Writer’s Captivity

When one pictures a writer writing, one thinks of a closed room. There is a small window which lets in sunlight, moonlight, cold breeze or rain as per nature’s proclivities. A rickety chair…okay maybe a proper chair beside a simple table with sheafs of papers flying about obscuring the writer’s face would adorn the room completed by a water jug and some food lying around.
The writer is imagined to be a recluse with questionable hygiene and poor social judgment. Clothes are assumed to be disheveled with hair to match. There is little sound in the room but for the chirping of birds or other sounds beyond our control. All in all, the scene is typical and the conjecture is probably right.
One wonders about the power that a writer wields. Not the kind that we are normally familiar with, but the one in their own world. This thought is, of course restricted to fiction writers. They create ideas, situations, characters and whole universes. One thinks of the story as a little bird in the hand of the writer; a bird he can nurture and pet, or squeeze to death at a mere whim. It seems pretty obvious that the writer is the creator and god for this world.
What we don’t see is that the writer, someone who visibly creates worlds and stories is as much a captive to fate as anyone else. There are many stories with alternate endings proposed by the authors simply because they probably published the official ending motivated by the need for public acclaim and popularity. The alternate ending or the twist which goes unsung ends up in the files of the author until his widow discovers it while clearing his room after wiping her tears for the umpteenth time.
Maybe I am being too morbid in my account, but one sees the literal morbidity in the previous few lines but the all consuming morbidity of the writer’s captivity escapes most non-writers.
To them I advise writing something. When you relax yourself and allow thoughts to flow, there is an omnipotent gravity or rather gradient which forces your thoughts to flow in a particular manner. There is no reversibility here. The weirdest part of it is that this gradient is different for each person and yet common to all. We cannot control thoughts…we just cannot.
They control us.
When an author of a popular book series kills a character much to the chagrin of the reader, the reader wonders whether this was done just to attract attention or raise collections. The truly deviant one even casts aspersions on the character of the writer. These accusations may hold water if one assumes that the author is controlling the story.
It rarely happens so.
The truth is that an author can be truly successful in creating stories that readers can relate to only when he or she allows the random…Let the chips fall where they may…kind of flow of ideas. So the story flows from the author who ends up nothing more than an insightful medium. The rest of it…the flowery imagery, the thrilling writing, the emotional connections etc are mortal gifts that make books readable.
The ultimate proof of the writer’s captivity is something that someone who writes will readily recognize. The impulse to write…the sudden, irrational, all consuming impulse to write…ignoring hunger, fatigue and most easily academics!
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