This blog space has not seen much of me and neither has my maiden attempt at novel writing. It is a typical case of all my creative energies being redirected and focused on another all-important, all-consuming process of creation – the creation and sustenance of a new life.
In June 2009, on returning from a visit to Nahan, I decided to take a day off from work to rest my travel weary bones and as if on cue, I started working on the outline of a story, which slowly emerged into a vaster concept. After a few paragraphs, it seemed worthwhile to venture deeper and mould it into a novella, if not a novel. As I kept typing the thoughts, scenarios and character sketches, I became more and more engrossed and passionate about this creative adventure.
And as if the Universe conspired to encourage me, I came across the group NovelRace on Facebook . I joined the group and was further encouraged by a competitive streak to go on diligently writing each day to reach the October 31st deadline and have at least a first draft ready. The group force and strength was contagious and compelling and I had many pages of structured composition before me, with the storyline intricately woven.
However, by end of July 2009, things started slowing down. I was getting increasingly restless, weak and nauseous. My strength was dwindling and my mind was wandering and slowly my disciplined daily writing and regular blogging endeavors took a back seat and a visit to the doctor became imminent. After many days of anxious waiting due to false test results, Manish and I finally came to know that I was pregnant. We were glad but skeptical, considering my past health records in this context, and as the morning sickness attacked me with vengeance everything else was relegated into the background.
From close monitoring in the first trimester, to moving to US in the second trimester, to being diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the beginning of the third trimester and now being close to the due date in mid-March, it seems I redirected all my life forces, and creative energies to this one significant activity taking place within me. Even after the travails of the first trimester were over, I could not go back to working on my novel, or even blog to my heart’s content. Fear and skepticism regarding the baby’s well-being and the obsessive counting of the weeks as they went by kept me in a state of mental limbo, a state of nonchalance towards anything other than the little reassuring flutters in my tummy. Of course, I was still working but that was mechanical, more duty and goal-oriented and I wasn’t doing much to feed my creativity. Even reading was random, irregular, and dissatisfying at some point because the mind was never at rest.
Concerns about the baby’s well-being grew when I was officially diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and had to go on a strict diabetic diet. Once again, swinging between restricted diet and hunger pangs and closer medical monitoring, there wasn’t preference to pick up the strings on my ignored creative adventures. Slowly, the weeks went by, reassuring me that things would be fine, and today after what seems like ages, I have had this inclination to write and talk about the life growing within me, as the 35 weeks+ countdown to the delivery-day begins. While putting all other things at rest, I set my priorities and my life-force towards the most significant milestone of my life and I am patiently heading towards the finish line. As I entered the safer zone of the third trimester, I started reading with greater concentration and rediscovered another hidden passion in Crochet, about which I will blog later.
What I realized from this experience was that Creativity in any form definitely feeds on your life force, it imbibes, and emerges from something deep within you and you have to give it all that you possibly can. Whether it is fanning the fires within with passion for a Muse, or having a mind at rest from all other cares of the world, Creativity is a jealous child – an all-demanding, all-consuming force that compels and commands single-minded devotion, dedication and energy. Whether you feed it with intense pain or pleasure, with dominant passion or intense absorption, your enthrallment with your creative side has to be complete and undivided. No wonder, many bright and creative individuals over time and centuries have been known as eccentric, withdrawn, silent, moody and even autistic. Physical well being can also be a defining factor, but may not be necessarily one, since we have had some great works of art and literature from people of weak constitution. With all things worldly, there are exceptions and many may not agree with the concept that I explore in this blog, but I would love to hear about real-life experiences that say that creativity demands single-minded dedication and most importantly, a mind at rest from most things materialistic.
This, however, brings me back to the question – what will happen to the work of fiction that I have dumped in the middle of nowhere? Will I be able to pick up the strings of thought again and the flow of composition? Will my characters have the same appeal and will I be able to relate to them again? I don’t know, because I have not gone back to what I wrote. I have let the manuscript rest and I wonder if it is forever, or may be on some night in the months going forward, when the baby is safely tucked and sleeping, I may want to create again, and the typed words of “Serendipity” may beckon me from the silence.