Friday 18 November 2011

The Private World of a Writer...

Family, friends, entourage simply don't understand the private world of a Writer, unless they happen to be writers themselves - which is not applicable in my case.

One common trait among Writers - good or bad, famous or not, regardless of their subject matter, what they write about -- is the need for two vital things in ample amounts - Time and Space.
These two elements go together. When you own your time you also own your space and vice versa.

What people don't understand about writers is that writers write even they are not actually writing. Writers are always writing in their heads. Always? Yes always. Well at least I know this is true for me.

Hence, constant demands made upon me by the entourage for time and availability are not felt just like a burden, a chore, but literally like a prison.

And that is why, every writer, in the acknowledgement section of his book starts with... "my deep gratitude goes to my wife, for bearing with me and her support while this work was being done " - or something to that effect.

Most of the time it's a bullshit acknowledgement because nine times out of ten the wife probably nagged the writer to death about not spending enough time with family and friends. And am sure the writer must have held his own grounds to own time and space not without much conflict from the entourage.

The other thing is when you have to fight for your time and space, the energy that needs to go into writing goes into making, carving, sometimes by force - time and space. Again I know this is true for me.

When I write I can't tolerate any interference from the outside world - be it social demands, requests, obligations, phone calls, messages and the rest...When I am in the writing mood, even if am not actually writing anything - I absolutely need that vital space -- where I can gestate, process, digest, material and ideas until delivery time. Sometimes the process can take a few hours, sometimes a day, sometimes an extended period of time. This is simply how it is.

This is a small part of the private world of a writer...there is more of course, especially when it comes to private and intimate relationships and the other is literally harassing you with demands for attention - almost always the other is no writer and at times not even a reader. So you opt for the desert - well I do. I say to myself the desert is more conducive to conceiving than this relationship that is sapping my own being, my life juices...This is also a problem with being a female writer. With a male writer - the other "understands" or tries to understand, with a female writer, the other (who happens to be a man - in my case) can't understand or refuses to understand because the male ego imperiously requests constant attention. It is a tricky situation, to say the least.

The private world of a writer is a difficult one. If you opt to write, then ties must be severed even if temporarily but then how to renew them once the work is done? What do you say - sorry I was not in the mood to connect with you, I have this piece going on in my mind ? And how many times can you give the proverbial excuse - am sorry, I was very busy. And it is true - the writer is always very busy in his head. He is always occupied with something or the other - a character, a situation, a plot, an analysis, an insight, a revelation...

The private world of a writer is always in the becoming, always unfolding, always expanding, always changing....and sometimes even without him being aware of it.

Now you understand how difficult it is to box a writer in, to jail him, to limit him with society's demands - family, friends, social obligations and the rest of the strangulating, choking, stifling expectations and needs of others who are oblivious to their own private world, to the world within.