A Writer’s Woes: The “Vyasa Corner

I sat down in that Corner. I believed in Discipline. But not so much in rituals. Writing and Discipline — seemed totally opposite to each other. I’d experienced this multiple times.I promised to myself that I’d write everyday. Then the inevitable question resurfaced — what would I write everyday? And then the more fundamental question: Why would I write everyday??

Well, the latter question, I figured out over time, would inhibit my writing more than propel it to greater heights. The “Why?” is a dangerous question. Because writing is — not — an existential question for me. It is not a survival need. It doesn’t pay my bills (at least not yet). When I write and publish a blog post, there is a sense of achievement. There is a sense of validation when other people connect and recognise the post. But the more I get entrenched in the mundane everyday life, lesser has my writing seemed cathartic. The logic from life has subtly but surely pushed itself into my writings.

When I ask myself “Why?”, the logical reasons seem to dwindle all the time. Yet, life has taught me that you need to keep at it, to figure out some of the better reasons to do what you are doing. The answer isn’t that straightforward all the time. The clear impact of asking myself “Why?” reflects in the decreased number of articles over a period of time.

My Corner in The World

As I sat in that Corner, I answered my “Why?” — albeit weakly — saying writing and expression have been with me for as long as I can remember. And I would do well not to lose this gift. I could always get better — but I didn’t want to be worse off without it. I didn’t know if I’d do it everyday, but I decided I’d write. More often, than not. The “Why?” would come to me at the opportune time.

The next question staring at me in that Corner was “How?”. The process than the result. Means than the end. Would I put pen to paper everyday in search of thoughts and ideas? Or would it be a word document that I kept editing day after day? Did I go to the ideas? Or would ideas come to me? How would I go for the ideas, in the first place? I’d never consciously stared at an object and built a story from there. It had never worked for me. “Try the backburner technique” someone suggested. If you have a little idea buzzing in your mind, let it buzz in the background, till it becomes big enough that you have to remove it from the mind and put it on paper.

But then, I always believe, ideas find me. Atleast they used to — in better times. In the toilet, as I sat staring at the blank wall, pyjamas down. After a Sunday afternoon siesta (miraculously). Or during long walks with the mind no longer thinking about the next thing on my to-do list at work (or in life). There were times when crude ideas fleshed themselves out precociously in minutes, almost forcing me to a creative diarrhea within a couple of hours. There were times when well-constructed ideas waited for their soul for months together- the piece that completed the jigsaw — as I battled creative constipation, which always seems imminent.

And the rhetorical but relevant theme of the influence and impact of digital. That craving to rush through someone else’s article on writing, creativity, self-improvement and what not — rather than sitting in silent reflection. The urge to market content even before it is created. The anxiety to make it to the top when I haven’t even gotten off the bottom. Over multiple (destructive) device habits, we have lost the power of silence. The power of focus. The power of reflection.

Finally, as I brooded on, was the question “Where?” Was the place from where I wrote important? I could write anywhere — in office, in a cab, on a couch or my bed….I could write (or these days type) from anywhere. Yet, as I discovered the Corner, the Corner discovered me too. It took a while to get used to the habit of stationing a wooden desk where I usually spread my bed post dinner. And then a woolen mat on which to sit cross legged, as I placed my notebook/laptop on the desk — giving the act some aesthetics. Then put the dreaded mobile phone away during those last couple of hours in the day.

The Corner answered all my questions, by being just that — a Corner. Over the last four months, it has been my go to place for all thinking and academic pursuits. Surpassing even the toilet. It brings the discipline of a standard setup with a desk and a mat, without imposing the compulsion that I have to be creative that day. It bestows on me the freedom of seclusion. That I’m sitting in the Corner means that I’m in a zone where I don’t want to be disturbed — an unwritten rule at Home. The mind tunes in most days by itself, recognising that I’m trying to churn out something of value — atleast to myself.

What I definitely didn’t envisage when I sat in the Corner on the first day, was the impact of a small change, a course correction. And ofcourse, I didn’t realise that the name my brother sarcastically threw up, would now stick to the Corner forever: The Vyasa Corner”



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Alok Simha

Blogger. Bengalurean. Sales Professional. Trying to explore the world within and outside with words. https://simplysimha.blogspot.com