Writers are an adorable breed. You get all kinds of them – feisty, subtle, superbly imaginative, confessional, funny, sarcastic. But one thing that makes them stand out is the ardour with which they make you read what they write. A writer writes because he/she has something to say. Well, most people have something to say, but writers dare to express it more publicly and on a platform that has more longevity and record.
For people with so much to say, one would imagine they’d be chatty. But the funniest part about most writers is that they love their privacy. By privacy, I do not mean the elite exclusivity against the bourgeoisie camaraderie. It is rather a kind of personal aloofness which is often a byproduct of their overt thoughts. So akin to privacy are they, that they are often assigned the metaphor of cats. If you read The Write Practice, you’ll know that Joe has seven cats and he writes amidst house chores of picking the kids from school and cleaning seven litter boxes!
In my magazine career as a features writer, copy-editor and content supervisor, I have met innumerable writers who look unapproachable at first, but later turn out some of the most hilarious jokes in your company. Some indulge you in such light banter that for a moment, you’re forced to spare a thought if you were indeed getting intimidated by this same person. I was (and in some indelibly weird ways perhaps still am) a member of the North East Writers’ Forum (NEWF). The forum encourages interaction of new writers through a minuscule formality of registering themselves, later on graduating into a recitation of their work amidst cakes and tea. As long as I was a member, I had the chance of encountering such delightful club gatherings, including somewhere they would fraternise with theatre personalities too.
The takeaway in all this, however, remains gold. Every single writer (established or otherwise) has journeyed through an arduous road of pain, perseverance and patience. The world that seeks to measure success in money has also started noticing that writing isn’t always the retreat of an introvert but the expression of the thinking individual. With more and more writers joining the lucrative bandwagon of technical writing, one might worry about the restraint towards creative expression that it can bring.
To that, I’d say this. Writing is a reflex action. Even if you try to tame it with pre-emptive guidance, it will reveal itself in an unprecedented way.