Hope you are doing well.
It has been over six months ever since I started working on my second book. Three months since I actually started putting words into the outline. I thought it would be easy because I have already been through this before.
Shikhandini, my first book was not just a novel. To me, it was a journey from a storyteller to a published author. And I speak of being a published author proudly not because I consider the “published” part as an achievement but because to get published one has to actually finish writing the book. To be able to sit down and write relentlessly every single day with a singular focus of finishing your book is what I consider a true accomplishment.
This is true for all other fields as well. Finishing the piece of art, touching the end line of the race or even completing your graduation. While realising your passion – goal in life is hard, what is harder is to work consistently towards it. To work every single day even if it is a very small effort.
Crawling towards the finish line is far better than stopping where you are. Always better.
But what is it that stops us from continuing the journey towards the finish line? What is it that makes us doubt ourself and give up midway?
If it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, then don’t do it.
It is because we start believing in gibberish like this. Even a minor roadblock in our creative thinking sends us down a roller coaster of self-doubt and loathing. Is this really my passion? Am I really meant to do this? Then why is it so hard for me? Why does it feel like hard work?
Isn’t working towards your passion supposed to be exciting and fun? Then why do I feel like I am pushing myself too much to inch forward even a little?
Whoever said – if you get a job that is inclined with your passion then you will never have to work for a single day in your life, I disagree with you. Either things came very easily to you or your definition of work is much different than mine.
The only reason that is stopping you or even stalling you from working towards your goal is Resistance. Internal Resistance. Not from your family, not from your friends and not even from your foes. It is resistance from within. Resistance that feeds procrastination and eventually makes you believe that you are just not meant for it.
There are many artists and writers today who at some point in their career doubted themselves and ‘almost’ gave up on their dreams. They too faced resistance from within. And this resistance comes usually after crossing the first milestone. When you have tasted the first sip of success.
Ever wondered why some great artists who started out big and won debut awards often come down crashing with their next piece of work? Or worst the next piece never comes? Because they succumb and give in to the resistance. They start believing that the first time was meer luck.
I suffered a writer’s block for over a month which I believe ended a few weeks ago. During the course of that month, I believed I would never be able to finish the book. Sometimes I wondered if Shikhandini would be the only book I ever wrote.
Sometime during that phase, I read a simple quote that convinced me to keep going.
You can edit a bad page but you cannot edit a blank page.
Today I am 30,000 words down in my second book. There are scenes that are half-written there are parts that I have left midway. And there are some badly written pages too. But I am proud of it. Because even through the worst days, I managed to write. And that is enough for now. I plan on finishing the book even if on some days I feel like I cannot do it.
Because being passionate about something does not mean it will come naturally to you all the time. There will always be roadblocks. Things will sometimes not work out. Many a time you will feel like giving up. But you have to keep going until you reach the finish line. Because that’s the only way you to go.
Author of Shikhandini