Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another Disappointment - Collection of Short Stories

Disappointments are a part of a writer's life. We have taken rejection badly in the past. But this once I was hoping for something better. Tch Tch. We shouldn't be too optimistic. Why can't some positive news bunch itself together and schlepp us out of this morass of despondency? We don't know. We are sharing it here so that you there know how tedious the process of writing is.

Submitted our short story collection to a publisher (as a friend recommended, an up-and-coming one) and got an email saying, "the reviewer has not approved," blah blah. Do you know how much effort we put into editing and sending you the bloody submission? Do you know how much time is required to even think of the plot and write the stories? Do you know how much creative juices have flowed?

Well, hm, nobody knows the inside of a submitting writer. It's all hope and despondency when a rejection comes. But we are sort of inured by now to these vicissitudes, these ups and downs. (we had to spend a minute looking up "vicissitudes.) Writing is not easy folks. As Hemingway said, "Writing is easy. Just sit in front of the typewriter and bleed."

He got that right. But, then, now it's the laptop you sit before.

By the way, today we retrieved some data from an old laptop, which is no irreparable, or, so my computerwala friend informs me. The data is important to us as it contains the manuscript of the book we were writing on Kerala. So the cycle now restarts, buy new laptop, write novel, book (whatever) and then junk the laptop and move your book to another laptop. When will this process end. Sigh!

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jerry Pinto on Writing: Begin Again If You Fail

We read this excellent piece by Jerry Pinto on writing on Facebook. Especially read the exhortations to writers he has written with such sensitivity, care and concern. That's because he is a teacher too and who better than a teacher to teach you about writing. There is a honesty and selflessness about the writing, a sense of sharing without asking "What's in it for me? Why should I do it." Not for nothing is Jerry such a writer and poet with a mass following.

We agree some of the pitfalls of being a writer has been amply covered. But here we add a new spin to it as is our wont. Some of the practical aspects you might find when you let it be known you want to be a writer. All these people pretend to sit in ivory towers and pontificate and not write anything. Know why? Because if they write they would be found out. Simple. The greatest effort an aspiring writer can make is to sit in front of his desk and write. Get inspired by life, get inspired by what you read and then write, write, write.

"He/she can't write to save his life."

"He/she is a bad writer."

"He/she doesn't have a voice."

"He/she hasn't read much."

"He/she doesn't know grammar from farmer."

Yes, all these we have heard before and are repeating here. The first was said to us by a vanity publisher who drank himself to his grave. He was our boss for some time and a mean boss at that. Such mean people exist, we can't do anything about them. They destroy themselves and in the process try to destroy others.

So, follow Jerry's advise and do the following:

Keep at it.

Keep going when it's not working. It won't start working on its own, you have to make.

Keep going when it's not coming out right. It may be right, you may not be able to see it.

Keep going when you're feeling low. That's when Dylan Thomas did his best work.

Keep going when you're blazing like a comet. That's when Alan Ginsberg did his best work.

Keep going when you're rejected. J K Rowling was rejected too.

Keep writing. But don't be in a hurry to publish. That should happen organically and too many writers are mainlining steroids. Wait. It will happen. Naturally.

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Progress on the Novel

Sorry, for not updating here about the novel for so long. Things have been crazily spinning all around us, meaning Mr. Bandookwala and myself, the author. We decided, after a 100-page printout of the novel was printed and spiral bound that the first chapter required some more tweaking. That's because when we read the first chapter - in the printed form - we went, "eek." That's one disadvantage of being a writer. An artists can standback and know immediately what needs to be corrected, a shade here, a deeper stroke of paint there, but for a writer? It's only when he/she prints the output and holds it before him/her that he shakes his/her head and says, "No, this won't do." So it's better late than be imperfect. We are back to the laptop writing, re-writing, editing, striking out whole paragraphs.

After all, that's what a writer's life is about. Isn't it.

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.