Why writing is a bitch we can’t help loving.
I love to write. And I adore writers as much as I love the intricate art of writing. I am always in awe of those who play with words beautifully to create a piece of literary marvel that enchants the reader.
But, how appealing and satisfying is it when compared to other art forms? If there was ever a showdown of the different art forms, would writing really stand a chance? Let me tell you why I think it won’t.
Let us start by considering this; every form of art is distinct in the way it connects with its audience. A singer sings and the listeners are wooed. A guitarist runs his fingers deftly on those strings and creates melodies that will either make your head bang with joy or your heart melt with emotions. A dancer twists and turns, jumps and spins on his head, breaks his gait like a droid or hell, even walk backward with the same brisk manner we all learned to walk forward with. But what does a writer do? He just writes. Something seemingly so ordinary that anyone can do. Can his words make you wanna bang your head? Can a prose make you wanna dance? Assuming you’re in the best of your mental state I’ll take No as your answer.
“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.” — Ernest Hemingway.
That’s right. This brutal truth by our favorite writer of all time brings us to our next point. The act of writing demands the most amount of concentration than any other art form. And this can only be possible with isolation. Of course, writers don’t live in the woods away from the metropolitan bustle but they do need solitude. They have to be away from distractions and from noise and from people to focus on the paper. Are the musicians lonely? No, they are either hipsters wandering in search of muse or they are a bunch of artists each holding a different instrument trying to achieve sync by obeying a stick being waved in the air in perfect precision. Who in the world has ever seen a bunch of writers trying to figure out the best way to put a sentence down on a paper? Well, not me.
Now allow me to shamelessly change my stand here. Let me tell you why writers are the most intelligent subspecies of our kind. It is because their imagination is the root of most other art forms. Can’t follow me on that? Think about this. Do you know where Romeo serenaded Juliet for the very first time? No, not in the Broadway or in any theater, or in any of its movie adaptations. It happened, for the very first time, inside of its writer’s head. Where did Harry, for the very first time, ride on his Nimbus 2000? Inside the imagination of a thoughtful lady traveling in a train. These timeless stories and many others were conceived in their minds, incubated through a typewriter and delivered to the world much later, after the painful labor of their writers. And therefore, the clan of writers holds the paramount copyright for almost every story ever told in the world.
No matter how solitary this art is, or how much destitute it might leave us, writing is what keeps us writers going. We, the writers can’t sleep with a story in our minds left untold. We can’t wait to hit the keys and put it down on a paper. For me, this is a love-hate relationship. No matter how much I whine about it, as soon as my mind is infested by a superb write-up idea, I get seduced back to it. Like an old lover, it comes back to ruin whatever complacent was left in my life. And oh! The sabotage is wonderful. I’ll leave you with the perfect closing line from the beloved dirty old man.
“Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain from you your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you, and let it devour your remains.”– Charles Bukowski