This is a question that my mind often seems to ask my heart. While as a professional copywriter (advertising writer), I have had brochures, ads, content in various forms published; I have worked on short films and audio visuals that I have scripted and produced; but in my opinion these do not count as my writings. These are commissioned works done to a brief. So in my mind, I remain an unpublished writer as far as my creative writing goes.
Writing has been an important part of my social make up and often I feel, I write and create only to hold on to my sanity in our mad mad world filled with stress, speed and excessive logic. The life I live outside, in the real world is a very practical one, most people would call me practical to the point of being boring.
And then there’s this other side of me: the one that writes creative stuff. And naturally my mind constantly questions this other side’s purpose of existence. I would like to believe this other side is my heart, the Real Me. The Real Me is quirky, silly, insightful, imaginative. When I am in conversation with the Real Me, there are no thoughts barred, I do not bother about what others will think of me or my writings, my stories or my ideas.
I write to better understand my world
My writings, my poems, my stories are an exploration of my own and other people’s psyche that is often not obvious, but one that lurks somewhere within. In my opinion, each one of us is really living a million different lives in different walks of our lives. We behave differently in the workspace, at home, with friends we have grown up with, and so very differently with colleagues and bosses who can give us a lift up in our career. At the bottom of all these many caps we wear, there hides in each person a little child, who never grew up. Most of us formed our world view somewhere between the ages of 9 -15 and if you observe people closely, you will see that young child / adult reacting to his/her life and circumstances.
At times, people react in an absurd or childish manner and it is difficult to fathom their behavior. But if you make an attempt to identify the roots that are causing that behavior, you will be able to trace it back to the early years.
When I write, I seek to make these connections, the back to basics tendency of humans that each one of us follows. When I read my own works written months ago, or even years ago, the piece will take me back to the individual and the scene that inspired the story. Sure, my mind constantly asks what it is that I hope to achieve with this seemingly meaningless activity of capturing inner behaviours: does it really matter to anyone, who wants to read why someone behaved in a certain way… may be nobody cares, maybe nobody wants to read it… but to me, it is my way of understanding people better. It helps me make better sense of the world around me and the people in it… especially at times when the behavior is cruel and mean and selfish.
The more I write, the more I realize, there is a reason why someone behaves the way they do and while I may not like it; it is their way of dealing with all that life is handing out to them.
So my answer to my mind as to why I write: It makes me more tolerant, more understanding and more accommodative. Also lets me appreciate people and their many facets better.
My mind prefers to be right, my heart chooses to be true
Oh, and my mind has this irritating habit of constantly picking at my style, my stories and my version of the world: asking what do you think people will think of you when they read this; you know this does not match your personality. This is one of the reasons I have not shared my works very extensively, but as I connect with other writers in the online world, I realize it is okay to share and be my Real Self. It really does not matter whether people like me or they do not.
And I read a very nice line the other day that confirmed my belief that what I write is fine, it does not have to be politically and socially right. The line stated: It is better to be hated for what you are, than to be liked for what you are not.
Thank you, Heart.
~ Bharti Athray
I write, therefore I am