If you’d ask me, what’s the one thing I want to do before I die, I’d say – write my book.
I have been working on it for years but it fails to materialise because there is work, home, travel, putting away summer clothes, family, packing, births, films, reports, reading, e-mails, deaths, Diwali, slumber, too-hot, too-cold, Christmas, don’t-feel-like-it, may-be-later, not-inspired, not-now and the list goes on to fill five pages.
This blog is a friend, a punch-bag, a vent, a discovery, an exploration, a path and a ready distraction. It is my creative play-ground, seemingly under my control and gives me instant gratification – writing a few hundred words within an hour or two and hitting ‘Publish’. Done.
It takes tonnes of time, sweat, blood and gut-wrenching angst to get the first draft of a book done. Things to think about – the setting, characters, voice, pace, first-person or not, genre, authenticity, shouldn’t sound preachy, shouldn’t be too emotional, shouldn’t be too short or too long, chapter-isation, privacy, audience and mountains more. It needs reworked, edited and rewritten many times over till it’s polished and ready. It needs to pass through expert scrutiny before it gets anywhere near ‘Publish’. It needs my full attention.
I’ve spent the last three days at a little village called Satkhol taking part in a Creative Writing Course at The Himalayan Writing Retreat. It’s been an exercise and a luxury. The air is pristine, the hospitality impeccable, the space serene, the teaching clear and the long range of snow-capped Himalayas in the near distance, stunning. This environment elevates me and brings me home to my truth. So, distractions will have to go. For now, I shall take a break from blogging to focus on the book. Stay in touch. I will resume when I have made a submission to a literary agent. Thank you for being here with me. I have felt your warmth. It has sustained, inspired and encouraged me for as long as I have been with you. Thank you. This is no more than a pause.
May each new day and the coming New Year bring you clarity and unveil the joys that lie within your heart.
“Doesn’t everything die at last and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
-an excerpt from The Summer Day by Mary Oliver.