Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Good things do happen, if you just let them

The stone cold floors of my halls of residence were strewn with maple leaves last week.
I wasn't feel too well, but I knew I had to finish doing laundry before I could get myself something to eat. Doing laundry in and of itself is not an ordeal, but the fact is that no one has time to do laundry except on weekends and so, on weekends, the laundry room isn't exactly the prettiest sight. I usually don't mind doing laundry at all, but that particular day I was working on an article that was really important to me.
I had pitched to the editor of this specific magazine, had her accept the pitch and I even worked on the article, measuring out every single word, thinking about its proper use. It took me a good four hours to write. After proofreading it, I sent it off. Two days later, I received an email reply from the editor. The article had been rejected.
I'm usually quite good at dealing with rejection and I've even written about it in the past, but the circumstances- the fever, having to take time  out to write in between doing laundry, the excessive stress of getting my tone right for my anthropology essays, not to mention dealing with a rather awkward romantic situation ( yes, even if you are single, there is that occasional glitch) made me feel horribly depressed. That's when I mailed my friend Alyssa and we had a heart-to-heart with regards to writing and everything else that's going on in our lives. By the end of the email exchange, I was re-energized and reminded of why we do what we do. 
After a week of sitting on my article, I re-evaluated my position. I read my article analytically, and not emotionally. I discovered its fallacies.  I rewrote it and sent it off to a different publication. This time around, my mindset was different. This was a story I cared about, and wanted to share with the world. If it got published, great, but if it didn't I wouldn't spend my time getting upset over it.
When I first began to take my writing seriously, I didn't start writing ( or start reaching out to independent publications, for that matter) so that people would say, "Wow! your writing really strikes a chord."
I'd be happy if that happened of course, but I've always written to express myself, and somewhere down the line, being prolific has become of such paramount importance that the quality of writing has inevitably suffered. I'm not making apologies for any of my decisions- I think it's all a part of the learning curve and no one person has the same- or even similar- experiences.
You try something, you fall down, you flick the dust of yourself and you start again from scratch. Sometimes you fumble, sometimes other people think you're stupid, sometimes they think you're arrogant and unhelpful because you're honest with them, but there's no shame in any of it, if you're true to yourself. And what's the point of doing something unless you are emotionally invested in it? 
I shut my notebook for the next week and thought about how I wanted to see myself grow as a writer. I decided that I wanted to read more, go out and get to know people more ( my hermit-like tendencies come from people-I-don't-know-and-have-to-speak-to phobia) and generally live my life. Writing has, and always will be a huge part of my life, but it's not all I am and that's not who I want to be. I don't want to constantly have to be validated by the outside world.
So I socialised,went on a weekend trip to Birmingham, relaxed and enjoyed myself.
It's funny how beautifully things turned out for me for the next week, writing-wise.  A story I had written four years ago about my Dad is going to be published in an anthology ( which I will name once the book is out). A perfectly lovely journalist and writer accepted my guest post for her writing blog, slated to be up in December and a poetry journal announced that it would be publishing some of my poems ( written in 2007).  And then, Tarabooks, (@tarabooks) ,who I follow on twitter because of their brilliant and innovative comic books that  are governed by the publishing houses's feminist ideologies, announced their Diwali competition. 
I had to tweet about what I would do with my lovely notebook and I told them about The Butterfly Project, something I've mentioned earlier on this blog. I won, and now I'm going to be the proud owner of a handbound Flukebook- Here's a picture http://twitpic.com/3599mn and I've wanted the one that is second from the left.
This week has truly been exactly how I want my life to be- mellow, compassionate and smooth. But I know I have the strength to deal with and enjoy the storms and the turbulence as well because I finally know what Mozart meant when he said, " The music is not in the notes, but in the pauses between."






6 comments:

Alyssa C. said...

You know, the funny thing is, I started to write a post about our e-mail exchange too. I'm still editing it, but it also involves laundry. Not kidding.

You are great! Keep going.

Reeti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reeti said...

That is SO cool! can't wait to read it. We are kindred spirits. This is telepathy, what else can I say?

You are fantastic too! That was really good advice and was a much needed boost to my day.

Magically Bored said...

Sometimes email exchanges can really do the trick.
How was the weekend trip to Birmingham? Why, oh why, woman, do you not take pictures!? :P

Sharad said...

Good advice coming from a good brick!

Reeti said...

Thank you :)