Since an entire busload of bloggers are now Officially Published Authors (including my dear friend Parul, who has written the delightful Bringing Up Vasu, which you must must go right now to a bookstore and buy and read), I’ve been deluged by a slew of mails asking me when a) am I ever going to write a book and b) will I dictate it from the grave.
Knowing meself and my industrious efforts at maximising what needs to be done in a single day, I must confess the latter seems more likely the more I think of it. Maybe, I can set up contact with someone who can see through the veil and have that poor person do some auto-writing while I continue to live my current life as worthlessly as I have done so far.
Seriously though. For one, I am flattered that so many folks think I have a book in me. I dont think I do. I’m like the comic who is good at stand up for a five minute gig but would be hardpressed to impress an audience of dour face business heads for a 10 minute skit. First I sweat. And then my tongue goes dry. And my heart begins the kaboom palpitations. Or the writing equivalent. And then, comes the fact that doing professional reviewing work has rather sucked the joy out of writing, especially when I see such brilliant writing coming out of some newly published authors that I feel like digging my hole, crawling into it and pulling it in after me. Seriously though. I am lazy. Dog (or the female gender of) lazy. I am the writer who sits on a deadline till it is due within the hour and then scurries around in a frothing at the mouth panic until she hammers it off. And never learns from her laziness. I dont have that Very Important Factor which distinguishes great writers from hacks like me, namely Discipline.
The only arena where I possess immense Discipline is that of applying sunblock, washing and cleansing my face at night before slathering on night cream on the mug and foot cream on the extremities and pulling on the socks. Yup, a lady’s got to do what she has to do to ensure that the feet dont give her date of birth away.
As far as writing goes, I barely get any time at the computer that I put to real writing. Blogging yes. That tops the list. Tweeting and facebooking follows. And replying to the incessant emails that float in through the day probably needs an assistant to be hired in order to reply to each.
Enough excuses I think. And enough procrastination. I am now determined to write A Book. And Find A Publisher. (Since, sadly enough, no one is coming shrieking with contracts to be signed and pen aloft in hand towards me). And I must stop Hiding My Light Behind a Bushel. Given that I find that damn bushel behind which I have been supposedly hiding said light. But then Publishers are scary people. They demand manuscripts or at least a couple of chapters and something called a synopsis, which in effect means you need to know where your story is headed, and which given my foresight and astuteness, I clearly never have any clear idea. On most good days, I am lucky to get from Point A to Point B without a clear idea of where I am supposed to be headed, given that invisible threads yank me into coffee shops and shoe stores. And then you have to be strong and emotionally resilient about rejection slips. I sob when my son tells me I drew Batman wrong, so wrong candidate for them rejection slips too. Something just tells me I am so going to not be a published author in this lifetime.
And of course, finding my own voice, not one which channels the great Pelham G Wodehouse. Thats the biggie. Once I find my voice, I think I will start. Put finger to keyboard in earnest. Once I find my voice, and find a story, I will start. I promise, cross my heart and swear to die. Or maybe, once I find my voice, and find a story and find a publisher, I will start. Promise. Scout’s honour. Signed in blood, and such like. Maybe I should first find a publisher and work backwards. Like the features. With the deadline in the same manner. Like yesterday. That might be the only way to actually get a book out of me. And grim faced editors mailing me every hour on the hour to ask about the status of said book might help in accelerating the pace. And an assistant to bring me innumerable cups of coffee. And the spouse to give me a tension headache headmassage. Ah okay. I’m never going to get round to it.