Writing is something that did not happen to me naturally. I had to work hard on it. Took me 10 odd years of consistent rambling on this blog to be able to realize that I could write a book.
In fact this blog helped me realize that I loved writing.
Now, coming to questions, the first question that I get asked is, "Why do I write?"
And my answer is...
I write because I love writing. Its like my fix, its my poison. Its my kick. It makes me happy. There is nothing else that I have been able to discover that allows to get me in the zone, in the flow.
Same zone, same flow that athletes get into when they are performing at their peak. Same zone where yogis get in when they are meditating. Same zone where coders are when they spend nights after nights working on lines and lines of code.
Next question that inevitably is, "Who do you write for?"
Ofcourse I write for myself. Apart from a secret blog that I write for sgMS, for her to read, everything I write is for me.
Not for readers. Not for friends. Not for family, not for strangers, not for anyone else. It's for me.
It has to give me that happiness. It has to please me. Everything is about me when I write.
And no, I am not a narcissist. As yet.
The final question that makes the predicament apparent, "If you write for yourself, why do you want to publish it? Why make it public? Why not keep it hidden in a secret dairy? Why even write a blog?"
I struggle, cringe and sweat. But then more often than not, my answer is:
Because I like the idea that what I write has the ability to go beyond the borders. What I write can spread. What I write can help me meet more people. It can open doors. It can broaden my horizons. Having someone else read what I have written gives me an opportunity to improve my craft. It allows me to get feedback. It's the reality check.
And then I get that inevitable look of confusion, distrust, mockery from people. Even from good friends. And I dont know what to tell them. Now you see? The predicament. I wonder how do other writers answer these questions. I wonder what about other artists? I can hazard a guess that any art has to be commercially viable for it to take off in the long run and hence the publishing etc. But then who am I to mix art and commerce.
P.S.: If you are interested in writers talking about writing, do see www.onWriting.in. I ask Indian writers 5 questions about writing and publish these on this blog. No, so far I havent published my answers. I think I'll wait till Oct for that. Why? Because The Nidhi Kapoor Story comes out then!