen a happy writer?
A happy writer is a myth which is as old as the writing itself. There are only a few souls in the universe who can write. They have just been changing physical forms. You know why? Because no matter how many times they come back and keep on writing, their thoughts never end. I’m pretty sure they want this cycle to end too but that’s the curse of writing. Your thoughts never end, they never let you sleep. Music can be learned, painting can be learned, oratory skills can be acquired but not writing. A writer always knows that he wants nothing but to write all his life. Maybe this realization occurs to some people at an earlier age than others, but it is bound to happen. No matter where you put a writer, he will always be a misfit. His only place is in front of a typewriter.
Humans, by nature, are empathetic and kind beings. You may disagree with me on this but that’s the gospel truth. Some people feel more than others, a little too much but they really understand it and get lost in the nothingness of this world. A writer, on the other hand, first feels something then thinks about it. He is the reason for his own miseries. Emotions are just a feeling for other but it’s a state of mind for them. They analyze everything, immerse themselves into it and leave their peace of mind every time they come out of it. They empathize better than any other and that takes a toll on their own mind. They lack self-compassion. They have everything to give to others but nothing for themselves.
Some people see things more clearly. Writers process places, people, emotions, events etc. more than others. Writers tend to dwell in their miseries than their blessings. Their own mind is their prison. You may look at some of the legend writers of the past: Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, J.D. Salinger, Charles Bukowski and many more. None of them led a happy life. It’s not that they didn’t want to, or they didn’t try to, but it could never work for them. It is a cost which you pay for becoming a writer.
As Hemingway once said, “All you do is sit on a typewriter and bleed”. You see, how fucking sad it is. You become something else and you work hard physically or mentally too sometimes but you never have to confront anything or anyone to produce something. With writing, it’s about introspection. Sometimes your own and sometimes of others. You must open some doors which you have kept locked all your life. You may be scarred for life after that, but you will do it because that’s what makes you write. You can run away from it for some time but not forever.
It’s like selling your own soul to the devils of this world. A writer never writes for himself. He writes because there is nothing else he thinks about. He gets angry, he’ll want to write, he gets sad- write, falls in love- write, drenched in rainfall- write. He must write every goddamn thing because there is nothing in his mind other than that. It is not just an escape for him, but it is everything for him. You can call it an escape, redemption, delusion, misery or anything else. He was born for it only. There are times when a writer fears his own writing. He doesn’t want to think, doesn’t want to write for sure but his own thoughts keep banging against the walls of his own head. He is the slave of his own mind. No matter how much he tries, he can never make a truce with his own mind. It is his only friend and his own worst enemy.
He wants to be normal too, just like everyone else around him, but people bore him. As Bukowski once said, “I don’t hate people. I just feel better when they aren’t around.” A writer keeps finding an escape out of his own prison all his life but never really finds it.
You would have often seen in movies or read in books that writers keep drinking or smoking. They prefer to start drinking early in a day and their night never really ends all their life anyway. They smoke with each breath. I don’t know why but when I write something and take two puffs after it, it is then when I realize the sweetness of this poison. They drink to dive deeper into their thoughts. People drink, dance and go back to their loved ones. Writers drink and they get lost in a world where they meet so many people. Each of that person is basically just yet another thought in their head. They start feeling suffocated. They reach out for help but as always no one is there, and they get hold of cigarettes. They start smoking one after another as if breathing through those death capsules.
When you drink, you can be anyone who you want to be. Sometimes I want to be anyone or everyone except myself. That’s why I want to write every time I’m drunk. I will spill a secret here. Sometimes I am just myself when I am drunk, and people think it’s the alcohol talking. I fool them by being my true self. Bukowski once said, ”So that’s what they wanted: Lies. Beautiful Lies. That’s what they needed. People were fools. It was going to be easy for me.”
It’s like if there is a war out there and I must fight. I must fight for my own redemption. Then I will probably pour myself a drink in one hand, light a cigarette in the other and go in that fight. That’s how I have been fighting all my fights.
Writers are the most unfortunate people of this world. They spend hours of time alone, with their own vulnerable self and come up with few words. Sometimes even that doesn’t happen. No matter how much time you spend thinking, you can’t even produce a single sentence on the paper. It’s just not in your control. It is only when the words want to come out then you can possibly write an entire novel in an hour. Like Virginia Woolf once said, “The most extraordinary thing about writing is that when you’ve struck the right vein, tiredness goes. It must be an effort, thinking wrong.”
Still, writers have nothing to showcase their talent. If someone asks them what they have been doing all night, then there is absolutely nothing which they can answer. A musician can play something, impress people, showcase their talent. A player can show his skills, the painter can show his paintings, the singer can sing but what can a writer do? I mean he can read a passage, but will it ever be enough? I mean given a choice even I will probably choose to listen to some music as it will entertain me. It won’t put any pressure on my head. A writer is helpless when it comes to showcasing talent.
