Sunday, October 31, 2010

On Writing

Via Kuku's blog I found a site called Since She Left, and in one of the posts the blog owner answered a question from a reader as below:

What aspect of writing do you enjoy the most?

Do you want an honest to god answer? The attention writing something good brings. Because sitting still for hours isn’t fun. Looking out a window on a beautiful day isn’t fun. Typing for hours isn’t fun. Listening to boring music that’s stimulating yet not distracting isn’t fun. Fact checking isn’t fun. Only completion is fun. Of course the hard work is its own reward, but even sometimes the process of getting something that’s weighing on your soul out, and down isn’t enough. It’s always for the attention. Writing isn’t like other forms of art, like painting. You can take two seconds and look at a painting. But if you want to read 1,000 words on friendship and a night out drinking you have to really invest yourself to read that. It’s time consuming, you have to agree to give me your attention. 

Writers, or the ones I know are lonely people, myself included. It happens when you spend the majority of your time alone reading and typing. So when you complete something that you like and others like it it’s really nice to be the center of attention, even if it’s for a brief period of time. You sit up, take a breath, smile at yourself and put your head down and keep typing.

I guess that pretty much said it for me.I am a person who likes my privacy and spend most of my time with my nose buried in books, or typing some nonsense most of which never see the light of day. But when I decide to publish something, I must admit it's all for the attention. The attention you give me, to my writing, the time you spend here reading my posts, it's all about me stealing your time. Each and every one of us, no matter how much we dislike being in the public eye, we all enjoy being praised for our work. There is a certain satisfaction, a smugness which fills you up and blows you away. It's better than money or other material things. It stays with you forever.

Praise is the greatest motivator, the greatest inspiration. But in the same way, a single negative comment can completely wash away all the praise and commendation that was heaped on you. I think it's very important to know how to balance the good with the bad, how to receive the criticisms in a positive way and learn something out of it. But most of all, we should never stop writing, if not for others' at least for our own pleasure.


  1. Thanks for triggering the answer to my questions as to why people write what they write. What I can't 'digest' though is here in Mizoram people write a lot of 'rubbish' but expects you to buy them through various coercive methods like selling through the YMA, KTP ,MUP etc etc.If you don't buy them you are if not outwardly but at least mentally labelled a mean person.

  2. daniel - Sometimes the actual process of writing is fun. It's not always boring. When you write and ideas and words come out of nowhere, it's fun.

    I can understand how you feel. We are expected to do what everyone else is doing, and if it's something done in the name of religion or community, Lord help you if decide to go in the opposite direction.

  3. Although im not much of a writer or even a dedicated blogger / "blog surfer".. totally agree with your thoughts up there..and it's especially nice when i see someone totally unknown and who doesnt even blog personally takes the time to drop in a comment..

  4. With respect to writing, I get inspiration from the inner music the words make rather than on the content!

  5. Blind Dayze - I agree. When you see a new comment and it's from a first time commenter it makes you feel so good, so secretly proud of yourself.

    Maisek - Wow.. inner music the words make.. that is really deep, and you are really fortunate to be able to understand that kind of music.