It is hard to tell how and when exactly the writing bug bit me, but I didn’t build into a writer, I rather sort of became one. I was never groomed to write; in fact, languages are totally off the track for a person from the world of technology like me. Probably it was a latent dream of mine to create waves in the writing world on a fine day, and when I stumbled upon a magazine’s call for submissions, I thought why not give it a shot. Since then the roller coaster ride began.
They often say that failures are the stepping stones to success, yet my experience says that at times, failures can be really de-motivating and once you step back you may never get back the pace at which you started. Most of my first few pieces of fiction were rejected by a couple of magazines, some of them did not even respond to my mails, while others said that my writing didn’t fit their need. There were times when I read and re-read the published stories in those magazines and then compared my work with them, yet I couldn’t decipher what exactly my work lacked. The only thing I felt was that no work of art can be compared, every piece that was selected was standalone and unique.
For the next few months, I took to serious reading (three to four hours a day). I would read almost anything-from newspapers and blogs to fiction of any genre, and each time I came across a new word or an innovative usage of it, I would make note of it and try to use it in my writing. Those who had often read my pieces, like my friends and father, told me that my writing had evolved and that I was improving. There were no tenets I followed, except for two- When you write fiction don’t tell, rather show, and the second, write from your heart. And after being rejected by four different magazines at almost the same time, my story was finally accepted by one.
Once you have taken the first step, you gain confidence and you are ready to face rejection as you begin to see green light at the end of the tunnel. After submitting articles and stories to a couple of publishers, a couple of them being accepted , many more rejected, all you can do is only cross your fingers and improve in the quality of language and the way you convey it to the reader. You will understand that you can never satisfy the tastes of all the readers through one story, and you look at each story as an opportunity for at least some of them to savor your thought process. As you write and read more, new ideas spring up; you tend to write more for your satisfaction than for your piece to get selected, because if one publisher rejects it another might just love it. It’s all an ineffable cocktail of chance, writing style and what the reader wants.
Out there is a world of competition, motley crew of dreamers who give you different flavors with their pen, readers who are never satiated and publishers who would think a million times before accepting your work, especially if they have to pay you. All you have in an unprimed canvas with you and it is your job to make it colorful. Some may like to colors you have chosen, some may not. Every writer has had a rough road to tread on till he/she is established and he/she struggles to take the first step- the most difficult one. There are many who take the first few steps and then recoil when they begin to feel discouraged. Yet the most important thing is to visualize green light at the end of the tunnel and proceed towards it, savor every minute of the writing journey because somewhere, there is surely someone who would love what you have written.
So here I am with a pen in my hand, wanting to use it as a brush to paint my imagination and make it reality. As a struggling writer who won’t give up, in process of writing my first novel, hoping that my struggle doesn’t become too severe, I have one thing to tell all other amateur writers like me – Never step back. You never know, the next thing you write may be the one the world is searching for.