A wanna-be writer asked me this question the other day. No! This query was not about the percentage of corruption rampant in the nation. Or, the crimes against women and children nor was it about the urban indifference to rural sensitivities.
It was about how much a writer can/should reveal of him/herself through his/her writings. Very often, when we start off writing, we delve into our lives and bring out from our treasure chest of memories, instances and emotions and churn them into poetry, stories or articles. This is true of most writers. We also look around us and perceive people whose lives have either influenced us or left us wondering, ‘how could she go through all this?’ We write about the aam aadmi, the common man/woman whose story would be left untold and it is there, in that gap that we jump in and present our point of view.
Coming back to the lakshman rekha that exists between the readers (read as world) and the writers, it all depends upon how much the writer is willing to share. Sometimes, sharing a part of one’s life can make one’s sorrow lesser or joy double. Writing is therapeutic for some as it helps one to share what one may not share with one’s family or friends sometimes. We know of many writers in the literary world who have written great works using pen names to avoid being recognized. Most first novels are usually autobiographical in dozes. Then, with the ravages of time, acknowledgement and the reactions of the readers and the media, the mind makes its decisions about what material to use and what to discard.
There is no written rule about how much raw material (emotions, thoughts, ideas) one should use in one’s compositions and writings. It all depends on what the heart feels at that particular juncture or the mind logically decides. Sometimes, one can also go through periods of complete blank phases when one is not too sure about what to do, what to think, what to feel and what to write. But, being a writer, words do manage to wriggle their way in the midst of hankering emotions and before you know it, you have the written creation ready for perusal.
Many people are a wee bit insecure about revealing too much about themselves. Nothing is too much if you believe so. In the same manner, even a little statement could indicate a lot about you, yourself and your life. Frankly, if you haven’t committed any crime, if you love writing, if you have no evil intention of hurting any kind soul, then whatever you write will do fine. The fear of revealing too much to the world can deprive society of a probable brilliant writer and the writer of a wonderful medium of exotic expression.
A writer writes because he has to. And by ‘has to’ I don’t exactly mean that it is his/her profession. I am talking about the urge to express oneself, to share one’s reflections and emotions through this wonderful medium called writing.
What do you say?
For all those writers who have so much lodged within their minds and hearts….
For all those writers (who have written already and those who aspire to write)….