You must have heard that a writer is nothing but his words. This is true but there is a hidden meaning in it which others don’t see. This is one of the biggest fear and truth of a writer’s life. You will find these people alone and miserable mostly. I will explain a few of those reasons. People fall in love with the writers too easily, but they come out of it even quicker. Everyone wants to be a writer’s muse but not his mate. Everyone wants him to write about them, share his thoughts and talk about everything but himself. When a writer falls in love with someone, he feels too deeply. He is in it with all his sheer madness. It is one’s sheer madness which makes one a writer. He will write about it, talk about it and drown himself in that feeling. It attracts people in the starting strongly. But when the days pass and the person behind his words starts appearing a little bit then the other person starts getting scared. No one wants to get inside the head of a writer. It’s fucking scary. It is one of the most haunting places I’ve ever been to. I don’t even blame them. Each of us wants to save ourselves.
Everyone wants to fall in love with a writer at least once. It’s just attractive from a distance. You know someone will write about you, your habits, your beauty. What else can be more precious than this? Nothing, right. A writer always fears that he is nothing except his words. No one really likes him for the person that he is. He starts believing that people will leave him if they ever get to know the real overthinking, despondent, scared person behind those liberating words. As if there is no identity of him as a human being, he is just a cover of that book which no one is interested in!
Everyone wants to have an extraordinary love story in this world. No one wants to settle down for normal, ordinary life. The truth is that people only say that but don’t follow it. They are fucking hypocrites. No one wants to get their hands dirty. A writer is never easy. He has the power of loving someone more than anyone else, but he is also capable of ruining anyone’s life because he has an unsettling mind. There are times when he can’t even explain his mood or behavior. He can be rude, really rude and he may not even know why. People will give them grief all the time because they are crazy. They are the crazy, motherfucking geniuses who were born to be unhappy. Everyone loves to read what they write but no one wants to be with them in those nights when they shake with fear, when they drink their miseries away, pass out on their beloved typewriters, cry their heart out, overthink even the simplest things and blame themselves for everything wrong with this world. Everyone wants to read what those hands write but no one wants to hold those hands in the time of darkness. They leave them either by saying that they are psychopaths or by saying that they are not worth of writer’s words. Parting is meant to happen. I mean come on, it is a win-win situation for people, right? They can be with someone else then and be happy that they finally have stability, peace, and monotony in their life. With writers, it’s just one heck of a ride all the fucking time!
There are uncanny resemblances between a writer and whiskey. People love them but occasionally. Both grow on you and you will not even know. Some amount of them will give you a clear perspective but more of them is toxic and makes you despicable. Both give you high and are addictive. They own the people and places easily, but no one likes to own them for too long. They are dark, addictive and disliked by society. Writers are like the cuss words of this world.
People fall in love with them too early and then later regret it because there is a big tradeoff. Everyone in a writer’s life is temporary, sometimes even his own family. People call them dramatic and attention seekers because of the random things they keep on saying to people. Like J.D. Salinger once said, “don’t tell anyone anything because if you do then you’ll start missing everyone”. I mean, seriously? What a fucking genius! But the notion is exactly against the norms of this world. Humans are expected to share things. People called him crazy too!
As I was saying, no one wants to be with a writer for a long time. People don’t get bored because writers are goddamn interesting creatures, but they start fearing them, their chaotic mind and their unexpected behavior. They leave them and choose ordinary people because they want a normal life with regular dreams. They start trembling with fear when they understand the tradeoff. A writer is not an easy person to be with. I mean he will do everything for you without even expecting anything in return but there is something strongly unlikeable about them. Even I don’t know what it is, but I have seen people leaving me alone and be happy about it because for them it was too much to take at one time. With normal people, you can probably see the thunderstorms coming but it’s almost raining all the time with a writer. Writers get tired of themselves often. By often I mean every single day. Everyone wants them to talk or write about things, but no one wants to sit with them through those silent nights. No one, absolutely no one!
People keep on giving advice to them about how they should bring peace to themselves first and then think about others. But they don’t know that they already tried and failed at it miserably, multiple times! Writers know what it feels to be clueless, restless and helpless. That’s why they never fail to empathize with others.
A writer is like the wind. Have you ever seen wind? No, right. It is nothing but everything which it carries. Ever seen anything constant when the wind blows? Dust, grass, pollen everything just becomes a part of it for some distance, but they settle down after a distance. Everything will be impacted by the wind but not permanently. At the end of the day, it is nothing but an invisible power which can shake the world, but it is alone. People like the wind for some time of the day but after a while, they want a bright, sunny sky. The wind has its own purpose which no one will ever know!
A writer’s words may save an uncountable number of people, but no one will ever come to save him. That’s the most horrible curse of writing!
I love to write. Though I don't really share it. This is the first platform where I am sharing my write-ups. Writing is rare and it should be preserved at all cost!