The #book2 Brouhaha

Book2 is now officially overdue by 3 years. Three years. In three years you can make 4 babies. In three years you complete college in India. Three years is the time a typical startup needs to break even and start throwing money back at you. Three years is more than a 1000 days. Its 5% of an average human's productive life. Three years...

Wait. The point is that book2 is delayed. To an extent that no one knows that I am an author. Fuck no one, I have a hard time telling myself that I am one. Anyhow attention spans are like shorter than that of a hummingbird. Who cares if you wrote a book. And this is not the first project that I havent been able to find time for, even if this is the closet to my heart.

I was thinking about it last night and I thought Ill make a list of reasons why I cant seem to get this going. Here goes.

A. No time
Writing is not my first gig. Its not even my second. I mean I do write a lot everyday -- presentations, emails, short notes, scribbles and all that. But all of that is for work. There is no writing for recreation. And there is hardly any writing for the book. And the worse part? I dont miss it. I mean there was a time when I would be itchy if I dint write for an hour everyday. Those days are gone.

Right now, its just a battle to rush from one thing to another. In the process, I think I have stopped enjoying little things that make up life.

B. No muse
They say a writer needs a muse to write. I am not sure what was the muse when I did #tnks. Ok wait. A muse is defined as "a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist." So last time I may have had someone. I dont remember. This time, I dont have any. I even got sgMS to agree to marrying me if I could complete the book by end of the year. And that too doesnt seem to be exciting enough.

Maybe I need to talk to the lady I am interested in right now to not talk to me if I dont write a 1000 words a day. Or may be I need to go find someone who is as into writing as I want to be. I dont know what would it take. Ideas?

C. Too much work
Two things here. Work required on writing a book. And effort and time spent on work that gives me the money to afford the lifestyle I lead.

Writing a book may come easy to a lot of people (I know people who "win" NaNoWriMo by writing 50K words in 30 days). To me, it does. I know I can write fast but I am not sure if the kind of things I write can happen in 30 days. I want to research, think, get into conversations (with my characters), leave tons of Easter Eggs (Lol. Why would I do that when not a single reader of #tnks came back to me and told me that they loved how intelligently I buried those little gems throughout the book.). 

So, writing is serious work. And sustained work for long durations (on a daily basis), over a year or so. Do I want that kind of grind? Like I know I never want to be in an operation theatre again, do I want to g through the tribulations that writing a book entail?

Thing is, I am not the one to shy away from hard work but I am the kinds that needs everything perfect. The temperature of the AC, the chair, the table, a working Internet connection and so on and so forth. And the kind of life I live, its often to get all variables in place. And when I do get these variables in place, there's just too much work that needs my urgent attention that I cant concentrate on moving the story ahead.

That brings me to work that I am engaged in. Like I said in A above, I am at a stage in life where I dont have financial stability. I live month to month and the month I dont work hard in, I am forced to cut my expenses. So its a constant battle between daal-roti and hobbies. And while I am a big advocate of sex and cash theory, I am not sure I can live up to what I preach.

D. No money
If I had a rich wife, I would quit everything and sit on a desk all day and write. Well, I think I will. I am not sure. But I know that a big big impediment to my writing output is the fact that I need to work slog hard for making the ends meet.

E. No inspiration
Apart from a muse that doesnt let you rest, there's this dying need inside of you to tell that story. I dont have a story like that. I mean I know I have an interesting plot for book2. I mean who would not want to read a fast-paced narrative about a gang of notorious bandits (where no one trusts another) coming together to hunt for a treasure that was lost when Portuguese finally left Goa?

But... the damn but. But is the story compelling enough that it makes me leave everything and keeps me focused on telling the story?

F. Support structure
I am lucky that I have so many people around me that continue to egg me on all the time. In no order, the constant badgering and reminders happen from Anusha, Nikita, Purav, Sachin, Vivek and others. Like last night, on twitter, Sachin sent this.
Thing is, if despite having so many people who want me to write and do well and all that, I cant write, can I? May be by not working on the book, I am letting them down. Could this be a big enough fear that I actually write?

Or maybe I need to apologize to them and quit and move on. And bury the dream of reaching a million people to a time when I have made the money and have little more time on my hands to write?

May I need to quit on this? Or may be not.

G. Commercial success
While you write for yourself and you want to express yourself, I sincerely believe that no endeavour deserves attention if there's no commercial angle to it. You may not do it for money. But you need to ensure that your work inspires people enough that they are willing to give you their time and money and attention. And you as an artist need to work hard to earn the time and money and attention. You need to make it worth the investment by your patrons. Its a loop. You see it?

If #tnks would have been a runaway success, I probably would have had the money to not worry about work and write. I would have created a "platform" of sorts that would've allowed me to chase writing as a career. It would have convinced me and people around me (not that I seek their validation) that I can actually support myself (and my family) through what I write. It would have pushed me to stand on that success and do more.

Since that did not happen, may be the MBA in me is doing a longish cost-benefit analysis and preventing me from investing time on writing? May be I am too rational to be an artist? May be I am not too delusional?

H. Others 
Apart from the list of things above, things that I did not consider while writing this are:

  • Writer's block. I am not sure that I suffer from it. I can wake up from sleep and start writing. And I can pick up from where I left. 
  • Ability to find a publisher. I am reasonably sure that Sachin at Grapevine will back me up. If not him, I can do a self-publish. 
  • My limited grasp on the English language. I can always find editors to help me out. 
  • My ability to hold interest. I think what I write makes sense and people can more or less finish what I write. 
Bas. Cant write more. That's about it. I probably need a whack on the head. That nose job that I got done was supposed to be it. But guess not!

Over and out! 

P.S.: Funny. After this such a long rant, I still dont know if I want to write. Like they say, bakchodi karwa lo bas

1 comment:

Viral Mirch Masala said...
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