Category Archives: Writing Discussion

In defense of purposeless writing

I have been wondering, like many a scattered soul on the blogosphere, about what it might mean to write aimlessly. By aimlessly I mean to write without a specific purpose such as to sell, to build a resume, to add to a larger work, or to vent.

When I browse posts in an unfiltered sort of way, without any express purpose as a reader, my idle meanderings make me speculate on a purpose (or perhaps the purpose) that writing serves in our lives.
Continue reading In defense of purposeless writing

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How to fail better at writing (Part 1)

A few scenarios of failure

English: Algernon Charles Swinburne. A true po...Rupa is sixteen years old. Rupa has a lot of passion for life. Rupa thinks she is a writer. Rupa keeps a pocket book handy at all times in case her inspirations escape from the leaky recesses of her brain and she fails to catch them in flight.

So Rupa has been scribbling for a while, mostly about love, passion, roses. At social gatherings, her parents often urge her to read out her poetry. It’s probably her imagination but she’s been noticing a lot of people heading towards the food or feeling suddenly thirsty the moment her parents mention her most recent inspired moments. Continue reading How to fail better at writing (Part 1)

Characters from the inside of your head

A while ago I was trying to dream up a story. In the story, my young hero’s sister has an arranged marriage and moves to the United States from India. I could dream up the humdrum of the colourful wedding, of the bridal finery, of the perspective of the female protagonist’s reaction to the whole cacophonous affair. But as my mind travelled to the inside of this sister’s head, I drew a blank.

What was going through our sister’s head moving to a new country with a strange man? Did she feel powerless not being able to be the engine of her own destiny? Did she feel empowered by the social status that a good groom and a good marriage bestowed on her? Did she feel lost? Did she feel regret at not having pursued her studies or training further on her own? What would she do now? Continue reading Characters from the inside of your head

On learning writing from social media

The medium

Social media has been around for some time now. It’s brought many changes in the way we inhabit our social world, in the way we communicate with others, on what being a friend means and on how we get back in touch with people. We find out about what’s going on in people’s lives on a regular basis without actually knowing them much on these platforms.

How do we manage to do this? Continue reading On learning writing from social media

The Man who would Write

The morning was bright. Birds were singing in the solitary tree jutting out of the concrete next to his mezzanine floor apartment. Children were playing happily on the slides and monkey bars on the small patch of cemented park-like space in between his building and the next.

The man was absolutely determined as he got out of bed. This morning he would write. Nothing could stop him from writing. Continue reading The Man who would Write

Telling Stories (Part 1: The Confusions)

How is it that you tell a story?
What stories do you tell? What stories get left behind?
A myriad questions come to mind when I try to think of a story. Or stories. To tell.
Ultimately, I stand befuddled in tongue-tied confusion. Wanting to tell all and able to tell none.
All those stories in my head.
Recently, I’ve been able to figure out why. It all dawned on me in a single moment.

A woman thinking

I’m getting out of the train at the World Trade Center PATH station. It’s waves of people rushing out the doors stepping out with me meeting waves of faces waiting to get in. It’s waves of arms, legs, backpacks, boots, elbows, yellow caution lines and discarded metro cards on the floor (being trampled on incessantly by boots), a confusion of emergency phones on pillars, maps and defibrillator boxes all rushing at me in the crowd as I move forward.

Then, the feeling of moving up flights of steps and ramps and wide concourses, rising with the tide of people all the while saving my feet and elbows from getting jammed against suitcases on wheels and pointy heels and sharp corners of cardboard boxes. Finally the lightness of being deposited like a cork with the tide at the turnstiles.

Then moving up, and up, and up on the great escalators towards the surface from the bowels of the earth.

It’s then, when I’m very high above the turnstile level that something happens to me and I turn back. Always. Continue reading Telling Stories (Part 1: The Confusions)

On Writing and Complexity (Part 1)

Doodle Animal
Photo credit: neonbubble

I had the good fortune one of these days to help a friend edit his dating profile. He is a good looking, normal enough, fairly interesting guy but this is what he had as his killer writeup. He was sure that the following would have droves of women impressed:

I am a goal oriented, driven, optimistic, hard working, funny individual. I like hiking, biking, travelling and reading. Favourite book: Life of Pi.

Now, when he told me his favourite book was Life of Pi, I could not deny it. I had seen a copy of the same on his bookshelf in his living room. The goal orientedness probably came from the objective statement of his scintillating resume. As for the rest, well, he did have a sense of humour. When people laughed at his jokes.
Continue reading On Writing and Complexity (Part 1)

The Writer (Part 1)

In my wanderings through various cities and university towns, I encountered a strange creature called the writer (and its close cousin, the critic). I was told that it is an endangered species. The world does not need it much any more having advanced to higher levels of the human condition thanks to the blessings of technological advancement.

Now  that the governments of the world are  only nurturing  STEM’s– Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics–to pave the way to the future, no one quite knows what to do with these writers–these fruits of  civilization.

Peeled, whole, and longitudinal section
Peeled, whole, and longitudinal section (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Continue reading The Writer (Part 1)