Home > Uncategorized > Pizza’s in. Now let’s put down a Dickens.

Pizza’s in. Now let’s put down a Dickens.


Now, this thought struck me when a young writer asked me to give feedback on his writing.

(ahem, notice – I am qualified enough to give feedback now, and also that am not young anymore – makes me kinda queasy in the stomach)

Young man, am not humiliating you or anything. Am just taking the case forward in the next few lines.

I strongly believe, you can’t teach anyone to write. Or breathe. Or paint. Or feel queasy in the stomach.

It’s all very much like love. Real love, if there’s any. It doesn’t give you that golden sunset staged opportunity to say ‘Ido’ and go on to serenely kiss the bride. No dear no. The beautiful beach wedding falls apart, and there’s a fury of admiration. It’s very primal., beautiful, even dangerous.

Don’t get me wrong – am not saying Dickens can’t tell you a thing-or-two about writing. Or that you don’t need to lead a hippie life to write songs like Janis Joplin did. But yes, write, you have to do it from an unknown reserve inside. It’s a peculiarly violent self reliant and indulgent pleasure that cannot be shared like the muffins on the dinner table, can’t be bitched over in Saturday clubs, can’t be done anything.

It can be felt in the pain of the gut – at odd hours, while driving in the middle of the road, while cotton picking in a vast field. With no pen and paper around. And you got to huff-and-pant till you find something to let out. And sigh.

That’s what I think is writing. You got to replace that word with ‘living’.

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  1. mydhili
    July 5, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Brilliantly written, SS. And I love the way you brought in muffins and cotton fields into the picture. Such a feel-good (maybe not so much for the feedback-taker!), honest piece!

    • July 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      Interestingly, the feedback taker seems okay with it.
      All’s well, I guess. Thanks for dropping by Mydhilli 🙂

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