As a child, I was a walking-talking telephone directory. Even at the age of 7, I could memorize nearly every phone number my mother dialed, and the phone numbers of my classmates, without even trying too hard. This was true till I was seventeen, when my dad, like every other dad that played dad to my generation, made the very grave mistake of buying me a cellphone. Now I have a hard time memorizing my own phone number. Or I must say, I am too lazy to.
Last year, for the first time I had signed up for the April A to Z Challenge, at the end of which I felt drained of all and any creative abilities I may have had. I wrote a post about this as well.
It was after the April challenge that I began to write “micro-poetry” on Twitter. I wrote those cos I did not have anything substantial to put up on my blog, but at the same time I did not wanna stop writing. Writing is a craft, and like any other, needs to be constantly whetted. And when you can write multiple four-line poems each day (and get appreciated for them too), your blog lies there collecting dust.
When I started this blog, I sneered a little at those who blogged for contests. I felt they were sellouts who blogged carrot-and-stick style, and were thus missing the point of blogging. Until I became one of them. I blogged not for the prizes announced, but because I could cook something out of their prompts. As a result, I did not find a problem with bending the rules, and writing paranormal stories where romances were requested. Or writing fiction where real life anecdotes were requested.
Maybe I was still fooling myself, but the truth was, I was writing for contests and I can’t be a hypocrite about it. And much like the phone-book on my cellphone, I found it easier to depend on platter-served writing prompts than coming up with themes and tales on my own. It was fine till it started weighing hard on my conscience. I might be exaggerating, but I felt like someone who compromised their integrity. I felt like someone who had become lazy, who favored micropoetry over full length forms, who waited for a third person or a Twitter handle to tell her, “Why don’t you write about elephants landing on the moon and throwing rocks to Mars today?” Someone’s idea. Someone’s brainwave. And here I sit writing about it on a blog I call my own. Am I so lazy?
So while I may have my occasional bouts of laziness and rub my hands when I see a writing prompt, let me hope those are far and few and the major chunk of posts come from my own mind.