reading · writing

Another Letter (To Myself?)

My Dear,

I hope you are doing well. I am writing this letter because I have such strange desires in my heart today. I do not know how to share them! I don’t want to write a single word without carefully weighing it anymore. I am searching for thoughts now. I am reaching out into the universe with my entire soul concentrated on tapping that unreleased creative energy which lies latent just underneath my life’s outer skin. I want to be a writer someday! It’s been my dream since I was a little girl. More importantly, however, I kept thinking I would wait for a time when I have gathered enough experience to have the most meaningful things to write about. Today I am filled with a horrific doubt for the first time. This is something I have heard before but never imagined possible: What if everything that needs to be said has already been said? And anything else I do or say is just a reflection of something already out there? This means a skeptic who reads something I write could easily say, ‘Well, so what is new in that? This shit has already been said before, since eternity.’

Maybe this thought is a sign that I am growing up. Grown-ups have doubts and fears. One of the main characters in a movie I recently watched states it, ‘What if I have already experienced every feeling I ever will and everything from here on out is just a repetition of those?’ It could be true. As we grow older, life seems to speed up. I thought this was a recent phenomenon, owing to the speed our lives have gained due to the effects of technology. To a certain extent it is, of course. So much of what we do is confined on the internet that we harness swiftness as our eyes and fingers move over the screen and keyboard and our mind briskly processes information. But the other angle is that as we grow older and know ourselves better, we gauge our own reactions and the turmoils of our teenage agony fades away.

Until a few month ago, I would have given anything to replace that pain with stability. So I chose to do just that. Over the course of half a year (or maybe it started unconsciously long before that), I re-created the bricks upon which I began to build myself anew. Pains are still fresh enough in my mind for me to not want to go down that road. But I imagine ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty years of this. And that makes me want to go insane! My mind is already searching for something new. Which is why the same sort of books and movies representing the same emotions are no longer enough. I need to feel something different in the things other people have created. And in the things I create myself.

I extended this argument further in my head as I typed the above paragraphs. I got to the root of my problem: this was something else that was burning inside me in the recent weeks. I watch everyone getting married and starting a family. I know, inevitably, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow morning, one day I will get married and have (or try to have) children. But…then what? I know it is what everyone is doing and that seems to make it lose some of its value. This isn’t because these things aren’t beautiful or worth having (because of course they are). Nor is it because I want them, someday in the distant future. But because this is the standard society is holding over my head and that alone makes me feel like a clown.

That is why I have started to think of writing as my one single saving grace. Words hold a strange power over me. They distort my reality but I love them more for that. I want my experiences to be translated into words because nothing else is enough. I don’t think I knew how powerful words were in my life! There was a whole year where I barely wrote anything but the flimsiest excuses of prose that could possible exist. Somewhere along the road, I found those words again and now I want to lean on them again. But how! It takes finesse to create something wonderful. I want my words to be more than just random letters laid on sheets of paper! People tell me I am a good writer but I value the opinion of those who point out my flaws more than those who say how formidable, effortlessly talented my writing really is. It isn’t! I know that. They might not. So I want to see the my writing reflected in the eyes of readers who know what they see when they see it.

There are three ways to begin as soon as I possibly can: One, of course, is to have a journal again. Much as I adore this blog with all my heart, the content I put out here should be slightly more thought-over than it currently is. A post of this sort is useful once in a while but I should be able to do more of this writing in a journal. I love pretending to be writing letters. Of course, I created a “Kitty” of my own in my old journal and for some pointless reason, I called her ‘Lucy’. I no longer want that, of course. I want a journal where I can stick to the format of letters but they should reflect my growth over this period of time.

The other inspired solution owes itself to the reading of The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. I adored the harsh standards to which Sylvia Plath held herself as a poet and author. She berated every sentence she created. This has never been my style. I’ve been in the habit of pouring out the insanity of the minute and then watching it spread slowly over my consciousness until the meanings pop out. There are times when I am ‘inspired’ by something beyond the ordinary. Posts like ‘My Unborn- A Letter’ are a testimony to that. But most other posts are tiny sparks that I convert into something more. I do not do it painstakingly and I do allow myself mistakes- lots of them. I want however, to capture tiny moments and learn from exercises that actually show a pattern of evolution. For that, I must learn to capture the essence of descriptions- people, places, emotions and more. There are numerous ways to do this and I want to start trying. This needn’t be a daily exercise but as frequent as I want. After all, I did keep a diary for eight years. I should know how to channelize myself better.

The third, of course, is to keep reading. In 2013, I read 30 of the 50 book target I set for myself. This year I managed 32. I don’t mind the count. Having enjoyed reading books such as ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich’ and ‘The Brothers Karamazov’, which were long and challenging, I feel satisfied with my numbers. But this year I ended up reading a lot of books I wished I hadn’t! If I give myself a good 60 years more to read books and pretend to be able to manage a book a week (which means 52 books a year), I’d only have read 3120 books by the time I die. That is nothing compared to the books that are out there, begging to be read! And of course, I cannot and do not want to read 52 books a year because that would mean I raced through them without stopping to smell the roses. Also, life would get so hectic soon that I wouldn’t be able to manage even 30 books, unless I’m in every weekend (which is quite plausible, but let’s pretend it isn’t).  And that would be utterly pointless. So I need to concentrate on reading better books which make me feel like I achieved something. I must be careful of what I pick up because once I start a book, I cannot leave it midway. So I should be more careful about my reading choices than I have been.

This could be a ‘Resolution’ post to the future me. Now that I am nearing the end of it, I think that is what it has grown into. I do not like keeping resolutions per se but giving this post that label helps justify having it out on my blog. I need to buy a journal that suits my needs. If anyone who is reading this has any tangible suggestions on that front, I’d be happy to receive them.

As 2014 draws to a close, I am forced to think in a backwards direction. I cannot help it. 2014 was more stable than I might have hoped. Every year keeps getting more so. What sort of a creature am I, to want more! Stability was what I wanted and now I want to be swept off my feet! But please, life, do not take this as an invitation to swing out into a tangent direction! Instead, curve slowly towards something new and interesting. And teach me the art of mastering my emotions without losing them, so I can use them to play by my strengths!

Wow. I really must be growing up, in order to be able to give myself such mature advice.




2 thoughts on “Another Letter (To Myself?)

  1. Hey Snigdha,
    A). The only way to get recognized is doing things differently.
    B). Your absolutely right about “pointing out the flaws”. People after reading stuff generally say it’s good,well written etc.. but if they actually let us know what they liked n disliked.. it will help a writer to get to know where he/she is going wrong and takes it positively to improve.
    C). 3120 books.. that’s really a huge number. :D. Reading good books also play a major role in shaping our ideas while we write:)).
    You really have that in you to become a writer.I love your post called “why we are called poets”.:)
    Wish you best of luck!!

    1. Thanks for taking out the time to give me your advice. Yes I agree that being different could help. Sometimes I feel I’m waiting for perfection in my writing, though. And I wish I could find a way to break through that.
      All the best to you too

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s