“No time to write,” is the eternal wail of housewives. “I have so many stories in my mind, but just no time to put them down on paper.”
Many good stories never get told because of this lackadaisical attitude. Many potential story tellers shrivel up and die for want of motivation.
Anyone who wants to write must stay focused. Merely wishing to write will take you nowhere. One must be passionate about it and keep experimenting until one acquires skills and discovers a distinctive style of writing.
A few years ago I read a short story about a
woman who cherished the dream of becoming a writer. But soon after she
completed her High School, she was married off to a clerk in a
“He has a secure job,” said her father, “And he has no vices. I’m sure you will lack for nothing.”
But he was a dull and unexciting character, and Radha felt intellectually stifled within the four walls of her home. Children arrived with clock like regularity until she had half a dozen. With them came the never ending chores of Motherhood. However, Radha never lost her dream. Her mind was a veritable factory of ideas. By day, she spun stories for her children, studied their reactions and learned from their comments and criticisms. But at night, when the entire household was asleep, she transcribed them into notebooks, and hid them in her old tin trunk.
As the children grew older, she had more time on her hands. On her trips to the market or grocer’s shop she observed people and the sights, sounds, colours and odours around her. She listened to conversations, whispers, voices raised in anger. Everything was grist to her writer’s mill. In her free time, she let these sights, sounds and situations march back and forth through her mind, and gradually evolve into stories.
Then one day, she summoned enough courage to enter a short story competition held by a news paper. It was the story of a young woman who felt emotionally isolated in a marriage that lacked romance, tenderness or meaningful communication. The woman’s husband was snug in his belief that he was a good man who treated her well and provided for all her needs. The husband was shocked to discover that his quiet obedient wife looked elsewhere for fulfillment. The story was poignant with feeling. She submitted it under a pseudonym ‘Sampige.’
Radha’s story won the first prize which was a two-week writer’s course in Bombay, and the gift of a computer. When a reporter called for an interview, her husband turned him away saying no such person lived there, much less a writer. But Radha rushed out in the nick of time.
“I’m the person you want to interview,” she said, “I write under the pseudonym Sampige.”
Her husband stared at her dumbfounded.
“Not to worry dear,” she said, “I’m the wife you hardly know. This is the beginning of my new career. Be a good sport and let me live my dream…..”
This could be any housewife’s story. A person with a passion for writing will find the time to do so. One writer said, “I write stories for the same reason I breathe……Without either, I would die.”
Only if one has a definite schedule one can find the time to write. It involves a few basic rules.
“Writing is one of those things you want, and you want to have it bad,” says Robyn Carr. Make it your passion and write daily.
As one wise woman said, “Jump at the sun. You might not land on the sun. But at least you’ll get off the ground.”
©Eva Bell. Reprinted with permission.
Dr. Eva Bell is a Fellow of Royal College of Obstetricians/Gynaecologists and has worked in India, UK, Iran, Brunei and Saudi Arabia. After retiring she has taken up freelance writing and specializes in short stories, articles of general interest, travel articles, children's stories, which are published in various magazines and newspapers.