Saturday, October 16, 2010

Echoes: Fear of Flying

These days, I get young people and students emailing me, asking how does one be a writer.

I gave them the best advice I ever got.

Read. Write. Finish what you write.

From the age of 20 to the age of 23, I suffered from writer's block. I used to be able to write 17 short stories a year, in high school. Those three-four years, I managed only three.

The block came about due to ego. I thought that the next story I write would make me a millionaire. Book deals and movie deals would come flying in. And so I got scared.

It's like when you want to fuck a girl, right? Then one day you get to fuck her. She's all sucking her thumb and naked and shit, and you get scared. This irrational fear comes over you. It is all you could do to whip out your dick and start raping her mouth. Sheer terror, I tell you! Though I know nothing of pre-marital sex. I am such a fucking virgin.

I've been dealing with that fear for 10 years now, whenever I start writing anything. It's always there, and I guess it will always be there.


Neil Gaiman's advice.

Read. Write. Finish what you write.


Pretty soon, you're in the thick of things. You're in the middle of the story, and you're having fun. All the time in the world is not enough. And when you're done, you want to have a go at it again.

I have unfinished novels in my hard drive - a sin, I know. Everytime I rewrite it, it gets shorter.

Writing, is solitary work. I love it, because I don't have to do it with anyone else but myself. I consider everyone else to be idiots anyway, so it is the perfect job for me.

I don't have to deal with your bullshit. I don't have to deal with your mama's bullshit. Na-ah. In writing, the bullshit's all mine

So, if you want to be a writer,

Read. Write. Finish what you write.

Acknowledge the fear. It can come in many forms. Accept the fear. Embrace the fear. It will always be there and never go away.

"Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly." - Neil Gaiman, The Sandman Comics