What Being a Writer Feels Like?
Every single article you will ever read about writers is by people who are writing about writers with the simple error of not writing about the most important thing. The process of writing. Truth is, writers are extremely difficult to define without the context of writing to give their existence a holistic comprehension.
Contrary to popular belief, writers DO NOT do/feel/think like this:
1. We don’t see life as a book. Maybe as a funny one liner. Maybe as a chapter. At best. Definitely not a book. No writer will ever see a lifetime encompassed in one single book. That’s a job for biographers not writers. Writers can see thousands of books in one memory. They can see hundreds of novels in one year of their own life.
2. We don’t see life as a movie. More like a TV series maybe. But mostly not. No scene. No direction. Not even a very substantial desire to direct. Mostly, writers see their own lives as just that. Lives to live. Beyond a normal human desire to have things go your way, much like any person who may never have read books outside their school/college curriculum, we don’t desire to reframe/rewrite our own lives. Interference, any interference, even internal is disastrous to writing. Ask any writer who gave up writing in middle of a five digit word count just cause a text ruined the mood. We don’t seek story book endings or characters who do our will.
3. We don’t see characters wherever we go. This one is very easy to assume because yes, a lot of writers take inspiration from people around them. But not necessarily. A writer is first and foremost the most aloof person usually in the room. He/she does not wishes to suddenly mold a real human life into a caricature to fit their plotline. That’s bad writing. That’s good editing, maybe. But the truth is, most writers see people. Interesting people. Boring people. Annoying people. Then they go to their writing desk/bed/bathroom/cafe and start wondering what if this character in the book which they have been thinking about would have this quality like that interesting/boring/annoying person had. How similar, how different?
4. Writers love cafes because of people watching/free wifi/free electricity/coffee. Some writers do. Some do not. Ask a writer why he prefers a cafe. If they shrug and say they just do, good. If they give 23 elaborate reasons all pertaining to how a cafe is a conducive environment to gain stimuli and write, that’s a rehearsed speech that they’ve been dying to give ever since you saw them at that fancy cafe three weeks ago. Writers only give shit about one thing. Writing. And 80% of writing happens in head, not in cafes, not on writing desks, not in lofts.
5. Writing is about sitting down and putting words on paper. Absolutely fucking not. This is not architecture. This is not coding. This is writing. Words, word count, pages, places, they don’t matter for shit if a writer cannot even think. Almost entire writing happens in either of the two ways: a) you’ve been thinking about something for any amount of time, progressing from point A to point B to point C or b) you sit down and make it up as you go. But neither of them is about sitting down methodically to write. Writers do their work when they’re shitting or fucking or walking or smoking or eating or sleeping or losing sleep. What do you when you sit on that computer and start filling up page after page is called typing and there is a reason why it has a separate term for it.
This entire text is a result of my annoyance and frustration with websites such as a Buzzfeed, Thought Catalog and the likes that are filled with psuedo-definitions of every bullshit excuse people use to be termed or introduce themselves as writers. And yes, it has been bubbling in me for a long time. And yes it’s a rant.
You wanna know what being a writer feels like? Quit reading shit articles like this one and start writing and find out for yourself.