Writing and PR

“Think of a good PR story,” said ranjan.
“Like hell I need one. Books sell on content,” I thought.

Well, I wouldn’t contend with the later part of my statement but sure would doubt the first half. I need PR. For I write for public consumption. And for your work to reach out to people, you first need to reach out to them. And there comes the difficult part. For while in the process of creating one convinces him or herself that he/she is doing it solely for himself. That the creator is the first and the last consumer and it doesn’t matter if no one else reads it or likes it. And there is a reason why that conviction is required. It is to block your mind. Block it of all the many doubts which shall creep in if you do not do so. There is no sure way of knowing that what you are doing is good enough. That it has been written the way it shall be. At some point one has to start writing whatever way he/she deems fit. And at some point he/she will have to sit as jury over it and ask, “is it written well?” The trouble happens when you begin to do the two at the same time. It may never need a conclusion. Part of the reason why a writer or any creator for that matter undergoing lack of confidence will find it tough to start and tougher to continue. They would need constant inspiration, encouragement to bolster self-belief. And what compounds it all is that self-belief can only come from believing in yourself, backing yourself. No one else can do it for you. And nothing could be more shattering when at the end of having finished your work you come to a conclusion, by yourself, via friend’s/well-wishers feeldback or through publisher’s rejection, that it is not good enough to make the cut. It will cut deeper than deep. That is why that blind, rigid, obstinate, rock-hard conviction is required. I write what I deem fit. Fuck the world. They know a damn fuck. I care a damn fuck.

Well, that’s act one for you. Act two begins once you serve your manuscript to the publishers. They want changes/altering/tailoring. That is the first hammer to the rock solid defense or ego whatever you may want to call it, one has built. It shall take some time but sure enough, most will crack. Those who won’t, either will bring something fundamentally unique and path-breaking to the world or shall never be known about. Well, I cracked.

Part three begins when books begins to hit the market. Because now one encounters competition and faces it point blank. “What is your book bringing out so unique? Why should I read it? Does it entertain me? Does it tell me something? What is it really about?” are questions that one can not escape anymore. And these are really hard questions for one convinced he/she wrote it for oneself. For he can not read all the copies. As a matter of fact he/she wouldn’t want to see it for some amount of time so saturated one would have become of it during writing/editing/tailoring process. And these are question which he would have blocked long back. Now these are the ones that come down heavily shattering the shell. The baby is out at school and teachers are grading it. He/she may have been a genius when born but well, its time to sit in exams. And this is where the toughest of challenge shall come for a writer of some sort. I have added, ‘some sort’ because it looks quite presumptuous to me to call myself a writer, though I have the credentials. Even though the shell is broken, the answer to the questions posed are still hard to find because sure enough there are no answers in the head to be found. The guy needs external help. To my mind, add novice mind if you shall, a writer knows little about what he/she is creating. He has some notions, certain notions but no clear picture. Atleast that is true of me. To me, a writer is not always a person who can think well and straight, he could well be a person who can think but not straight. That is why he needs a page to pour his stream of thoughts onto. Poor guy is living inside his head and you are asking him about whats in your head? He is merely babbling in response. Spare him. And if he/she knows too well what he is creating than to me it is not coming from the gut, from the end of the individual. For to me, writing is also a process of self-exploration. You come to know much about the story while telling it unless you are a manipulator or detached from it. I am not. And that is why I do not really know what I have written. Why you shall read it. Whether it shall entertain you. These are questions I didn’t ask myself for I am not qualified to answer for you. I found my answers to why I am writing in the first place and you dear rear shall find why you are reading it. Well, with that attitude of mine, you must have understood I can not do PR. I don’t have it in me. I can not have it in me. For the shell I built is too fucking hard. It is suffocating me. Well, save me.

—————————————————————-

I do not like to write. I like to have written. These are words of some I guess famous writer, I know not of. But these have begun to ring so true. Sometimes there is a frustrating and agonizing need to express something out, to finish something out so that it can be finalized, packaged and made to read. But the process is not really in one’s control. It has its own rhythm and one has to beat as per it if he or she wants to get things done as per satisfaction. Even if it did not have its own rhythm, it still would be painstaking and would test patience. But if it has its own rhythm then it exaggerates the cyclicity, thus adding anxiety, restlessness to agonizing wait.

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