What Went Wrong…

Oh, hello! Don’t mind me, I am just sitting here with my hypothetical pipe in my mouth, musing about things. Again. Trying to make sense of a few things.

Again.

You know, I wrote a short story when I was 12 – it was a murder mystery, and the main theme was jealousy. About two years later, I wrote a story about how mankind was the worst thing to have happened to the universe since the big bang – told from the POV of a cockroach that survived a nuclear holocaust. There were a bunch of stories in between with a lot of blood and gore; mostly fluff pieces written to shock the reader. My English teacher enjoyed the stories tremendously – the cockroach one was a favourite of hers, I remember. The point of this little narrative is that – I was always enticed by the darker side of human emotion. Happy endings never appealed to me, joy never appealed to me – someone was always dead in my stories.

Why then have I stopped exploring it now?

You see, stories of that genre come naturally to me. My rationale is simple – every writer glorifies their protagonists – flawless and irreproachable heroes and heroines. Would any writer, through the characters, or otherwise, admit to their own faults? After all, most heroes and heroines are a superior alter ego of their creators. Through my characters, am I pushing my own flaws on to paper? Not exactly – jealousy isn’t an emotion I feel, nor have I ever murdered anyone. But I can tell you about a flaw that I do have – I am easily influenced. I have my own opinions (of course) but you tell me something quite a few times, I will start thinking like you. And that’s a horrible, horrible trait in a human being.

In retrospect, I have come to realize when and how I stopped writing fiction, where the darkness has gone. I don’t want this to be a name-and-blame sort of post, mainly because whoever it was who said whatever it was that they said to me, ultimately, the fault is my own – my head is bloody easy to get into!

I have made excuses for it – I thought I had writer’s block (I don’t), I thought I was distracted (not really), I thought I was reading too many books and that was killing my imagination (I partially do still believe  this, but there’s more to it). How did I realize that I have killed my own darkness? In the past, the stories I have written deal with some kinda deep rooted fear we all have within us – or so I’d like to think. It is not just about the ghosts – I have written about a man who derives joy from seeing a child die, I have written about depression and suicide caused by the world’s opinion of you, I have written about a criminally insane father – the darkest corners. I don’t claim to be Palahniuk or someone like that, but my exploratory path has been on those lines. Then why is it that, when a few months ago, I was about to write a story about a handicapped man’s death, I was horrified by my own thoughts? I could not believe that my mind could conceive such a ruthless, tragic thing, and I reprimanded myself for being a bad human being. But why? Isn’t that what I had always been writing about?

Because I had been led to believe that my stories would be my destruction.

A sensible writer would hear something as dramatic as this and wave a smug “tah-tah” and send those words upon the breeze, never to be bothered by them again. I, however, am not as sensible as I wanna be – it is way too easy “perform inception” on my mind. Suddenly, I grew afraid. The thought had been sown – the darker my stories, the unhappier my life would be. However much I wanted to believe it hadn’t, it had. And little by little, it was corroding my brain, eating up my imagination, forcing me to not ever write a piece of fiction where there was any kind of darkness whatsoever.

Holy fuck.

Fear is the one enemy of the writer. And I am terribly afraid. I have my own self to blame for having such a pliable, thought-plantable, stupid head. Sure, I wrote two stories even after the incident, but both are not as “dark” as my stories usually are. Not half as disturbing. Not “me”.

All I’ve done until now is not let myself admit to this. But I have to. If I want to go back to who I was, I need to admit that this is a problem.

Now to find the solution – uproot that thought and throw it off.

 

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20 thoughts on “What Went Wrong…

  1. Alok Singhal February 19, 2016 / 2:33 AM

    Glad you have come to the realization…good for you!

    Like

  2. Lata Sunil February 19, 2016 / 9:23 AM

    mmm.. a story is a story is a story. And you write them beautifully. I dont care about the content as long as it is so well-written. And if it affects the reader, you have made it. Isnt that what all writers want to do? Make you feel and react to the writing? Write what you are comfortable in instead of conforming to standards. (pls ignore the grammar. my apostrophe key is not working.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva February 19, 2016 / 3:16 PM

      Yes, that’s my personal belief too, that if the writing is good, then the story works, whatever the genre. My preference was always the more negative stories because of how easily that came to me, because that is what I wanted to study. But now, ever since someone told me not to write those stories because they will have an adverse affect on my life, I have grown afraid. I know, I shouldn’t be, and I don’t really believe in mumbo jumbo like that, but I am – I find myself consciously or unconsciously stopping myself from writing those kind of stories.
      Thanks for your kind words, Lata! Hopefully I can get over the fear and go back to my zone.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lata Sunil February 19, 2016 / 4:26 PM

      hahaha I was just imagining lives of romance/fantasy/murder mystery writers. Even Fiffy Shades of Grey!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sid Balachandran February 19, 2016 / 11:14 AM

    This one requires an offline discussion. Tomorrow? Open up, sister. Let’s talk 🙂
    But I’ll say this – whether they like it or not, everyone who writes develops a niche of sorts; and dark tales are yours. In fact I’d prbably faint if I read love story from you 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva February 19, 2016 / 3:21 PM

      Haha, I write terrible romances. In fact, even my romances make people wonder “Is someone gonna die? She does that, she kills people. Oh God, someone’s already dead, isn’t it!”
      Honestly, I don’t believe in that kinda mumbo jumbo that if you write horror or anything dark, your life will be screwed up because of the negativity in those stories (apparently I’m ruining my aura or some shit by writing darker stories?). But once someone tells you something like that, you tend to constantly think about it. And that’s what I am doing. I hate to admit it, but I am afraid all of a sudden, when I think of stories like that; I sit and wonder if I am attracting negativity into my, forgive me, my “aura”. Ughh, this needs to go, I can’t be this person!

