Hello to my IWSG fellows
I read an interesting term, called ritual being sometime back, and it’s stayed with me. Last month I couldn’t post for the IWSG and couldn’t even visit other writers because ‘C’ that stormed the world two years back struck home and I dealt with my share of the pandemic. But writing every month for the IWSG has become such a ritual that I missed not having posted. I guess that’s the thing about habit formation and rituals. They become such a part of us that to break away takes a good deal of effort.
Do you wish to join the IWSG? It’s a great resource for writers. Visit here to join.
So, the question for February 2, is ‘Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around anymore? Anyone you miss?’
Presuming that this question pertains only to our writing journey, let me begin by saying that not just writing alone, every creative pursuit is a solitary journey. Unless we meet those, who are equally stimulated by it. I’ve been lucky in the sense that my family has been supportive of my creative journey, giving me the space to pursue the same and by not encroaching upon my writing time. Rather they ensure that I am writing on a regular basis because they know how not being able to write makes me restless. I am also pampered with books to read and with writing material. But we are people with different sensibilities and varied interests. However, that holds little significance because sometimes all you need to know is that someone’s got your back.
I’ve had teachers since school who were appreciative of my craft and took the trouble to provide feedback. During graduation I had a friend who was also my room-mate. If there was a peak learning period in my life, it was with her. She introduced me to aspects of writing that I hadn’t been aware of and I can say she helped me polish my craft. We are no longer in touch but there’s a lot to thank her for.
Finally, I’ve met strangers whose influence on my work is unmissable. This includes fellow writers, critics, friends and random readers. I cannot say that I miss someone particularly, but their two-minute role in my writing journey has been multi-dimensional. One of them was the editor of Teens Today (a popular magazine in the ‘90s), Ameena Jayal. Being a regular subscriber of the magazine, I decided to send in a submission for the same. The piece was not selected but I received a hand-written letter from the editor saying that she saw great promise in me and she also included some writing advice in it. I was twelve back then. I don’t know if editors have the time or the bandwidth to do that kind of a thing today, but the way it worked for me, I try to pass on the same kindness to others, especially children interested in writing.
In short, maybe I’ve been lucky, but I can say that a little encouragement helps go a long way. At least, it always keeps you miles away from giving up your dream. What’s your story of encouragement? Do share in the comments below.
The co-hosts for this month are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery! Do visit them and show some love. And a big shoutout to our Ninja captain Alex J. Cavanaugh for this wonderful group.