I did not grow up reading voraciously. Or wanting to be a writer.
I started reading seriously only a few years ago. Until when I was too busy doing things that I thought were far more important than plonking myself on a sofa with a book not caring about the dirty dishes or the soiled bin. One reason could be that I realised if I picked up a book, I would not keep it down until I finished it, and that would mean ignoring everything else which I could not afford to.
The other reason was, just like films -- also something that I did not, or do not watch -- good books transported me to their world. For weeks I would think only about the characters, talk to them in my head, think about the story and the plot. In short they kept me away from the reality, which a seemingly practical person like me did not want: to me it amounted to losing control. So I never read and used the precious time doing more relevant things instead.
A few years ago, when I was tied to the house with my little girls and had nothing much to occupy my head, I reached out to my husband's library (with a collection so large & diverse, that is what you call it), and happened to lay hands on a certain book. The book led me to another & then another. And before I knew, I was doing exactly what I dreaded: living in a make belief world of books.
They say everything happens you do is a part of a bigger plan that the universe has for you. Maybe this was one such action too, for my sudden inclination to read led me to getting to know some writers, and talking to them led me to re-starting this blog. And the blog into helping a writer friend extensively with his book.
While writing for the blog & helping the man finish his book, I was also reminded of my long lost dream of writing for the papers. The dream, of which I have written extensively about before, was abandoned in pursuit of other materialistic things that I knew I would not have achieved as a journalist still lay in some deep crevice of my heart. Every morning when I would look at the papers I thought how nice would it be to see my name in there. And one fine day, a little less than two years ago, it was!
The thing about dreams is that the more they come true, the bigger they force you to dream. Seeing my name in print after fifteen years did the same to me: I now wanted to do bigger things. And hence the thought of writing a book took seed.
While reading is a simple, often pleasurable task, writing a book -- or even thinking about it -- is hard work. In the year I spent helping my friend piece his book together I had realised that writing is not meant for the faint hearted. It needs hardwork. Lots and lots of it. And a lot more.
Now, I am not afraid of hard work, it is the lot more part of it that has kept me away from a book until now. Things like what to write about? Who do I write for? How do I find the time to write? What happens to the manuscript? Who will publish it? And most importantly: who will read it?
With the answers to these questions being unclear, and the pressure to run the life and home smoothly being greater than before, I see myself going the same way I did fifteen years ago: abandoning a dream for a reality. I only wish I don't succumb to it.