Sajal Choudhary

I tell stories

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Tag: edx

How important is grammar to a writer?


The following was written in response to an edx assignment for a course I am part of. Shared as is.

I write fiction, most of the times. I can’t be sure if I’m good, though I figure I must be reasonably good, for the most credible comment I ever received was from a senior in college, a senior I had no idea even existed! There’s a bias associated with the people who know you; unless you ask them seriously they are always bound to say, ‘It’s good’. That however does not happen with strangers, I mean what’s the motive?

The prompt for the week was about discussing your writing process or discuss something you found interesting in Professor Fred D’Agostino’s video. This will be a bit of both.

One of the things I struggle with, more so since I started writing longer stuff is converting what’s in my mind to what’s on the paper. The conversion rate/efficiency is not that great. I am not sure if it’s because of lack of impeccable grammar, or vocabulary. I think both of them do complement each other.

I never had what you’d call impeccable grammar. I am not a scholar. The last I had of grammar was five or so years before; back when I was in school. And even then, I had graduated to writing paragraphs, and stuff. That was all the creativity I was allowed. But then an impeccable grammar should not really be a requirement I think.

Scholarly people have their place in the world, and they should be there too, it’s just that Grammar shouldn’t be binding. Grammar should be like Legos, providing you with just the basic tools, allowing you the freedom to construct your world, tell your story the way you want. Grammar should not be binding, should not be a burden. It should not make you not want to write because you’re scared of the grammatical outcome.

I might be the only one thinking this, but I don’t like when somebody tells me this word does not exist. I mean how do you think new words are added each year in the dictionary?

Grammar is important, necessary even, but only as long as it does not obstruct writing.

P.S. I think I used too many commas, can’t help it!

Writing about not writing

writer's block

Before this, I sat in front of the monitor, staring at the almost completed sixth chapter of my work. I decided to give it half an hour, half an hour of pure, undisturbed, writing. I stared at the blinking cursor for the first couple of minutes; then I decided to give it a read, all that I had managed so far in the chapter. That took another fifteen or so minutes. Then I wrote a line, a line, looked at it for a while, and decided it will have to do.

I had hoped it would work; turns out half an hour isn’t nearly enough time!

The last I wrote was, on my last day of job. I had to take another job, and in preparation of it, I resigned a couple of weeks back. Turns out, having to go to a job helped maintain some sort of a schedule, something that is perhaps the most important thing if you want to write, even more important than a peaceful space. The brain works that stuff out. You do not really need to lock yourself up in a room, and write. The brain can do the isolation part of the deal. It takes some practice though; practice, and some luck with the boss not caring what you were jotting down in your diary.

The past couple of weeks, I have been trying to get this one little remaining portion of the sixth chapter done, I haven’t been able to gain much ground. I write a line, a two, a paragraph, and then that’s it. I guess, that’s what you get when you break the rules. The rule I’m referring to here, is about not jumping the queue, not jumping ahead in the story. Doesn’t work. I am done upto the seventh chapter, but haven’t been able to type those portions up because, guess what, I thought this little portion could be done later. Again, I was wrong. This little portion has been a pain in the butt for the past couple of weeks.

Sucks to be me right now!

I was talking to a friend, and when I told her about the issue, she said it could be because there’s so much stuff on your mind right now. I turned the clock back a few days in my head, but all I found myself doing mostly was sleeping, eating, and watching stuff mostly. There was also Quora, and edx.

Maybe there is a lot of stuff going on right now, or maybe I’m just being lazy, but here’s to hope, and words. Fuck.

What makes me happy?


Yupp, that’s me!

This was going to be a Hello World post, the second one in as many months, but Monday never happened. I started another blog a month back, and it was going pretty well, but then my first salary came.

A bit about the video too, I guess.

I started a new course on edx a while back, and while the course is still to begin, the people asked me, and the rest of the class, to compile a video: ‘What makes you happy?’

The topic is close to heart. I did a post on the topic a while back, and my views haven’t changed much. Smaller things still make me happy. Writing new stuff makes me happy, music makes me happy, working out, rains, a nice cup of tea. What else could you need?