Worshipping Weapons of Warfare of all Writers
In the Indian subcontinent, the onset of autumn marks the beginning of festive season. As per the Hindu calendar, the nine day festival of Navratri venerates nine avatars of the feminine energy in the form of goddess Durga. Her vanquishing of the demons symbolizes victory of good over evil on the tenth day, also known as Dussera. After a raging war with the demons, this day is also celebrated by worshipping one’s weaponry.
If you happen to be a writer, needless to say, your collection of books, journals, stationery, your workstation and everything else that seduces you day in and out to keep writing, are a part of your ammunition.
Taking this a step further, the wisdom from a 17-century Marathi (one of the regional languages) saint and poet Sant Tukaram, underscores the importance of words as weapons. He says. “ we posses jewels of words; we shall preserve words as our weapons; words are at the core of our lives; we shall distribute the wealth of words; and look, words are our true gods; so, words are what we shall revere.”
All the creative folks reading this would agree hands down with the universality of these insights. This is also what gives each one of us our creative streak. Talking of that elusive term ‘creativity’, we know from instinct that it comes in some form of madness. And words are our only tools to express the pent-up angst, and madness that we try to maneuver discipline. If things don’t agitate, irritate or move us, then finding our battles takes time. And we look for content ideas.
In our own lives, as writers we often need to summon a vast army of words within a moment’s notice. Every turn of phrase, syntax, voice, tone etc., will determine the impact of our writing. Further, if the writing is embellished with figures of speech, humour, wit, instinct, insight and enriched with experience, pain, and compassion then it will not miss its mark-the reader’s heart. The piece-de-resistance now starts taking shape.
Talking about matters of heart, is one destined to be a writer ? Of course, yes. It’s a calling. Many of us try getting around whatever vocation or trade we are pursuing. And it then comes as an enlightenment. This is the moment of truth for us. We, who are desperately looking for some signs from the heavens above. Crystal clear. As the go ahead from an editor for your first submission. This revelation leaves nothing more to be asked. We begin to realize our true potential.
Realization is the next stage. When I look at the moderately decent collection of books I own, I get a feeling of how wealthy I am. For many, it also adds that aura around them. An affirmation that I am resourceful unto myself. All is whole, complete and perfect in my world ! (a chuckle).
Acceptance from society now forms the subplot of our stories. Deep down lurks the fear of being branded as an outcast. What if my words are not able to move my readers ? Do I have to be content with writing only SEO content ? May I ever be able to get all those creative juices work for me as I write something in freehand ? And of course, can my words market my thoughts and ideas well ?
When confronted with such a situation, all you need to do is turn back and look at the road you’ve taken to reach here. You’ve been writing something steadily. You have been a wordsmith all along. It is by the dint of your love for the written word that you’ve come across as a recluse or introvert or mean to the rest of the world.
As in any other art form, the biggest joy comes from the appreciative glances, encouraging feedback and reactions of complete strangers. The road is challenging yet full of excitement. Hours spent punching at the keyboard may appear like a hard fought fierce battle. A battle we have chosen willingly. A battle that sees us bleed to utter exasperation. However, deep down we know our madness shall triumph. It does eventually, without a doubt.
With so many aspiring writers like me looking to hold onto some faith or belief, nothing ever satisfies our greed to conquer new territories, master new techniques and be visible on such vibrant platforms as Medium. This is where our worship at the altars of knowledge and wisdom starts bearing fruits. This is where we reckon the source of inspiration to keep going regardless of distractions. Or consequences. The first step, then, is to put on our war gear that is actually a protective shield made of rare material called self-belief. Placing our trust in the finely refined thought processes we have come to command we rush headlong straight away into the battle ground just like those gladiators from the distant past.