My Experiences as a Writer
I don’t know whether what I experience as a writer is what other writers experience as well. But I want to share what I have felt, with others. Maybe some future writers will gain from my experiences as a writer. But I do not promise that that will happen.
When I write, someone inside me writes. Without much effort, thoughts and emotions stream into my typing fingers. My mind is hardly used in the process. I know very little about what the next thing in the plot, chapter, paragraph or line will be. I just sit down to type and my stories get written. I hardly plan anything; almost everything I write comes in a flash or in flashes. The editing after the first draft does happen with my mind fully awake, though sometimes in the process of the editing my mind returns to the original creative path it had taken.
When I am by myself, typing out what comes to me from within, words stream in and begin to get converted into images, metaphors or symbols unless they are to remain just simply words. They move, at times rhythmically and sometimes without much of a decided sound patterning. Even the prose flows out effortlessly falling into sound waves, as it were. For me, the sound of a word matters a great deal.
Literary authors that I have admired sometimes pop into my writing. I teach English Literature and Literary Theories at the University of Allahabad. Both the literature I teach and its theories also enter my writing rather surreptitiously. Because I teach Contemporary Literary Theories my writings are affected by contemporary thought. But this happens without my knowing it. I would compare the whole thing to sleep walking. The patient does all the walking in sound sleep; I do the writing in a waking sleep. In Shakespeare’s words, while my eyes are open, their sense is shut.
This writing subconsciously has increased down the years. In my novel, The Tailor’s Needle, this happened more than it did in Marriages are Made in India, my first story collection. Now, in my latest story collection, Intriguing Women, I have written virtually everything as someone other than myself.