The Life of a Writer…

It has been a long time since I had published my last post. I was afraid of writing a new article. Every time I tried to put my pen on paper, I had a feeling that whatever I would write wouldn’t be good enough. I was trying to set goals and deadlines for writing but nothing worked for me. Worst of all, I couldn’t even focus on my reading.

At one point, I realized that I was pushing myself too hard. I cannot force written words out of me, and yet, I am a writer and I have to keep on writing. Sometimes it becomes an immense pressure, and it paralyzes me.

The only way to keep on writing is to enjoy it without worrying about the outcome. I had been chasing after an illusory perfection which kept preventing me from actually creating something.

Creation is freedom. It doesn’t matter if it is less than perfect. What’s important is going out there and doing it, and appreciating yourself for the efforts you make.

When I look back, for the past two months, amidst all the festivities, celebrations and every kind of sensory stimulation which wears me out beyond a certain limit, I managed to find at least a few moments of seclusion to be with myself and contemplate. Instead of picking thrilling and fast-paced books, I chose books with which I could connect at a deeper level. I listened to podcasts from wise, empathetic people. I painted pictures. I learnt to turn my attention towards my own heart, which held the answers I had been looking for.

I read the book ‘How to be You’ by Jeffrey Marsh. I had been following Jeffrey on instagram for a while and their words make me feel understood, cared for and loved. I listened to the audio book first in Jeffrey’s own voice. I had never read any book that spoke to me at such a personal level. Jeffrey’s book changed the way I saw myself, and the world around me. I cannot thank them enough for sharing this book with the world.

I read ‘Adarsha Hindu Hotel‘ written by none other than Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay. The trials and tribulations in the life of Hajari thakur, the poor and aged cook at a hotel near Ranaghat railway station, his dream of becoming a restaurant owner, his ideals, emotions, faith, his relationships and his journey to entrepreneurship kept inspiring me every moment. I was in awe of this character. I learnt what it takes to have the strength to pursue one’s dream even when everything seems to reinforce the impossibility of achieving it.

It was nearly Christmas, when I read ‘Mr. Dickens and His Carol‘ written by Samantha Silva. Christmas is incomplete without the ‘Bah! Humbug!’ from Ebenezer Scrooge, and the man who created him. This book is a fiction based on the time in his before he came up with ‘A Christmas Carol‘. The book is full of vivid details of London at Christmas during the Victorian era. Charles Dickens was struggling with a writer’s block, amidst which things kept going wrong one after another. His relationships were getting bitter, his recent book was a flop, his money dwindled and publishers were pressing him to write a Christmas book.

Writing is not always as romantic or as straightforward as it is depicted in most of the films. I am so happy that Samantha Silva has brought this reality into focus. Even for a brilliant, reputed and popular writer, the process is complex and demanding.

I ended my year with Cheri Huber‘s ‘There is Nothing Wrong with You‘. This is a brilliant book, and just what I needed at the time. It shattered the cycle of chasing after perfectionism, getting frustrated and doubting my abilities. In this book, the author helps recognize the patterns of our mind which are the results of years of social conditioning. She wiped off the dust and cobwebs of unrealistic expectations from my mind and helped me see the reality.

It’s 1 AM. The night outside is freezing and foggy. My fingers are getting cold as I write, and yet I am exhilarated to see these words flowing out of me.

I am writing again.

This is happiness. This is bliss.

Published by Ria Banerjee

In love with books, literature and writing.

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