As it turns out, this year is nearly at its speedy end. It’s later in October and we only have …
I tend to generally write a poem that fits a novel I’m writing, and this I usually do without realizing. Must be the fact that that story subconsciously stays in my mind.
Carefree Steps is something I wrote and rewrote couple of days ago and it’s supposed to fit the new spec Ebony & Frank. But something doesn’t feel right or sound right. (The flu has muddled my brains!!)
Would love an opinion or two on this if any one is game. 🙂
Into the darkness
strays carefree steps,
the dying light
sleeps amongst the land of promises
by morrow, the light will bring everything
which by and large you passed
an age ago.
If you’ve found yourself clicking on this post, then I’m safe to assume that you are either someone starting out in writing and dream of being published, or, you are an experienced writer/producer wanting to see how much of a fool I’m making myself in this post and what other silly things I might write beside the title that obviously got you to click.
Well, here’s the thing. I am amongst those who dream of being a writer whose work gets picked up by a publisher/agent. An action that will mean ‘Yes, we made it!’ We have achieved the dream we set out to make reality. Despite self-publishing my debut novel and despite entertaining the notion of self-publishing my second novel, I am still in fact hoping, praying and dreaming that one day I get to sign on the dotted line. As a writer, regardless what stage of that dream you are in, I guarantee that you have dreamed of being ‘picked up’ as it were. I know I have.
There are certain things you should definitely heed if you are wanting to go down that path, and other things you should definitely consider before you make your decision.
1) Get unbiased opinion on your work:- this doesn’t mean you give it to a family member of friends, or family members of your friends and asks them to be ‘objective’. I mean, get a genuine stranger to read your work and give you an honest feedback as to the overall story, the strengths and weaknesses, characters, what works, what doesn’t etc. You can find these people in writing groups, or hire a professional.
You need this to truly gauge how strong your work is, or not. All this before you embarrass yourself by sending subpar material to agents and publishers. Don’t even take that chance.
2) Take the sound suggestions made by the said ‘unbiased’ reader (or readers):– You don’t need to and should never take every single advice from your readers. If there is a pattern, and obviousness that occurs through the feedbacks, then I suggest you take them on. If however, a suggestion doesn’t settle well with you, then remember that the story at the end of the day is your. Only make the changes that you feel surely add to the overall strength and unity. Otherwise, make wise decisions on which suggestions work for you.
3) Don’t be afraid to re-write:- Though re-writing is the bane of our existence, unfortunately, you must do it. Don’t rush it, don’t hate the process, just get on with your ego to the side and do what’s best for the story. It’s all about that story. You have to make it be what it could be. Sometime you will find that you only have to rewrite very little, a paragraph here, maybe a chapter there, but other times, you will have to completely re-write a section or the whole story. Don’t be depressed by this. All of us go through it. Just do your job, which is ultimately the coherence and cohesion of your story.
4) Don’t send it in till you are absolutely proud of it:– Until you reach such a moment, always know that every work can be continuously improved as time goes. But you must be sure there isn’t much more you can add to the work without the guidance and keen eye of a producing house. Until such moment, keep at it till you can make it as good as you can make it. Then, you are good to go. Send it out and see what comes back. Sometimes it will be nothing, just silence, but you learn. Maybe another time, you might just be in luck.
5) If you go down self-publishing path, don’t rush your trimmings:– If your story is your main course then think of your cover as your enticing appetizer and your blurb as the entree. The dessert is the pay off of having found out what the book is about. Please pay great attention to both of these sidekicks: cover and blurb. Most often I have seen pretty bad covers on what are great stories, and chances are I wouldn’t have read them if I didn’t know the person. Our readership are pretty much the same and we all inherently judge value based on appearance. There are some cover designers out there who work with indie authors for a small fee. See if you can find them.
6) Don’t let silence take your joy away:- if you haven’t heard back from publishers or get rejected more times than you can throw a pen at, don’t let it pull you down. Maybe you work isn’t ready, or maybe it’s not a fit with the house you approached. Keep trying and while you do that, keep yourself distracted. How do you do that? Just write that other story you have been meaning to write. Focus on that. It won’t promise that you current one will get picked up but at least you are preoccupied and doing something you enjoy, and at the end of it all, you may even have two stories to pitch rather than the one.
Well, I’m sure there are more things I could rattle on about, and I’m sure there is a whole array of things you and I have yet to learn. These are just the few things I’ve gone through myself and thought I’d share, in case there is just one of you who can benefit from these.
Keep writing those stories chapter at a time and enjoy.
Ok, I officially have no idea if this is even possible, because at the end of the day, it all depends on the number of people’s attention this post catches.
I am an occasional painter, and by occasional, I mean just a couple of paintings a year kind of deal. I am mostly a writer, but do enjoy painting too. Find it a relaxing and enjoyable task. I’m also however, a broke artist/writer.
I’m another Nepali living abroad and devastated by all the misery and devastation in the country due to series of earthquakes since 25th April. Even if I want to, I cannot do much from here. So here is my idea. Humour me for a moment. Seriously.
Nepal is not just a gorgeous country, but sometimes it is also referred to as the land of Lord Shiva. Now everybody should know who he is. As Nepal is also predominantly a Hindu country, majority of people are possibly praying to him, after all, he is of the trinity, and is the God of destruction. Or more precisely, the God at the end of the chain who has the heavy task of ending things that began, a reality of life. He also happens to be a deity I revere for his values. Nepal, also has the world famous Pashupati temple in Kathmandu, aka, the biggest and most revered Lord Shiva temple.
So I have just been struck with this idea: what if I do a large, almost metre by metre painting on canvas of him, as long as it takes me to do. I will blog about it, Tweet it etc.
What if I sell the painting to the highest bidder and donate the money raised to Nepal Earthquake relief through a trusted organization? How does that sound?
An original painting of Lord Shiva for the land that adores him the most?
I can’t do this alone. I can paint alone, I can blog alone, but I can’t get the word out there. I can’t see how feasible this plan if mine is. I need your hell to spread the word, to gauge interest etc. will you help me?
(Some of you might be wondering how well I can paint if I’m only an occasional painter? The photo attached of Lord Ganesh in this post is one of my original paintings done in ink, and took me 35hours+ to complete.)
Musing, amusing, where you are?
Been days, an age, you gone too far?
How is the journey, bumpy bars?
Across the meadow, is the land too far?
Briefly, some grief, hopped over,
now the time is bright, some even say right,
so come on now, why don’t you come over?
We will play once more the wordy war
feeble be the story no more.
Mused, amused, where you are?
Time’s a wasting, time’s awaiting
all for your whim, your glory.
Muse, my muse, why so weary?
It’s only pen and paper I carry.
(Going off the recent affinity to comic scripts, here’s a dip if the toe quite flamboyant indeed. You like? Any thoughts?)
Miles and miles I’ve walked
not a rain cloud in sight,
beneath these calloused feet lay dry
the parched earth, till to knees I fall.
Miles and miles, crawled
palms red and bleeding till raw,
unable to hold the weight of tears,
stings and burns like coal.
Miles and miles.
So long the march, lonesome and tired
fraught with doubts, barbed and thorny,
will I ever arrive, at the gates of thoughts,
where dreams have birthed a desire strong
from whence I shall not return, be what may fall.
Miles and miles I’ve come,
the shores I’ve left all but blurred
out of reach, gone.
Miles and miles. Long.
(The poem is dedicated to everyone’s struggle to achieve a dream they have dared dream, including my own.)