Translation: Journey of a writer
I remember the exact time when my love for JKR’s writing turned into a devotion of her mind – of her art – of her creativity. It was when I was reading ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ and she talked about Horcruxes. That was the time I decided I wanted to meet JKR and pick her brain and try to find out where she got her inspirations from.
I was sixteen at the time I read that marvellous book with dreams of penning down my best-seller one day. I just didn’t have an idea. I had become rather adept at writing, thanks to a well-meaning but overzealous English teacher who walked into my life when I was thirteen. Cheers to her grammar sheets, her obsession with Shakespeare and ensuring we could quote, verbatim, Macbeth by our twelfth boards, I had the skill (or so I thought at the time; or so I continue to delude myself even now) to become a writer. Now if I could get that idea…I’d be all set.
By the time I was eighteen, my dream of penning a novel remained but the practicalities of life, career and college took precedence over writing. I was writing bits and pieces but I soon realized without my English teacher’s weekly essay prompts or my mother’s ‘why don’t you write on’ prompts, I had no ideas of my own. Sure I took my mother’s prompts and ran with them but I still needed them in order to write even five-hundred words.
I can, perhaps, in retrospect forgive myself for going through this phase but at the time, I was rather demotivated. Would I ever write something as epic as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Would I ever be that good? The list of epics I have read has only grown since then but if I write them here, it’ll only serve to daunt me further so maybe I’ll keep that for another time (like when I am tormenting myself with self-doubt late into the night).
I had, naively thought that ‘inspiration’ was a place you went to, and like a supermarket, you could buy whatever you wanted. Now if I could find the treasure map that would lead me to this place, I could have a viable idea that could potentially blow people’s minds.
It was not until 2016 that I understood what it means to have an inspiration, to have a muse, to have a notebook full of ideas and plot points and a map made by my rudimentary drawing skills. Not until my muse showed up did all those quotes on writing and of writers start to make sense.
Over the months I have come to realize that what they say about love – when you find the one, you will understand why it didn’t work out with anyone else – applies very well to my muse.
Of course I wish that the muse had come with a TNC applied or one of those ‘investments are subject to market risks’ so I could have made an ‘informed’ decision. But then if the Queen can be duped…then I’m just a commoner. [Reference to tangent: The Crown S01E10]
For the visuals, here’s a guide to writing.