Next to the defeated politician, the writer is the most vocal and inventive attention holder in the world. He sees hardships and unfairness, wherever he looks. There are many common complaints of a working writer but I believe the most lifelong horrifying expense involved in the writer's life is in getting out the words.
Creativity can have its own reward, but it doesn't pay the rent. A blank paper is the writer's greatest enemy.
It may come as a surprise to many of you who assume that a writer's tools are limited to paper, pencils and a cup of tea and may be a tweed sport coat for interviews, but it is much beyond that.
The problem from which all other problems arise is that writing takes up the time that could otherwise be spent earning a living, A beggar on the street seeing a writer shuffling towards him would dig deep into his rags to see if he can spare him a dime. The bank officer in the bank would hide under his desk to avoid getting the eye contact to the desperate figure, looking for something to tide him over until he completes a great novel. He knows that the man of letters is not worth the credit risk.
God knows! There is enough interference as it is. To the outsider, research, probably suggests a few hours in the library, a dozen phone calls and maybe that's all it is used to be. Today, however, writers are expected more than that, required to produce work that is totally authentic in all its details.
The writer in the throes of research can often be seen in some of the world's most uncomfortable and dangerous corners, in Beirut, in Mogadishu, in Iraq, in the furnace of Gulf, in the hot sand of Afghanistan. You would find him soaking up the atmosphere, couched intently over his notebook for long ages and a brief but costly check up in the hospital from those distant places. Choosing the best words to reflect his ideas, constructing sentences to yield profound meaning, juggling up words in the best place, are not easy tasks!
Every morning he gears up to start his work. The ream of blank paper awaits him. The pencils are sharpen once again, a further plunge into the flash pots, a trip, a new hobby, an old flame, a second honeymoon or whatever, for him there is nothing but to try again and again, to make things work. He is unwilling to compromise on quality of his work. Nothing less than the best works for him!
After accomplishing his objective of finesse in his writing, there is a big sigh of satisfaction and achievement. All those relentless efforts have paid off. His love for writing has earned him, appreciation, gratitude and happiness. Moreover, the journey taken to craft that remarkable piece of work helps to achieve new altitudes of self-transcendence.
So do you still believe that writer's life is effortless and painless? Think again!