This is a picture of glowing embers. To me, it represents perseverance which is a prominent theme in my post.

He’s like a hawk, waiting for me to impulsively write a bad blog post, or a trite love poem, lacking depth. And the moment I do, he’ll come swooping down with those fierce talons and say, “Well done! This is one of your best posts!” while he chuckles behind my back. He doesn’t realize that I see through all his deceptive schemes, and that I have no time for games.

There was a time when my writing was obscure and shaded what I really wanted to convey like the smog hides the locomotive. There was a time when I imitated the poets I admired, and my uttering probably made them writhe in their graves. There was a time when I forced writing out like a bulimic induces vomiting. I did it because I walked on some dreamy shore then, basking in the sunrise as waves of romanticism washed my feet. But I’m both my biggest admirer and biggest critic. And so, I deleted my work myriad times, and came back after having suffered and having gained more experience. And experience produces perspective that replaces a bird’s-eye-view of reality with unique vantage points that reflect a writer’s idiosyncrasies, pain and love. It helps a writer imbue his work with a wealth of emotion that was previously missing. It helps a writer express his deepest longings and his wildest angst.

Some call me a ‘misfit,’ but if I didn’t walk lonely, weather-worn streets, I’d never know a harrowing reality where the church-bells don’t chime, and the hearse is the only vehicle seen. Others call me a ‘madman,’ but without madness, I’d never understand the minds of those who conform, and those other hypocrites who pretend to. Madness helps me understand the terrifying false light that illuminates so many paths; eventually leading people to a pit with worms and snakes. Madness helps me see through facades of optimism with their garish colors and helps me understand just how petty we all are. It helps me strive to be more honest.

At least I’m open about my faults and misgivings. I am often proud and malicious, and I elevate my grief and self-loathing to astronomical proportions by doing foolish things. But all said and done, I’m not some 45-year-old, married, cyber-stalking chickenshit posting under a false name and trying to seduce women half his age with stories about dead lovers. An initiator of online feuds who uses self-pity and an imagined penis size to try and start relationships with people he’s never met, before blackmailing them when they reject him. Have some self-respect!

Today, I’m far from a perfect writer, and I’m not a perfect person, but I try and try some more, and I don’t give up. Call me a tragic optimist, or a foolish idealist but if I didn’t try, my life would be deprived of even ephemeral meaning.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

16 Replies to “On writing”

  1. “He’s like a hawk, waiting for me to impulsively write a bad blog post, or a trite love poem, lacking depth. And the moment I do, he’ll come swooping down with those fierce talons and say, “Well done! This is one of your best posts!” while he chuckles behind my back. He doesn’t realize that I see through all his deceptive schemes, and that I have no time for games.”

    Love this. X

    1. Thank you so much! I was on WP a long time ago and had a much more popular blog, but my poems then were shit. But people would leave comment after comment talking about how beautiful they were. Now that I’ve improved, I don’t see them anywhere. It irritates me, but it also liberates my blog from being one of those blogs that is inundated with likes and comments. And so, in some sense, I’m relieved!

      1. I TOTALLY understand this! I’ve never had a popular blog, but have realised that quality is far more important than quantity. And when I look at the people who DO follow, like and comment on my self indulgent shit, I couldn’t be happier. Even though I often wonder why such talented people like me back, it thrills me.

        So…thank you for writing this and for being in my small but beautifully marked gang x

      2. Thank you! That comment made me happy. I’m glad to be part of your gang. Your writing is very honest and succinct. I think that’s why talented writers follow you. You aren’t afraid of being both fierce and vulnerable. So, I wouldn’t call it self-indulgent shit. A popular blog on the other hand requires you to be very self-indulgent and awful!

      3. Haha x thank you luv. Also, for adding the – between self and indulgent. I noticed too late to change it! I wouldn’t have been able to sleep tonight…

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