Tag Archives: writers

Friday Reflections: Change

This Friday’s topic: change.

Brainstorm

Before I put my thoughts into your head, go ahead and brainstorm on the topic change. Dish out as many words and phrases as possible about “change”!

Change

The word has several meanings. Perhaps the first thing you think of is the most common meaning: “to become different” (definition courtesy: Merriam-Webster). One could also be talking about petty cash. Or one could mean “change” as in, a change of clothes. You could extend the word to say changeup (like in Baseball), or even changeling.

Maybe you could create a new word compounding “change” and something else, to suit the needs of your poem or narrative!

What about common phrases or statements with the word “change”? Like “winds of change” or “be the change you want to see.” And they do say that the only constant thing is change – however much it sounds like an oxymoron.

Try writing a creative piece (poem, short story, anything!) that takes one such cliché phrase and gives it a fresh perspective or new meaning!

You could run a google (image) search and use some of the results as prompts!

More on Change

Ten years of writing, and I still try to tackle the ideas of change and changelessness in a lot of my poems and stories. And every new writing experience offers a fresh perspective on how the world works. Perhaps it’s because the very way we write and the things we write about also change with time.

The Writer in You

One of the things you could write about is how much you may have changed as a writer/artist, across the years. If you happen to save most of your work (I do; truly unique is this experience of reading your younger self after so many years!), you could go back and review some of your oldest stuff. My time capsule letter exercises serve this purpose: my changes as a writer become clear to me.

Depending on how far back you go, there may be obvious external changes while drawing comparisons between then and now– in your handwriting (the difference was…too great, in my case) or grammar. Your style may have changed significantly. The themes you cover in your writing may have changed. What had you given importance to then? What do you give importance to now?

Your preference in writing forms and genres may have also changed! Perhaps you use different literary devices now compared to then!

Obviously, we also experience change on a psychological level.

What had you expected of yourself as a writer all those years ago? What drove you as a writer in the beginning? Is your motivation the same?

Of course, we change not only as writers, but as people.

Are there things about yourself you wish wouldn’t change, even five, ten, or twenty years from now?

Perhaps, on the contrary–there is something in yourself that you wish desperately to change?

Don’t forget to explore the reasons behind all of your answers!

The Changing World

Apart from reading and writing, writers constantly have to observe the world around them. Great literature has acted as a mirror, faithfully reflecting the way the world worked; it has also acted like a lamp (think M. H. Abrams’ The Mirror and the Lamp) – as Wikipedia says:

In a powerful contrast, Abrams shows that until the Romantics, literature was usually understood as a mirror, reflecting the real world, in some kind of mimesis; but for the Romantics, writing was more like a lamp: the light of the writer’s inner soul spilled out to illuminate the world.

How does your writing reflect the world around you? How do you capture the changing world, or perhaps the changeless world, in your work?

Happy Writing!

Before I close, I’ll just share a link to this blog post, in which Mr. Brewer questions what it means to be a writer in this day and age. The publishing industry has changed drastically over the past decade thanks to the ebook revolution; being “published” has a whole new meaning, now. So these changes within our field of work are something else you could journal about!

With that, I’ll sign off! Happy writing, folks~ 🙂

Advertisements

Being a writer.

Posted on

Sometimes, I catch myself going several extra miles to write. And those are the times when I know I was meant to do this.

The Writer’s profession is often romanticized. Like writing is fuelled by some mystical fervor, like there’s some sort of magic behind it.

Really, most of the time, it’s nothing mystical at all.

It’s hard work at the desk, drilling away at the keys for hours together. A lot of the time is spent typing, then backspacing, then typing, then backspacing. Staring at the blank screen, beating oneself up for not being able to come up with anything that’s even remotely literate.

Well. That doesn’t sound fun.

Then…why? Why go through it all? When it’s just like everything else in the world – 99% sweat and just 1% inspiration? And perhaps even less lucrative than the other things in the world, for the same effort?

My ‘Because’:

Image

(Source) You’re willing to beat the blackout with a candlelight and do it the old fashioned way – not easy, but you do it because you feel like you must write.

It’s for the 1% of inspiration that I’m willing to sweat it out 99% of the time.

I just know it, on those special days, when I’m writing, and the words flow a little easier.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to where I want to go as a writer. But the best I can do is answer to the calling.

How I knew

I’ve been writing for about ten years now. And one experience, around six years ago, made me consider myself as a writer seriously.

I was lying awake late into the night (around 2 a.m.). While muttering some dialogue exchanges to myself, I heard something I liked and thought, hey, I’m not getting any sleep anyway. Let’s write.

I got out of bed, started writing a short story.

Pounded away at the keys. Might have paused to think for small details or pivotal plot points. But mostly, kept writing. Kept going. Got the story done.

I checked the time after I wrote the last line.

5:30 a.m.

First reaction was, Dang. It’s morning already.

In retrospect, I think I’d have dismissed it all if that story had just been average and the characters, weak. But I genuinely liked the result. So I knew.

First novel.

Later that year, I started working on my first novel. It’s terribly amateurish, but the madness with which I wrote it is what mattered. In my obsession, I was writing paragraphs for it in my head in the midst of my exams. There in the exam hall, right in the middle of answering the questions…my characters and my plot invading my thoughts.

I went home, went straight to my laptop. Didn’t get out of my uniform, didn’t have lunch. For an hour or two, just typed through all those paragraphs I’d built up during the exam, and then some.

At the end of it all, listening to my mother riling at me for having lunch so late, I was sure again.

How I still know

What brought this post about was another such experience, a very recent one. Last night’s.

I’m short-sighted and my power is ridiculously high. I can’t read these words on the screen if they’re more than 15cm away (without my glasses, I mean). And the frame of my glasses broke yesterday evening; for some profoundly idiotic reason, I hadn’t gotten myself a spare. The guy at the shop said it’ll at least take a day to fix. Somewhat visually impaired, I couldn’t get much work done.

But my WIP just wouldn’t get out of my head.

It was probably a bad idea, worse for my eyes, but I worked on it anyway. With my head absurdly close to my laptop screen, I typed. Worked for maybe an hour. It was uncomfortable, difficult and a little strenuous. I could have waited a day, saved myself the pain.

But we all know by now, right? I couldn’t not write!

How do you know?

Writing has become an activity I can’t live without doing. Can’t go even a few days without writing something at least. And I learn a lot about life, being a writer. You have to go out of your way for it. You have to do all the things the world expects you to, and somehow fit this in.

When people, women included, hear that you are writing, they assume that it is simply a hobby to fill in the time between doing the washing-up and the ironing.
-Rachel Billington

But being able to do what I love is definitely worth the fight.

By now, it doesn’t even matter if what I’m writing is any good. I’ll keep going because I can’t stop 🙂 Guess Mr. Hemingway was right:

Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure only death can stop it.

What keeps you going? Why do you write?

Every writer has his/her reasons, motivations. Search yourself for those exact moments when you figured them out. Have you had any experiences like these in the recent past?

And how’s it been? Being a writer? 🙂