Not many of us realize the importance of writing in our life. Most of us don’t even know for what or whom are we writing for. That’s the dilemma of a major proportion of writers in our society. We write and we seek critical appraisal. We’re motivated on receiving positive feedback and vice versa.
I used to be the same but one perception totally changed my viewpoint. It was the mid-summer recreational activity session and everyone was busy working on a thing or two. And there was Armaan, sitting alone near one of the corner seat of the room. He was like every other normal fellow but his profound obsession for poetry and writing made him stand alone amidst the general crowd. It was not as if he was a talented writer or something like that, but he wrote, no matter what, he wrote. He used to pin a piece of poetry everyday on the notice board. I never understood a word of his poetry. For most of us, it was just a combination of jumbled words with no particular meaning. Everyone used to laugh at his creations, including me.
One day this guy Armaan was sitting around the corner as usual. A group of students, all attending the same class, stopped in front of the notice board and started making comments about his poetry. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, one guy tore the paper off the notice board, crumbled it, and threw it in the dustbin. The whole group started laughing. ‘That’s the right place for it’, commented one. Armaan saw everything but remained silent.
Normally I would have enjoyed the turn of events, but it was somewhat over the top. Making fun of someone behind his back is a different thing, but crushing his creation in front of his eyes for no good reason, it is absurd. I went to his seat once the group cleared the room.
“Hey man! I don’t know what your problem is but you should stop embarrassing yourself by sticking those ridiculous poems on the notice board. I know you like writing, but good writing is not a piece of cake.”
“Are they bad!” Armaan replied.
“Well… they don’t have a meaning.”
“They have meaning when I read them.”
“Look, you should just stop this baseless writing stuff. Try your hand on something different. We’ve got a whole lot of creative stuff down here.”
“I can’t stop writing.”
“So you are just going to keep writing and keep embarrassing yourself?”
“Look I don’t know what you and others think of my writing, neither I am interested in knowing. I write because I love writing. Yours’ or anyone else’s opinion ain’t gonna change that fact.”
I stayed silent.
Armaan continued, “I don’t write to impress, I write to express. Every time I read my own creation, I read it as a stranger. As I progress with it, I realize that each emotion and expression is essentially mine. After completing it, there is a sense of accomplishment, to have expressed something ineffable. I feel happy and that’s what matters.”
“But how can one come up with that stuff… daily?”
“We don’t have to come up with anything, it’s all there. We just need to express. It’s like a fire, within us, that keeps on burning. Till this fire is burning, nothing can stop you from expressing yourself. The question remains, Is the fire still burning?”
I had no idea how to react in that situation. I remained silent. I had no words to express myself; I had no fire! I looked towards the door and started moving. A lesson was learned silently.
Looking back at that moment, I feel inspired. That moment of silence ignited a fire within, and those golden words still fuel this fire.
It’s not about the language or vocabulary that matters, but the expression and the reason. Language and vocabulary are just the tools of expression. What really matters, as a writer, is what inspires us, what ignites our fire and most importantly what fuels our fire! It’s all about the fire within. All you need to do is dive deep within yourself, and in a moment of solitude, ask yourself ‘Is the fire within still burning?’