In an interview that I had taken, veteran writer and Jnanapeet award winner Prof U R Ananthamurthy told me “Writing is like crystallization. You need the solvent, solution and a thread. You keep them there for time to take over and do its magic. You are sure of getting a shining crystal, but never know exactly when. It may happen overnight, or it may take an entire decade. You will never know about it”
I happen to think about it over and over again. How true! There were times I had wasted an entire day thinking of my first line. There were instances I had spent an entire evening just about a four word title! But there were also times I had finished a beautiful and thought provoking piece of work in just a couple of hours. And then I had thought that I might not have come up with that work even if I had taken an entire weekend. It just happens. And sometimes it just --- doesn’t!
For last 3 weeks, I have not written anything than my columns. For those who do not know about it, yes, I am a columnist too apart from being an editor. I write 3 columns a week, on three different topics, in three different magazines, for three different sets of readers! The longest of them is a column I write on Math. Yes, you heard it right! I write a math column, which is about 2000 words every week! The interesting part is that it is the only math column that appears every week in Kannada (and probably in any Indian language)!! And then I have a Science column in a weekly magazine, where I write about new inventions and new interpretations. I also write about various honeymoon spots in India, which I myself had visited, most of the times, alone or with friends, but never with my wife (hello! When did you get married, man??!).
Let’s come to the point. I have been working on 5 Stories and got no time to write anything new apart from columns, for last 3 weeks. But I do not complain about it. I happened to go through a bundle of new stories, though tiresome it was quite challenging. We have received a whooping 50+ stories in just 5 days! And, on an average, I have read about 10 stories every day! Some are decent, quite impressive, with interesting and out of the ordinary plots. I am happy that end of the day, we have a bunch of challenging, ‘keeps on the edge of your seat’ kinda stories. In a few days, you too are gonna enjoy them! I bet.
As the writer says that the process of writing is crystallization, I am gonna say even editing is nothing less to it. Here, we need to see which works, which doesn’t. Sometimes we need to change the solvent, bring in some fresh solution and see which combination works. And finally, we are ought to give the crystal in our reader’s hands in time. We have no luxury to wait for decades, just like a writer patiently does, but at the same time, we cannot compromise with the quality of the crystal. Auw! You’ll never know how we need to fight with time and quality, edge to edge.
It is like a new baby coming out to this world. It is like a duckling cracking its eggshell to take some fresh air. We as a team, are thinking and working and reworking round the clock on bringing out the first issue. We have taken at most care to see there is nothing uninteresting in it. Not even a word. Are you too excited to see our first baby? Your baby!
“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”
― Stephen King
― Stephen King