On being a writer.

Most writers are considerably humble. If not for all writers, I believe I am one of those. They do not prefer widespread appreciation. Modesty comes as a gift to them. Maybe people might think that they are being too proud of their work. The very feeling of inferiority in terms of words and art makes them a bit too harsh. I mean, everyone feels a bit overwhelmed by someone who seems better. I, sometimes feel a little jealous of ‘average’ writers my age. And by average, I really mean it. No one is supposed to write better than me. Is that really despicable of me to say those words? I’m contradicting myself on being humble. I’m turning out to be straight arrogant which is somewhat bad of me. It doesn’t look good on an author’s biography. But for me, it’s as simple as one, two, and three. I can never be like Haruki Murakami but I’m surely way ahead of that dude who writes ‘nanotales’. Murakami is like a god to me, someone whom I might never witness. If my work appeals half as good as Murakami’s I’ll know that I have succeeded. Success is such a minor word for a writer or for any artist in fact. How can an artist be successful? He just contributes to a whole arena full of paintings, books and records. An artist should not dream of money or fancy cars. For all I know, an artist should be humble. He must learn to express himself as vividly as possible with his work. I could go on all day about art and artists but let’s keep this for another day. Now I am talking about myself (which I always do). I, as a writer find it difficult to open up about my work. I can start with expectations. Even though I am humble, I am very conscious about my writing. I expect a lot from my words. Of course, I must please myself before I go on pleasing the world. It hurts when I can’t deliver. I remember a week from last February. That week was one of the best periods of my life, I felt good all the time. Neither were days eventful nor I was going through a purple patch. I just latched on to healthy living and motivated myself enough to write ten pages a day. Never had my words found their way so smoothly on paper. All of my friends knew that I was inspired. Sometimes I think about those days and ponder about how good it’d have been to continue. What if every day was as energetic as those days seemed to be? As you can guess, now I’m not at all inspired. I’m not being able to deliver my best. I’m not as good as I expect myself to be. I write many articles on WordPress but still, I feel that I could’ve added more spark to my content. That’s what keeps me up at night. I always feel that I could’ve done better. It’s funny how all writers feel the same way, they unintentionally find flaws in their work and try to edit on high notes. Are we perfectionists? Maybe not. But we are very unsatisfied with what we do. There is always room for modification.And no matter how hard I try to beat the writer’s block, it just keeps getting bigger. The only solution is to read and write a lot. If you want to write, you have to write. That’s pretty sick. I feel bad when I have nothing to write about. I mean, there are a lot of thoughts and ideas surfacing in my head but they just don’t receive the clarity it deserves. I lose my cool when I can’t offer the attention my ideas deserve. Take the current moment for instance, I don’t know what I want to write about. I don’t have any idea where this will end up. This isn’t necessarily a writer’s block but it won’t be a lie if I call it that. Online experts want me to get over my block by writing. I guess this is what free writing is all about. It might be both a good and a bad thing that I have stopped writing on paper. Firstly, it consumed a lot of time and energy. It’s an altogether different story when I press keys on a keyboard. I am faster then. My writing is getting better on the laptop. The only best thing about writing in my journal was the privacy. I could write anything about anybody and nobody would know a thing. Not many knew about my journals. It felt authentic to write on paper. I could only guess how my children would feel after reading my papers. Some part of me doesn’t want them to read my journals. As a father, I wouldn’t want them to know how emotional and vulnerable I was. Maybe I’d still be like that. Only time and experience would tell. Now that I write immensely on WordPress and Instagram, people are more in touch with me through my words. I try to be modest when somebody appreciates me on how good I write. I try to be a lot humble than I already am. Just because of my writing, people assume that I have a parallel life on social media. They’d remark on how unpredictable I am and I’d silently adore myself. Maybe I have nothing to write about tonight but I will write. Because at the end of the day, all I do is write about myself and by myself.

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Haruki Murakami: A dreamy visionary yet awfully simple.

