ANNIVERSARY MUSINGS

So the other day I received a notification from WordPress that it has been one year since I opened the account. I didn’t even know they did that! Bless them! When I first started a blog, I had thought I was going to write a whole lot more than what I have actually produced. Five pieces a year isn’t exactly a prolific output. I always knew that I was a good enough writer. Bah! What delusion! But to think that I haven’t been able to produce even mediocre ones is quite fantastical. It’s not simply the fact that I don’t sit and try to write. But I always seem to get stuck in the beginning itself when I do. What should I write about? What subject would I be able to discuss in detail and be able to engage my audience? Finally after much trepidation when I settle on the subject, I start to write. More often than not, self-doubt starts to creep in mid-way through, and I give up. “Have I written eloquently enough?” “Do I know enough about it to write an authorative account?” “Is it too simple/ is it too long-drawn?” and such.

 

                   I’m aware that writing, like everything else demands practice. An exercise of sorts, to hone and polish your skills. But as it turns out, I have not practiced enough. It has been a disaster to say the least. My effort at writing. What is the secret here? Or is there no secret? Are good writers, like athletes, born with a gift or can anyone with a little bit of passion and whole lot of practice be able to write? I tried to read other people – authors, bloggers – et all but there seems to be no answer. I currently am in possession of a list of books that one of our national newspaper says every budding writer should read and harvest pointers from them. I think I’m gonna read it. I’m not sure what to expect from them though.

 

                             I tried my hand at short-story writing, started a novel of sorts, but I haven’t been able to write them to my satisfaction. Forget peer review. The only thing I have been able to write that doesn’t spontaneously cause me to blurt ‘meh!’ has been poetry. Poetry has been the only form of writing that I have been able to keep up. As and when I’m inspired by a subject that is. I know I should focus on my strength here and write more poems, but I hate poetry. I mean hate is definitely too strong word for what I feel. Its just that I don’t hold poetry in the same regard as prose. Sure there are poems that I love and read again and again. Rhime of an Ancient Mariner, Solitary Reaper, Ode to the Nightingale, Road Less Travelled being some of them. And yes, I’m aware that if I read more poetry, I will find more of them to like and love, but I just don’t find myself attracted towards them. Maybe it has got something to do with the fact that I write poetry myself. I don’t know. I should see a shrink for that.

 

                             In the meantime, I can only practice harder and write more. It’s a hollow promise though. I know, because I’d also promised myself that I’m gonna read more. That didn’t happen either. Haha! Maybe I can blame it on Writer’s block. Can I do that? I think it’s fair enough excuse. Don’t you? 

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LETTERS!

Letters! That almost extinct method of communication. I love reading letters. I love writing them too. I keep trying to find new excuses to write them. I keep trying to find people who are willing to write them to me. When I was a teenager, I was the designated letter writer of all the guys I knew. If they needed to share their feelings to whomever their crush happened to be at the time, they came to me. Sometimes I wrote in Nepali, sometimes in English. Since we studied in a village school, English was mostly used to impress the girls. I doubt it worked. I remember this one time when I sent a nice and long love-letter to this girl I liked. She took it straight to my cousin, because she didn’t understand a thing. Boy, was I busted!

 

Letters were not just a tool to woo a girl. Telephones were rare, forget the internet. So we used to keep in touch with out of state cousins, and siblings through letters. Long and heartfelt. A treasure really. I had kept all my letters that I had received but I lost them along the way. I wonder what were written on them. Its sad really, that I don’t remember. In the age of Instant Messaging and Facebook, letter writing has practically become obsolete. There is a reason I have preserved all the letters that I received after 2005. I had learnt my lesson. I realised the value of a tattered page that brought not only joy, but also tears of longing. I read them sometimes, and it instantly takes me to the time not so long ago when I had received them. A reminder that I was loved and missed enough by someone to take the trouble to sit and write those words to me.

 

My girlfriend is my only correspondent now. I keep hinting at people, but they don’t seem to be willing. Or maybe they’re just too dumb to take the hint. Mobile phones and Internet have become an indispensable part of my life too. But somehow, a phone call doesn’t quite hold the same charm for me. Maybe that’s because I’ve never been much of a talker any way. I can express my feelings through written words, but spoken words are not really my thing. Never have been. Besides, you can kiss the letters. How do you suppose will you kiss a phone call?