Monday, July 15, 2013

Your Regular Job

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Regularity in action often turns the act into a habit and the habit is always capable of sustaining itself into time. Great many self-emancipation gurus contempt habit and ask people to move on and do things that are out of their regular rhythm and comfort zones. There is a certain truth about what they say. Especially, for a writer, it will do her great good if she prepares herself to experiment with the daily, the mundane, the spiritual, and the fantastic.
Even writing these words—fantastic and spiritual gives me goose flesh. Such is the power of the fantastic and the spiritual upon human consciousness. But in order to experiment with these out-of-the-ordinary-experiences, a writer must have a strong control over the craft. In this article, I am focusing on nothing else but how to manage this hold on one’s craft.
 It is an art in itself.

In order to hold onto one’s craft, one must be artistic enough to know that it takes the understanding of the rhythm of the art to do this. The rhythm indicates regularity. Regularity is the consistent interaction with a focused intention towards a cause.
Regularity with some intervals in its practice is rhythm.
To write is to follow the rhythm one’s mind allows one to be comfortable at within the premises of the art.
How one follows, one’s cause depends on individuals and also on the craft they follow. For a writer, she should decide the frequency of practicing their art in consideration with what their art wants from them, what time, what attention, what diligence.
In the case of writing, it wants from the artist—everything.
Sustaining frequency is very important in developing style and craft. In order to achieve frequency, a ‘habitualization’ of the craft is crucial. Turned into a habit, the craft of telling stories will accompany the frequency, unaffected by the interventions of the outside world—the nagging family, the demanding wife, the short tempered boss of your day job and a particularly bad day in the coffee house.
But how does one achieve this? How can a habit be useful tool for a writer?
As one can see, in cases of human metabolic activity such as the activation of salivary glands at the sight of food items and the initiation of hunger at the usual lunch time, that habits can leave such tremendous impact upon us. They govern our responses both physically and mentally. Salivary glands in their daily action indicate this very truth. The ejection of saliva is both a physical and mental action. In this manner, if a writer habituates his writing activity, the act as such can flow uninterrupted at the precise time or manner that the writer practices daily. At least, the mental and physical preparedness can precede the real act of writing.
Still, it is a matter of debate whether creativity is time bound or if it could be habitualized.

Perhaps, it is not.
Hemingway said there are no great writers, but only great re-writers. This means, you have a chance if you have a draft, although not much ‘creative’ in its appearance or impact, to think about and depend on in your writing journey. The life of an uncreative story ends in the editor’s waste bin. But for a blank page, there is no life at all.

Anu Lal is the author of the up-coming collection of short stories Wall of Colors and Other Stories. He lives in Kerala, South India. He blogs at The Indian Commentator 
You can catch up with him in Facebook too. 

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