Friday, 1 January 2016

Why Do You Become A Writer?

Choti Mata’s Notes : Choti Mata wanted to start the New Year on the right note. And there seemed to be no better note.

Let us start with a true story.

My laptop currently has at least 10 open tabs. Half of them contain dispassionate details about how to cleanly slash a neck and kill in less than 3 seconds. And whether carotid artery is better than jugular vein if you are slashing for a quick kill.

I am not a serial killer. Not yet. I am a writer.

There are also a handful of tabs that seem to be talking about aerospace and defense deals. They concern something important. For the life of me, I can't remember what. 

The rest of the tabs talk about nappy rashes in a disturbingly explicit detail. Not because some baby has magically sprouted around me. It is research. 

I am not a parent. Not yet. I am a writer.

One for the kitchen.  One for the soul. I will let you figure which is which. In any case, while these tabs are open, I am writing this post which has nothing to do with either of the sets of tabs.

I am a writer. And that is pretty much the story of my life.

This post has nothing to with nappies. Or aerospace. Or the unresolved angst of the protagonist of my last novel.

This post is about a question that has been looming over my existence for past several years. There are at least seven versions of this question that I can recount from the top my head and grade on a scale from curious to offensive.

It is a simple question. Never mind the underlying stream of obliterated anguish. Never mind if that sentence did not make sense to you. You will know what I mean when you hear the question. Or already do, if you have read the title of this post.

So, why does one become a writer?

It is one of those questions that have a billion answers. (Go google ‘quotes about writing’. You will know what I mean)

Each one of those answers is true. Each one of those answers is false. And why not? This question is the gateway into a writer’s universe. And if you are averse to the idea of paradoxes, this is the time for you to turn around and leave.

First off, one does not become a writer. One simply is. It is not a grand statement of superiority. It is a pointless assertion of helplessness.

Still, here is a list of possible answers to this question. All of these are accurate, although their element of truth may be subjective and time sensitive. 

Why do you become a writer?
You become a writer because you define ‘hate’ in terms of the emotions you feel for the colon—the punctuation not the organ.

You become a writer because the warmth of the blood trickling down your arm is neither phantom nor imaginary.  It is silken and viscous and has a coppery tang. You know it. You have felt it. Despite the fact that the last time you ever saw blood in real life was when you had a paper cut and three precious drops spilled on the floor. (Also, you screamed like a possessed banshee. But that never makes it on paper)

You become a writer because your extensive research on necromancy rituals has to find a place. And a word document is always preferable to a night spent in an abandoned graveyard.

You become a writer because empathy is your enemy and every emotional outburst your sympathy seeking friend resorts to is a fodder for your next character sketch. You are not being cold. In fact, there is nobody who would relate to the backstory of the outburst the way you do. After all, you wrote it.

You become a writer because if you don’t, there is so much going on in your head all the time, if you don’t give it an outlet, you will become catatonic. Or worse, annoying.

You become a writer not because your therapist thinks it will keep you sane. That is what functional people do. You become a writer because you loathe functionality. And you write so that you can continue to feed your dysfunctional existence and find rationality where none exists.

You become a writer because being depression prone is your biggest gift; your regrets are the desires that feed your imagination and your flaws are the magnificent undulations that lend character to the universes you create.

You become a writer not because you can flaunt your creativity. Because you can’t. A singer can translate his creativity into tangible songs. An artist can create painting that can be seen and touched. But a writer…a writer can only create the intangible. Stories, characters, sentences and words that can be felt but never touched. Tangible is a writer’s biggest nemesis. A writer has nothing to showcase…nothing to give in the worldly sense. And yet, a writer creates…and keeps creating even when no one can listen, no one can watch, no one can touch his creations.

You become a writer because if you don’t, the pain will consume you. The endless atrocities, the torment of our very existence, the infinite brutalities of the human world—you become a writer because there is too much pain around you and you are cursed to feel every single second of it. You become a writer because if you don’t, you will implode…and nobody will notice.

You become a writer because if when you put pen to paper, you make a room for your insanity and account for the eccentricities of the inexplicable Universe you are stuck in.

You become a writer because if you don’t, the intensity of your identity crisis will consume you.

You become a writer because if you don’t, the persistence of the fact that you are a misfit everywhere will annihilate you. 

You become a writer, because you want to survive. Because you want to live.

You become a writer because it is the most beautiful part of your existence.

You become a writer because it is wondrous and exhilarating. You become a writer because it is your greatest gift that is meant to be shared with the Universe.

You become a writer because if you don’t, what else would you do?

You become a writer, because if you won’t, who will?


  1. hi runjhun,

    Happy New Year.

    Good blog.
    You become a writer so that readers can read ur beautiful pennings.

  2. Thank you! :) And same to you. May you have a happy and successful year ahead! Also, thank you for dropping in and taking time to read my posts. It really means a lot!