Why Writing habit is difficult to cultivate
And thoughts on time
Like hundred times before, I resolve to write every day from today.
I woke up early, got fresh and bathed. Cleaned the room. Had lightest of the breakfasts. And then when I could find no other chore as an excuse to delay the work of writing, I took out my notebook and pen, plopped on the chair and started writing.
It had been a long gap this time. Since I wrote regularly the last time. So writing felt like drudgery. Hard like breaking stones. Clumsy like the first time you have sex. I cursed myself for not being able to give time to writing. Which I so want to do. And then, life isn’t helping either
With all the work breathing down on my neck like a dragon, a loving girlfriend with whom I want to spend as much time as possible, a paper-thin willpower that often melted with the first sign of any temptation, I always lose track of writing.
And the weather these days in Pune isn’t making it any easier. With a comfortable November sitting between a long humid monsoon and a winter which is still a month away, it became even harder to get my butt on a chair and do some serious writing.
What is even more frustrating is that the ingredients to generate good writing are extremely simple to know. The Writing Habit is not a mystery to anybody into serious writing. They are as simple to state as the three laws of Newton.
First, find a space of your own where solitude is your only companion. No distraction of any kind. Second, let your thoughts go freely. Write anything and everything that comes to your mind. Editing and finishing should come later. And third, repeat this day after day. Come what may. And the good writing will come.
Still, in spite of knowing the success formula, almost all of us fail to follow suit. There is something really difficult in doing the simplest of the things. To religiously follow. To do this day in and day out. To follow a routine. And become better at anything that we want to get or become.
But maybe this is life. To live this eternal struggle between what we ought to be doing, and that we finally end up doing. To waste time and then resolve to not do it. To keep on trying, again and again, to become better. Become better at managing ourselves. And more importantly become better at managing the most precious asset out there — time.
Time is as mysterious as it is common. We know about time since the moment we first learned to read clocks. But we hardly know about it. This ever-existing concept that has no physical substance but has a tremendous impact on everything out there. Scientists are still trying to figure out time.
Earlier considered to be eternal, it is now known that time has a beginning. It started with a big bang. A cosmic event of epic proportions that triggered a series of actions that led to the formation of stars and planets and life as we know it today. Before that time just didn’t exist as we know it. Physicists call it a singularity. Before that there is a black curtain of which we can’t even fathom what existed.
Imagine, a world without time, How it would pan out. Everything is here, right now, present lurking forever. Nothing ages. Nothing gets extinct. Everything just stays as it is. Life — if it can exist in such continuum exists in a series of snapshot. An array of cards, through which we can flip in and out. Cause and effect have no meaning. We can fall before we walk. We can witness our birth and death in any order. Nothing makes sense. Nothing exists.
This and many other mysteries are just the tip of the iceberg. We have barely scratched the surface. In future, it is possible that we master time. Procreation stops. Because we don’t age. A handful of people living the way they want. And like Hermoine Granger of Harry potter, we could use a time turner to do everything we ever wanted. Living every one of our ambitions. Each one of our fantasies.
But this is far into the future.
Until then, time goes on like forever. Each unit marching on in perfect successions. A vast scaffold of time stretching evenly for everyone. And we are born with a beginning and an end — and in between, lies the blank pages on which we are destined to write the stories of our lives. Eighty summers and eighty winters. Before we pass on the baton to the next generation. To repeat the stories. In their own way.