It is tedious, this writing –this filling of paper with blank, empty words-night after night, week after- and at times, even longer. It’s the kind of thing that sometimes makes you want to gnash your teeth in fury; that makes you want to tear paper infinitesimally small, and hurl the pieces out the window. A thing that stirs in your heart, exactly the same kind of emotion as the squeak of chalk on a heartless blackboard, the crook of a picture on an unfeeling wall.
Words are not the easiest of beings to tame, nor are they the simplest of creatures to capture. Even till the very end, they will resist you- kicking and biting and screaming the insults of animals placed among strange, unfamiliar beings and loathing it terribly. Their cries are the notes of a discordant symphony; of sentence mixed with sentence indiscriminately- with no care for rhyme or reason; tone or structure.
And writing? Writing is full of it- broken, ruined words that slur on the tongue leaving behind a filthy taste. Dull, unimaginative sentences- piled one upon the other, hastily written constructions, poorly defined characters. Sifting through the cracks, the flaws; and building from the remnant- all the while the gleam of yet more errors and inglorious phrases shining unmistakably amongst the rest- it is like watching a tower given no concrete, no base, no ground- rising, and implausibly continuing to stand- though only just. It is like knowing that you have created a horrible gaping monstrosity across the land; a mish-mash of stones put hurriedly together; and knowing that you must still perfect it yet, if you ever wish to be satisfied.
You must play with words, encourage and coax them together- knowing fully well that you are utterly handicapped to do this. As for writing with a care free abandon? Impossible. Your worst nightmares will leap at you, willing you to walk to the nearest cliff and jump; when you write and know well the full extent of your crimes. You will stare at the laying carcass upon your page and weep- for massacring beauty beyond all recognition.
And at times as such, writing is hell. It is God’s own definition of pure, unadulterated agony.
But, it must be done. Not because of desire to please a reader; but because writing is cleansing. It is setting loose an injured bird miraculously healed. It is giving birth to a new species, which, until then, never knew light. It is breathing hope and ambition, reining raw emotions, choreographing feelings onto a bit of paper.
Because nothing in the world can match to the ecstasy of building worlds in your head; everything becomes now yours to chart onto the lives of others. Gone are the rules of the universe- damned that they ever existed- it is now YOU, suddenly involved in a frenzied, feverish race to commit the flood of words tumbling onto paper- a torrent of phrase and verse and delightful jibe- one leading on to the other..
Later- much later- you will look at the paper- tired and exhausted- your steady stream of wit and humor now ebbing. And you will cringe at the mess that awaits you there. Spread before you, will be the scattered result of your manic frenzy; and for the next few days you will replace, cut and regulate spellings, grammar, tone and consistency. There will be days and weeks of cleaning up, hours of confusion, indecision over where to put that one perfect word; how to cut and edit your sentences till they resemble something close to acceptability.
And you will lose sleep over this. You will hate yourself for sacrificing a sentence you particularly loved, chiding yourself for ruining the flow of your work. You will worry and fret and lose weight over the supposed imperfection in your work. You will doubt yourself as you near your goal; calling yourself a coward- a traitor to the noble art of writing. You will compare yourself to the great, and writher in naked embarrassment at the triviality of your own masterpiece.
But despite the hurt, despite the doubt, in spite of fear and the threat of moral cowardice, you will do all this. You will lock yourself up- isolating yourself from all mankind- pruning your work to perfection. The pain, you will ignore, the agony, you will endure. Because once your masterpiece is done, once it shines before the earth (!)- people will ask how you managed all this; how you lived through those moments of toiling. And you will only smile and reply the only probable truth ever uttered in time:
Perhaps, the pain was worth it..