Sajal Choudhary

I tell stories

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Tag: writing tips (page 1 of 2)

Fiction takes time

Fiction takes time.

Anything from a short story to a novel, a thousand word something to a hundred thousand word something. It all takes time, effort, and patience. That’s the beauty of fiction. You sit down, and write. At the beginning, the fire drives you, the joy of having stumbled upon something new. Then, comes the middle, the muddy, murky middle. Most stories are lost here, left by the writer, to die slow, painful deaths. And then, at the end, the story, which was not making any sense whatsoever, till this point, suddenly starts making sense. You are able to fill in the blanks, see the light at the end of the long, dark, proverbial tunnel!

That, is also the sad part about writing fiction. Unless it reaches completion, there is nothing to show for the effort.

And I really don’t know why I should give a fuck about it!

Off to write some fiction..!

What does it take to be a writer?

writer

It can be pretty damning, to promise something, and not follow up on it, just a day later.

I did that, yesterday. But maybe, the promise was taking things a little too far.

That was yesterday though. Today, is a new day, and today, I want to talk about what being a writer is all about. Like always, something happened which has prompted this line of thought. And like always there’s a story.

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On writing : the numbers

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word count v/s date : courtesy of the infamous sheet, and google

When I had begun here originally, I had imagined this to be a place where I would talk mostly about writing, and then, as an add-on, a little bit of other stuff. I mean all you have to do is hover the mouse pointer over the blog menu, and you see “on writing” and “everything else” as the prominent sub-items displayed there. That also reminds me that I need to revisit the menus, given the times I’m living in, the idea of putting videos out there does not make much sense now. I’m a writer for god’s sake! Or maybe I will do that once I’ve reached the 100 post mark. But getting back to the point of this paragraph, I was supposed to be writing mostly about writing, and it made sense, as the past had shown me, that that’s where I got most of my likes and follows from.

So, when I clicked on the “On writing” sub-item, this Wednesday, after posting my latest article, I realized that my last post on writing was on December sixth, after I had reached fifty posts here. That’s almost a couple of months gone without writing about the thing that I am supposed to be writing about.

Wow!

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Fifty plus one

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I drew that!

I reached a milestone with my last post here. It was my fiftieth post on this blog, and I felt I had to write about that; to commensurate it. It is important after all, to celebrate the big, and the small.

Fifty is not that big a number if you look at it that ways. It’s not a five thousand; or a five hundred thousand. That would be a number!

It is a beginning of sorts.

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On Honesty

honesty

It was easier this time around; thinking about the thing to write about this week. It happened naturally enough; you see I had just finished writing the eleventh chapter. And so, it was quite clear that I was going back to writing about writing.

Also, I’m using a lot of these ‘And so’s. Too many for my liking.

It was this Wednesday that I felt I had moved enough that the chapter could end here. I might eventually feel otherwise, but right now, it felt right; and so, I stopped. Two things happened as I put the proverbial pen down. First, I remembered how good it felt to finish something, maybe that’s why we have chapters, to satiate ourselves. Second, and more importantly, I realized how easy it was to write, when you were writing.

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The idea of being a writer

Wish I had clicked a picture!

Wish I had clicked a picture!

I am in love with the idea of being a writer, the image.

The idea of sitting on a table overlooking a giant window. The view outside the window keeps changing, but the table, and the chair, and the image of a writer, they stay.

As I said, I am in love with the idea of being a writer.

I am not entirely sure, who the first one was, but over time, there has been this one sentence, this statement, going around in my world. It says this:

Nobody pays for the idea. Ideas are abundant; actions, few.

Okay, I said it.

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Progress

I wrote that!

I wrote that!

It was on the first of July that I wrote this post.

The first of July, was some eleven days in the past.

Now, at that point in time, I was at some ninety-four days from my intended deadline for this project. Also I was on the eighth chapter in the book. Something, or rather, some place I was at, since the past couple of months, or something of that order. I say that, because it really was inconsequential. See, when I marked a date in the calendar, saying I’m going to ship this book on the date, then, by that action alone, I had made sure that anything I did before this did not matter; in a way.

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Why I decided to set a shipping date for my book

Well, I did say I might decide to explain what this was all about. So, here it goes.

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Now, before I begin, I must say this, the paper wasn’t really working for me. So, I tore it off, and made a digital copy. With that out of the  way, I guess we can move forward.

See, here’s the story.

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In search of ‘Routine’

In search of the Routine

This happens with a fairly sickening regularity.

I write, I post, and it goes on for some two to four weeks, and then, I stop.

Then, a month or two later, driven by the accumulating guilt, I flip the laptop open, and with a new-found, almost rejuvenating determination, start typing. And, I finish this post. I do.

Usually, it is a semi-inspiring post, wherein I shamelessly declare things. Then, I write for another two to four weeks. Drop off. You get the idea.

It is almost time I did that.

This is not that.

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All the motivation you need!

Motivation

“You are going to make an awesome Dad!” she said.

“What?”

“Yeah. I mean you can stick to schedules. If you want to write, you write; if you want to run, you run!”

In life, it becomes real easy at times, to relinquish control, to dole out blames to things that exist, or not. I went to the hills a few days back; lost my purse, and on the way back, was stuck in a jam because of a land-slide just a kilometre from us. Once back, I found my mind going back to blaming the gods. I caught myself a few times, I reprimanded myself a few times, but time and again, I went back to the gods.

We give too much importance to ourselves. I mean seriously, consider this: ‘The person running the universe, surely has more important tasks at hand than you!’ But that’s religion. This is not about it. Maybe later.

So, getting back to it then.

I have done this a lot many times. Whenever I’ve been unable to do something I’ve doled out blames: to the traffic, the weather, the people, the shitty luck, the gods! But, what she said, even without it occurring to her what it might say to me, she gave me something, which I know, but conveniently choose to forget, almost all the times.

I do what I want to do.

Seriously. If I am not writing, that’s because I chose to not write, for there were better things to do. Better? Yes.

Writing is important, but not urgent. Not all the times!

I guess it’s important to consider this, but then again with a certain balance to it, as always. You can’t for example, be so obsessed with you being the cause of everything that you feel nothing else can affect your life. Okay, that does not bode well with the general scheme of this piece. Still.

Life is not the choices you make, but it isn’t in complete isolation of it either.