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Writing is a very long and lonely journey. Most of the time it’s just you and the laptop or notepad  – just you in that vivid world of words.

There you are in the loneliest environment of all, far above the tree line, surrounded by your fantasies, in a world no other soul can enter.

You, just you, alone.

Books take years to write. Learning how to write takes a decade or more and giving up is often easier than climbing that steep hill.

It’s cold, its painful. You fight yourself, you drag, you sit down and think of all the things you have not done. Sometimes it is too much to face and you just get up and go away.

Some days you don’t want to get out of bed.

Some days you wonder, is there any end to this?

Some days you are full of sunshine and some days are dark and stormy and brooding. But whatever the weather the pen must hit the paper. The next step has to be taken, the mountain has to be climbed. The mountain of which there is never a peak in sight.

There is no end, there’s one foot after the other, one step, another step, one more. Why do we do this to ourselves?

It’s not a journey for the weak willed, the indecisive or those who want results as fast as instant coffee. Those who come to writing for money or fame might as well look elsewhere and go sell shoes or ice cream instead. They will find out soon enough that most writers don’t make money and rarely get successful.

Yet, in this thankless job, there are millions who persist, giving up years of their lives to make their marks on white pages and live in that rarefied air where fiction comes alive.

It’s not really that lonely after all. There are worlds and interesting characters to keep you company. And, ultimately there is the sheer delight of the creative process, the amrut, the elixir of immortality. Even if you never share the same shelf as the immortals, you will at least have drunk deep and lived on fire.

 

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