Like any middle class Indian, I love bargain hunts.
I love flea markets, yard sales and stores going out of businesses. I practice and understand scrimping, but please – not when it comes to writing!
A lot of budding writers remain just that – because they fail to go that extra mile to pamper their muses (by muse, I mean whatever power or magic inside you that inspires you to write!). They cite family, financial or personal issues as reasons for their reluctance to nurture their muse, and I am quite sad to see so many pass on opportunities just because the timing is not right or it is all too much to commit for “just” a writing project!
IMHO – you are only as best as you allow yourself to be. If you are only going to pick an apple that’s closest to you, chances are that you will never eat apples after a while.
The relationship you have with your muse is just like any other relationship – it needs regular TLC. Sometimes your muse asks for hard-to-procure stuff and that’s when you get creative and try worthy substitutes. But don’t you ever refuse her too long. If you starve your muse too much, you will never get her to be the best she can be.
The next time you see a great but expensive book, or hear of a writing workshop being held at a different city, don’t immediately dismiss them – and don’t just consider the possibility, but really try your best to make it happen. At every stage of your writing life, look at what you and your muse need. Buy yourself a SCBWI membership, enroll in a craft course, and if possible take the time off for a workshop or a retreat. You and the serious writer waiting to emerge from you deserve all that.
Who is a serious writer? Any writer who wants to be a beloved storyteller and is not afraid to work for the crown. After a point, you become a serious writer, which by itself is commendable – not many graduate to this level. Because it is here that you enter the arena and compete against lions, lions long gone, lions still living, lions in whose presence you will feel like a darn minuscule mouse (that’s how I feel in a book store!) – so never, ever hesitate to invest in yourself, in your craft, in your muse.
Sometimes, the only thing that may differentiate an almost writer from a real one is the willingness to indulge in one’s passion.