It hardly feels like summer here in Madurai.
There’s this continuous rain that’s lashing against my windows, and it’s absolutely quiet. I see flashes of thunder and lightening at a distance. What’s more, I feel much more relaxed than I did all week, because I’m done with one of my exams and I now have some breathing space until the next one comes up and the hectic schedule sets off again. There’s this tranquil silence, and yet the calmingly cool monsoon breeze that’s gently caressing my cheeks and hair, seems to be doing the magic.
In short, is like Nature is setting the mood and asking for me to write. I couldn’t really resist it. I HAVE to write. This is such a perfect setting for me to get lost in my thoughts and pour everything that’s going on in my mind into this blank page.
However, I’m afraid most of you are going to absolutely hate me for writing this. But that’s exactly why I’m going to say it.
So, here goes.
My last post on O Kadhal Kanmani has made the last seven days quite a huge deal for me. I’ve been writing all along, just for myself.
And I have to admit, all along I was probably the only person who read the stuff that I write here. And maybe my parents, best friends, cousins and aunts as well.
But the last week has been quit over whelming for me to receive warm messages from absolute strangers (I’ll share a few of them in my later posts) Also, I don’t want to brag, but the very fact that there are almost 30,000 people out there who have READ an article by me, gives me chills.
I mean, to be honest, it wasn’t really the best of my writing. I hastily wrote the entire post in about 12 minutes or so and published it, not having even the slightest idea that it would bring so many new people into my life. I’ve written certain really deep stuff and certain other personal write ups that are filled with the deepest thoughts that reside in the darkest conrner of my heart and mind, but none of them have had such a viral response. (Yeah, tell me about the power of the visual media)
As an author of almost 25 short stories and one historical fiction novel(that’s yet to be published and could potentially become a trilogy in the future) I know and admit the fact that it’s really impossible to find a new idea in a world in which already EVERYTHING has been said and written.
So, when people brag about certain elements in one particular story being similar to the plot or scenes or the characters in another story, I tend to…um…slightly loose my cool.
I’ll let this line do the talking :
“It’s been said and done. Every beautiful thought has been ALREADY SUNG.”
Unbelievable. Look at me, I’m quoting Selena Gomez. (Damn it, I never thought I’d live to see this day.)
*Brings back maturity in content*
So, what actually matters in a story is the style and the unique voice that’s given to it, which draws that narrow line between inspiration and plagiarism. In that way I think the essence of a good piece of art lies in its ability to stand out. To stand out beyond the obviously negative criticism and to stand out from all the hate. Only when it stands out, does it get a unique style and voice of its own.
And it’s not just with O Kadhal Kanmani. (I swear, I’ve turned my inner fan girl off while writing this, trust me :p )
Every time we find something that’s trending on the internet, we quiet easily unleash the brutal, judgemental and merciless inner critic. Criticism is fine. In fact it is absolutely necessary. However, it is also rude and insolent of us to to look past all the efforts that has been put into a piece.
Or maybe that’s just how the world works. It enjoys ripping the artist apart, and killing his creativity by intensely negative comments.
Or maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know, you tell me at the end of this.
But I do know one thing for sure.
Getting started on a story requires a lot of effort.
And the reason that it’s going to require a lot of effort is because it’s actually worth doing for someone who has started out on it. It matters to them. An inspired artist never sits idle or broods over his excuses.
THEY GET THINGS DONE.
They put in efforts and do justice to their dreams. They commit. They live, dream and breathe their passion. They are consumed by an idea. And that right there is what sets them apart. While most of us are simply making excuses and we just couldn’t be bothered, some one out there is doing something. They’re getting things DONE. They are creating a an entirely new world from scratch.
And what do we do to them? We tear them apart. We shred their dream that they’ve worked on for so long, into pieces.
A movie or a book or a piece of music or any product of art, once published into the public, belongs to the public.
But it IS HARD.
I am not going to stop myself from revealing such simple truths. Creativity has been overly romanticised. Its not always sunshine and daisies to work on the creative domain or take it up as a career. It’s not only the less trodden path but it is also a path that is toughest to tread on.
Story telling is HARD. Painting is HARD. Composing a tune is HARD.
Any artist will agree with me when I say that that moment when one gets the spark, a tiny spark that triggers an entire work, is divine. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
The work that follows the ‘spark’ phase, that’s where the real deal is at. It requires a lot of discipline. It requires self control. It requires an immense amount of strength that helps one battle all the potential distractions that might come their way. It requires racking your brain on finding that stroke of uniqueness that sets your work apart from the millions of others that’s been already been out there.
There’s been generations of creative people before us and the chances of them thinking the EXACT same things that we did, are very very high.
And sometimes, we don’t really have much choice rather than to draw inspiration from someone else.
The process of creativity, for the striving artist, is almost suicidal. It is not a switch that can be flicked on and off as one desires. Sometimes ideas just pour in, and sometimes we have to go for months and years without any sort of idea hitting us. It is painful, infuriating, agonizing, pathetic and depressing.
And yet, the artists do it because they love doing what they do.
It’s almost like fighting with a family member or a loved one. You think you hate each other for a while, but then at the end of the day, you simple know that you can’t live without them and that without them your life loses all its meaning.
Without them, every ticking second becomes an existential crisis.
I hope what I’m trying to say has been presented in the most coherent and sensible way possible.
The point is this. It is OBVIOUSLY very much easier to say that you want to do something rather than actually doing it.
I mean, it’s easier to say you want to climb mount Everest, compared to actually doing it. (Duh.) And it’even more easier to criticize the people who went up there before us.
Spread love, not hate.
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