I totally want to follow how Murakami weaves his words to form sentences describing mundane yet impactful activities in life. I want to immerse myself in his way of typing and thinking. I simply want to know what’s going on in his tiny little head. First of all, he’s Japanese. He’s truly different from me in many ways. We only share a rare will to write. Somebody once said that you should not blindly follow your idol or else you might never end up as an original. But what if I say that Haruki Murakami is the only person who has had such a huge effect on my writing. I can come right out and say that only after reading his work had I the urge to write like I should. I didn’t replicate his ways but I took enough knowledge and inspiration from it. Now I can write with much more finesse and detail which kind of lacked before. I am happy that ever since I read 1Q84, I was able to garner more appreciation. Look for the connections and you will grab hold of the nerve. He’s not just a master of magical realism but a literary genius. His work has astounded everyone alike all over the world. Be it the dreamy yet impressionable character of Sumire or the ever cautious Ushikawa, his fiction can actually turn words into gold. I can never forget how Tsukuru loved sitting in rail stations for hours. He didn’t care about anything when he was amidst railway lines and giant wall clocks. The haunting persona of Midori still sends shivers down my spine. Murakami really could produce characters that are always somewhat haunting. Nothing is really exciting about them. Nobody was more boring than Toru, he was so sucked in to his routine that he actually lost his mind in the end. Take the incinerator in the Sakigake compound which was used for ‘erasing’ loose ends or the ladder down the freeway which took Aomame into a crazy year; never expect an orthodox plot in his books. I mean, the irony lies underneath. His words can be so simple defining a continuous flow of life but will surely absorb you into its utopian settings. There is much more than what meets the eye. His writing is like age old scotch; it takes time to work it’s magic on you.

I feel that his fiction veils over hard fact. I feel that a lot is hidden under his pages. I know for a fact that he loves cats; he would turn into one if he could. I mean, one would understand me if he reads a few books of his. I know that he prefers trains. There is only minimal account of other forms of transport in his books. Forget cars, he would walk for hours without a destination in mind and sit in a particular bench in the middle of a busy city junction. He is a bit of a loner actually. You must understand that these are only my unadulterated analogies of a great person. This is pure conjecture. But I can happily say that I know and understand Haruki Murakami. Even though I haven’t met him YET but I keep a tab on him. I wish I could meet him, visit Peter Cat someday and lose myself with some jazz and smoke away a few Marlboro Reds. He is an honest to God classical music fan. He once quoted that, “music, like writing is a mental journey.” Oh, the amount of Bach and various sonatas he refers to in his books. There is a lot of smoking in his novels. The characters are either smoking a pack a day or have quit smoking. Gaurav once told me of how Haruki was a chain smoker but had eventually quit and started running.

Since last October, I’ve read six of his books but only own three. I haven’t read two of them. I fear that I might run out of his words to read. That’d be a shame.

I have this strong feeling. I feel that Toru and Tengo have a lot in common with Haruki. Sometimes, I think that they are the same person. Mere limited words cannot describe this revelation of a person I call my idol. Sources imply that he does not prefer interviews, to criticize others’ works or be on television. I think that just like his characters, he has a hard time dealing with himself. Existentialism and Isolation are major elements of his stories. I am scared of how extremely one can dive into such fiction. The kind that mesmerizes without revealing itself to you. If only you read his work with a clear and determined mind, you will understand what he’s trying to say. Not many can quite comprehend his words. Take the climaxes of his books for an instance; either it’s abrupt or has a very confusing air to it. Maybe everything that happened throughout the story didn’t really happen. The ending of The Wind up Bird Chronicle was the most convincing of his endings. It felt like a movie in the end. His books have kept me up at night. I try to retrace the steps, pick up the pieces and combine it all. But every time I do that, I fall further and I forget where I was. Such is the impact of his stories. The one thing I love about his work is his violation of all literary rules. He intentionally defies the rules which help build a story into a novella. There might be various realities to his books. In 1Q84 and Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World, there are two stories overlapping each other. There are two main protagonists who share the spotlight. And eventually, they find themselves connected. This is what makes his work so amazing. The ability to simplify what seemed so complicated all along. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to reach his stature. Maybe I won’t. He’s incomparable. I can only adopt his ways of describing a scene and much needed inspiration. Nothing more or less.