Thursday, November 01, 2012

First Day, First Show (NaBloPoMo Day 1)

NaBloPoMo November 2012
One post every day in November
In Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote to young Franz Kappus, "If you wake up every morning thinking about being a writer, then you were meant to be a writer."


I don't wake up every morning thinking about being a writer. I would have liked to but I don't have the time to indulge in such luxuries. My alarm is set for 5.30 am every day, even on holidays, when it seems like a good idea to get some peace and quiet before the household noises overwhelm me completely. The routine has taken over my mornings. For the last few days, I have even succeeded in beating the alarm, a fact that sinks in only after I wake up in some apprehension, afraid that I have overslept.

The first coherent thought that I have when waking up is the hope that El Niño, my little toddler, will not wake up too soon. That always upsets my schedule. When that happens, he needs to be soothed back to sleep through a method that seemed so easy when I first embarked on it, but which really challenges me through its ability to gobble up huge chunks of my time. For those not in the know, that means nursing.

When I manage to get past this hurdle, I stumble through the dark and into the bathroom, my mind awhirl with thoughts of all the things that need to be done this day: what to give La Niña, my daughter, in her dabba, preferably something that will find favour with my fussy four-year-old and not make the return journey home. Whether I will be able to wake La Niña, always a difficult task, without disturbing El Niño, always an impossible one. What are the tasks I need to accomplish at work, especially those that I have been putting off over days. Each of these thoughts struggles with the others for one-upmanship. The thought of writing isn’t even in the fray.

Through the course of the day, there is more of the same. The commute is a good opportunity to get some valuable shut-eye on days when I get a seat, and a futile attempt to think of nothing on days when I don’t. Then there are groceries to be bought, menus to be planned, homework to be checked.

Fortunately, writers can still stake their claim to being called writers even if we don’t actually succeed in sitting down and writing. There is always some writing happening in the innermost recesses of our subconscious minds. On days when no word or punctuation mark mars the pristine whiteness of the page, there is always the dreaming of the right word, the listening in on other people’s conversations, the sponging off our own and others’ lives.

There is another thing that Rilke wrote in the same work. “Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”

I don’t think I would die if I were forbidden to write. It would be a terrible fate, though, if I were forbidden to partake of the many joys and stresses that are my life today.

And yet there is something in me which does not want to put a full stop to the writing. And that is why, this blog came into being. So that I could snatch time for writing in between mothering La Niña and El Niño and the thousand other things that make up our lives. The ploy hasn’t succeeded very well. I barely manage to come up with a few posts every month and only I know what a struggle it is to find time for them and what a relief it is to finally let them loose.

That is my only reason for participating in NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month 2012, a BlogHer initiative in which I need blog only once every day. Whether that is possible, given my past record, I do not know. Whether NaBloPoMo will suffer the same fate that most New Year’s resolutions suffer, only time will tell. I am going to give it my best shot. Who knows? Maybe the self-imposed discipline will awaken the sleeping Muse and demolish all writers’ blocks, including the biggest one, Laziness.

So this is it for today. They say Tomorrow never comes. I'll know soon enough.







2 comments:

  1. LOL- motherhood and writing--- both come naturally to you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Shubs. Both are very dear to me. Because both seem effortless but actually involve a lot of work, and the more effort you put in, the more they both pay off.

    ReplyDelete

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