On writing prose…

Scribbling a few lines here and there doesn’t make one a writer. But I have written quite a many essays, in school days, of my own. Thereafter, I used to write regularly in my earlier blogs on range of subjects. I did take care that my prose is bespoke for the argument and clearly puts forth my position on any matter that I choose to write up on.

By and large, I have been an informal writer. I don’t think I should even call myself a writer for the word is too great. The word demands that its bearer is someone who gratifies all the senses of a reader by just employing words. That when a reader reads those words he hears their sounds, sees their grace, feels their texture, smells their fragrance, tastes the delicacy that is in them, and internalises the art that is hidden in those words and phrases in a manner so enchanting.

But then I wonder whether the writers write for the gratification of the reader or themselves. I write, whatever banal, for my own gratification. To me it is a written schizophrenic dialogue. Could this be the reason that I never cared for quality of the prose that I write? Initially, this may have been true. But now, when I have seen much life, have travelled the world, read books on range of subjects, I feel that my prose should accurately represent my opinions and thoughts. For that to be true, the quality of the prose should be superior.

Towards that I begin my march. If that means I need to teach myself the basics of English, Hindi and Punjabi literature, I shall do it. Autodidacticism demands a rigorous discipline and ability to criticise or review ourselves. I have both and I will develop these two habits even more. Recently, I  bought a book titled Essays in the Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson. I have not started reading it yet. I will start reading it from today and implement my learnings from it on my future writings. I have also managed to get hold of some other books which minutely criticise literary works. I need to improve my prose, streamline my thoughts, put them in a pattern, and let them flow to the reader like a river flows from its origins to be internalised by the oceans. I will not try to be a writer. Because I know I am one.

The reader will know that the probability of a person, in a new country and alone, taking interest in reading, writing and learning is very low unless there is a strong motivation from within. In my time after my work, I engage in thoughts, opinions, poetry, essays, humour and anything of brilliance under the sun. After work, I like to indulge in pursuits of what is abstract, what is material and everything between them. Notwithstanding my staunch stalwart-like adherence to philosophy of Nihilism, Existentialism, Pessimism and ‘World is Maya’, I do not wish to squander the overall purposeless and meaningless life in meaningless pursuits

Besides this book by Stevenson, I am also reading this magnum opus on Napoleon Bonaparte by William M. Sloane. Four volumes and I am at second. And then I am in a profession where you cannot go about without reading and writing. Therefore, I will juggle all these readings and writings like a conjurer juggling multiple balls in air. But I have an advantage over the conjurer, I have no audience!


About Rahul

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2 Responses to On writing prose…

  1. It is strange, but I use “In a preferred embodiment,” all the time in my work.

    • Rahul says:

      Well, it is one of the favourite/pet phrases of patent attorneys and I too use it all the time! Check the page titled “In a preferred embodiment” — taking a philosophical leap [or attempting to take one] from the parlance of patent attorneys!

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