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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

21 July, 2006

Being a writer

It's awkward being a writer. Some folks look at me and think, well, that someone should take me to a counseller and get me some good advice on getting a job and being a part of society. Other folks think I'm some kind of mahatma-equivalent, drenched in the wisdom of the ages. Most publishing houses think I won't make good sales: Why don't I write a thriller?

There are Eliot fundamentalists who will tear my verse apart. There are others who will turn their noses at my 'free-verse'. As for my short stories, the less said the better.

But what is really funny is my own set of delusions. I think I write originally. I have been living in the maya that I have my own style. I have fought heroic battles to defend that illusion. No avail.

Thing is, truth cannot be hidden. I've now decided to make a list of people whom I copy. In terms of themes, treatment, language and the like.

I like Narayan and Kipling the most. I think I can write sarky things about small town India, or grandiose romantic pieces. My style - my poor style - copies a wider range. Griffin for one, Narayan again, even Gould. O'Henry, Saki and Maupassant perhaps. I have dabbled in Shakespeareana even. I shudder to think if I have plagiarised anyone else unwittingly. I've been reading Raja Rao, I'm sure I going to write Rao-esque things and claim they are my own children german*.

Okay, I have this off my chest now. I think I can stop ranting, and go back to my dreams. And pull that cover of maya over my head again.

*Children german: my very own children, not step children. Sage bachche in Hindi. An old and useful Englishism that I found, and think should be used more frequently.


Anonymous Shirley Buxton said...

I am a very limited writer, not deep, probably, but one who takes her work seriously. This is the first time I have found your site, and have quite enjoyed reading here this morning.

I related to a comment you made about hoping you have never unwittingly copied someone's work. I have that concern, and sometimes when I write something, I think: did I read that somewhere or are these my own words?


shirley Buxton

21 July, 2006 21:43  
Blogger sue said...

And there are still others who'll say, "Ah, there goes a writer. A free soul."

10 August, 2006 14:34  

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