Category : Blogs
Sub Category : Miscellaneous
I have listened to the whispers of this concrete jungle,
initiating leaders to rise from the rubble.
Ancient ways as old as time,
telling me it's time to rhyme and climb.
I have followed the instructions,
I've also heard the call.
Crafting my writings is what I choose,
simply to be my own creative muse.
When and where did I get the inspiration to become my own creative muse? Well, I think, rather funnily, a heartbreak triggered it. When I loved someone ardently and they didn't reciprocate after some time, I started questioning myself. The self-esteem took a toll, and soon, I found my relationship had become a terminal disease, with me counting days to a certain end, and my focus shifted from myself to love and I started to question love instead. After all, I have given so much but to no avail. At that point, I saw two roads: one downhill towards unhappiness, which convinced me never to trust love again; the second is the uphill one, which inspired me to love everyone instead. My logic was - why be dependent on one person's love when I can flood the love within me to so many people who might never have felt loved. That's the point I became my own creative muse. When giving becomes my primary nature, when my sense of self leaves with the ones departing from my life.
Becoming my own creative muse might sound cool but it's a perpetual battle. It's not as easy as I made it sound to be. It's a constant battle of ego versus selflessness, of enthusiasm versus lethargy, of passion versus passiveness. Luckily my passion for encouraging people to write supersedes my passion for writing, even though that's the medium I chose to find myself. I have had the privilege of reading and writing everyday for the past decade of my life, and it has changed me drastically as a person, giving me both the voice and the understanding to find the meaning and purpose of my life. And it's only through that transformational journey that the itch to encourage people to write got reinforce, because I want everyone to experience the very same transformation that I underwent over these years.
When I first started writing, I was pretty much like everyone else who starts writing. A wannabe. I wanted to be called a writer, I wanted to be famous and I wanted appreciation. I would write simplistic prose and send it to my friends to read, and if anybody criticized, I would be super defensive and try to explain to them why what I wrote was fresh and original. Ultimately, I started living in a bubble - a bubble of those friends and readers who either feared to say the truth i.e. my writing was shit, to my face, or those who didn't really care about my writing. At that phase, I started reading more avidly, primarily to arm myself with better vocabulary, but reading had something better in store for me. It made me fall in love with the craft.
My reading graduated from Reader's Digest to Chicken Soup for the Soul to Paulo Coelho to ultimately a point where I had nibbled through each and every popular fiction on the book-stands. Then I came to a stand still. These books were entertaining but they rarely left me thinking. They either made me smile or sad. I wanted more from books, and that's when I jumped ship to reading literary fiction, the books that didn't answer questions, the books that left me with too many questions, uncomfortable ones about my notions of the world, politics, history, gender, society, religion. I read authors that I had not heard before, authors that none of my friends were reading, authors from all across the world, authors who wrote to provoke not just to entertain. It was an interesting shift for me, but now I understand not only the world better, but also myself.
For example, reading the book The Buddha in the Attic put me in the shoes of the unmarried Japanese women during World War and their ambitions and struggles. Reading The Interpreter of Maladies got me thinking about identity and politics among men and women of Indian diaspora living in the US. Reading The Reluctant Fundamentalist humanized people of terror and one could see what drives one to such extremities. None of these books took sides and left it to me to take the sides I believed in. It taught me that the right answer is not what I agree with the most, but what I disagree with the least. This turned my understanding of what writing can do, what writing should do and turned me into a seeker more than a writer. From there, I wanted to write to seek a better understanding of myself, the world, and myself in the world. I wanted to be as dexterous as all these great writers I was reading and picked up a thing or two from their writing styles. As I went on this journey on Writer's Outlet, I was stumped to witness the sheer joy and empathy that filled me every single time I wrote and read. Reading not only armed me with a better vocabulary but also a better grasp of human nature. And then something interesting happened. My transformation as a writer was so simple yet so profound that I wanted others to experience it with me. The quest to share this happiness is bigger than the quest of fame that eluded me when I first began writing. And that's why I chose to be my own creative muse, to encourage other people to write, to encourage others find themselves through writing.
There are a lot of coaches in the world, the self-proclaimed gurus who make you believe that they can change your life. Truth is, none of them can. A guru's only job is to take you to a point where you realize you don't need a guru. That you have you and there's no better teacher than yourself. The mediums to come to that realization are different across religions, across nations. Some find a way through philosophy and knowledge, some through decade-long practice or meditation, some through devotion and complete surrender, and some from art and sports. For me, that medium is writing. No, I have not realized my self and I don't think anyone ever does, but all I know is that every day I come to know myself a little better, love everyone a little more than yesterday, just because I write. And that's why I choose to march to the beat of my own drum, why I choose to be my own creative muse, for I am someone who live for something larger than myself.