      Like

    • Sid Balachandran February 19, 2016 / 3:22 PM

      You need a good knock on your head. And I know just the person to do that 😄

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Rekha @ Dew Drops February 19, 2016 / 3:41 PM

    Sreesha, guess what! It was just yesterday that I was having this discussion with the man about how all my stories had to have abusive child or women. I sit down to write thinking of a lot of positive stories, but I end up killing a rapist, a kidnapper or the likes. What he said made me want to keep writing the same way. He said that it was only because I care for those victims so much that I want a closure to their ordeal. Which doesn’t happen easily in real life. And thus I kill them in my stories. So I would say, throw away those fears and keep writing whatever you feel comfortable writing about. Don’t get too influenced by what others say. End of the day, nobody really cares. Do what you like to do best! That’s what I believe in. Love reading you, so keep writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 2, 2016 / 9:44 AM

      Yes, real life isn’t so fair, so we make it so in some way or the other in our stories. So true!

      I know no one cares, but once it gets embedded in your subconscious that the negativity in your stories will somehow affect your life, it settles in. Hoping to get over it soon. Fingers crossed! Thanks for your support 🙂

      Like

  5. kalaravi16 February 21, 2016 / 5:26 PM

    Hmm…difficult situation at hand! I always wonder at horror books and movies, who wants to make ’em and who watches/reads ’em. Well obviously these sell….they cater to a pretty large audience. These topics pander to an inner alter ego that watches in fascinated horror, riveted! Don’t you think the pages of crime-beat in newspapers have the goriest crimes mentioned in such detail….why? Because we read them with disgust, revulsion…but still fascination. It is something rare that you possess to cook up dark stories, not easy at all! But if you are not comfortable doing it now…take a breather. Like anything creative, it has to flow naturally. Maybe it will, or it will not come back to you. It all depends on how much you want to get back to writing that kind of stuff. Till then…chill babe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 2, 2016 / 9:46 AM

      I do wanna get back to it, cos if not that, then there isn’t any other genre I can write with that confidence. Let’s hope for the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. meenamenon February 25, 2016 / 3:04 PM

    Each to their own! So if dark stories are your niche so be it – we cannot make everybody happy can we

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 2, 2016 / 10:03 AM

      You’re right. I just hope I find the confidence to write those stories soon.

      Like

  7. shanayatales March 17, 2016 / 8:02 PM

    I know exactly what you mean! Mostly because – I have been there done that. I used to be easily influenced, and I used to also think that it was a good trait ( the things we fool ourselves about!). I felt that it meant that I have an open mind to different opinions, and am not so self absorbed as to never accept an opposing POV.

    And partly, I still believe that it has its benefits, but it does way more damage, especially if we let others affect our opinion of ourselves. It is one thing to disagree on a book or something like that- it is a completely different thing to let other people’s opinion dictate or even mildly influence our sense of self – that can have disastrous results!

    So, yes – uproot that thought, and throw it away. Do YOU. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 21, 2016 / 9:27 AM

      Oh, I know, if it’s a minor difference of opinion, that’s fine. But if something someone said has caused such a mental block that I cannot even write horror or gore anymore, that’s just… something to be uprooted! And I’m not even a superstitious person or someone who would believe in such things. Oh well. Baby steps.

      Like

  8. Soumya Prasad March 31, 2016 / 1:34 PM

    You know Siri, I do not like happy endings too. I need something dark, something bad to happen. If you look at my stuff from when I started, you’ll see that almost everything I wrote was about pain, heartbreak, death etc. It came very easily to me at that point of time because I was nursing a heartbreak. Once I found love and was happy again, I realized that I hardly had anything to write about! I would put myself in a different state of mind to try to ooze out words that I wanted to write about. It worked. But people around me started thinking that I was becoming a depressed soul once again. But that’s how I liked my writings.

    Even till date if I put up a not so happy ending post/poem I have people calling me up asking what’s wrong with me. I let them influence me at times and tried to write happy endings stuff, but I did not enjoy what I wrote. It hurt me from within. And I’m still struggling to figure out if I should write about unhappy endings or just write what people want me to.

    I like the darkness. It helps me see a lot of things. And that’s what made me a writer. Hopefully, soon I’ll find the strength to go back there and write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 31, 2016 / 10:43 PM

      Happy endings always seem a little false to me. Fake. Superficial. Candy-like.

      Personally, I would never write what others want me to write. Always write for yourself first, cos as writers, we cannot be sellouts. But in this case, the discussion wasn’t that no one wants to read dark stuff. The person who “influenced” me said, those who write dark stories will always have negativity in their life. Strange logic, even funny in places.

      I like the darkness too – always more real and closer to life.

      Like

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