“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
I have been blogging since 2007, and I had no intentions of becoming an author at that time. Blogging came to me spontaneously one day, when I decided to share a piece or two I had written at leisure. Even before that, I used to write in a diary every day for seven years. Writing came naturally to me, but I had never thought of it as a profession. So there I was, a foreign student in a country not my own, recently heartbroken and trying to cope up with increasing physical distance from my family. Something clicked and I started blogging my thoughts which then converted to poems and short stories, and something now being termed as ‘personal writing.’
The problem with blogging back then was the fact that only my friends read whatever I wrote. After you have been lauded by your friends, there comes a time when you yearn for applause from strangers. I’m not sure if it happens to bloggers writing in technical aspects, music, politics or any holistic topic. It surely happens for creative writing. You write surreal poems, heart-wrenching short stories and articles and you suddeny want strangers to read ’em and like ’em. I had quite a few people popping up from nowhere and praising little pieces that I had created, which were priceless to me. Give this phase a year or two and most bloggers in the field of creative writing want to become authors to increase their population of readers.
At this point, dear blogger, I would like you to ask yourself in a serious manner if you really want to become a writer. Treating your blog as a storehouse for your creativity and transforming the passion into dream of being an author, are sadly different.
Transition was easy for me as I want to write down everything I have in my head and beyond. Most importantly, I could not continue in my field of academics due to recession, and had to choose an alternate career. It couldn’t have been better than writing.
If you wish to break free the shackles of a blog and become a writer, try these for a start –
1. Writing fiction – Have you written any short story yet? If not, give it another thought. You want to become an author and no short stories in the pipeline? Almost impossible. Are you the type who wants to write a big fat novel some day? Still, try a short story first. Trust me, the path to becoming an author starts with the creaky tile called short story. Once you are confident of fitting the puzzle pieces together, you can assemble a large one.
2. Writing poetry – This is quite a painful part. Don’t try too hard to write a poem and impress people. It must come naturally to you. And if it does, keep honing your skills. You will know how to, once you know you can write a good poem.
3. Writing effective non-fiction – Most bloggers start with writing articles based on real life – be it humour, politics, sports, travel, movies or music. You must be better at writing on a particular topic among these. Try writing more articles on your blog as well for other websites to gain better control over words and the issues addressed in the article. If you love to write memoirs, pin down every detail in your memory!
—- Priyanka Roy Banerjee
A mentorship series on writing effectively and beautifully. You can find previous posts here.