That feeling when self doubt creeps in so slowly on you that you dont realise. And then when you see it, you're shocked about it being thereThe other day, I was reading Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon. Its one of his classic works where you have intrigue, mystery, debauchery, murders, backstabbing and other such things. While I was reading it, I could immediately compare it to The Nidhi Kapoor Story. I dont know if the comparison is valid, Sidney being a master storyteller and I, a rookie. But after I read it, I knew that its not going to be as easy.
— Saurabh / SG (@saurabh) September 28, 2013
I thought telling stories (captivating stories, stories that make people want to read again and again, stories that people would want to share, stories that are real, stories that people can relate, stories that people want to go back to, stories that people do not want to end et al) would be easy. I thought I'd just need a pen and a chair. And a few months. After all I have been writing a blog for almost ten years now. And what if I am not comfortable with English. What if I suck at vocabulary and grammar. What if I often leave things incomplete. I could do this one. I just needed time. How hard could it be? Right?
I couldn't have been more wrong.
I started working on Nidhi Kapoor around May of this year. And by July I was convinced that it is a story that I want to tell. And I took the plunge. And its been two months now that I have been at it. And the progress is painstakingly slow. So slow that one monkey on one typewriter could do a faster, and may be a better, job. If the infinite monkeys got together, they'd make a mockery out of me.
Reading Sidney's book was like a shock. The one that I needed and yet did not want. That writing is not going to be easy.
I now have a new found respect for the likes of Chetan Bhagat. I may flog them for writing boring cliched stories with fancy titles. But they have been able to finish what they started and they backed it up with all their might. I am sure that when they started writing, at some point, they would have been in the same space as I am right now. But they overcome the insecurity to actually finish what they had started. They defined the odds. Quitting is so easy. So easy, its a wonder how so many people actually finish. Even if the finishers are less than 0.001% of the ones that start.
Self doubt and lack at achieving closure. Brilliant combination. The perfect recipe for failure. Odds are that I would fail with Nidhi. That I would not reach closure.
But I will not.
I. Will. Not. Fail.
I may not get to publish it. But I will finish it. And I would do a damn good job at it. And I would ensure that whoever reads it, its worth their time. Thats the greatest responsibility that I have as a writer. That the reader, her time or money is not wasted when they read what I've written. And I promise that your time or money would not be wasted while you read Nidhi's story.
I know that my story is not even a fraction of what a Bloodline is. And mind you, Bloodline is great but its not even the greatest piece of fiction that I know of. There's Godfather, there's Count of Monte Cristo. There's a long list.
But what I know is that I have made a promise. And for a change, I am going to keep it. Despite all odds, I'd finish the story.
The good part of this self doubt bit is that all the doubts are creeping in at a stage where I can still work on it. All the lessons are happening at a time where I can still patch the logical and narrative flaws. After all, I am at the 30000 word mark. Far from the 120K that I have planned before I send this to publishers. There's still time for the Nov. 11 deadline that I have kept for finishing the first draft. Some 40 days. A little discipline and a little grit should see me there.
Just need a little bit of push. A small nudge. An angel to watch me over. A boss that I can report into. Probably I need a Nidhi Kapoor or a Renu Sharma to actually come to life and help me work on this. That would be so cool. No?