A generation grew up reading due to the success of Harry Potter. Then, the more recent success of TV shows based on books such as ‘The Game of Thrones’ has seen a lot of people take up reading to find out what happens next in the show, while readers have gotten the privilege of seeing their favourite (and some hated) characters on screen, bringing their imagination to life on the telly. But in the midst of all of this, another community has been slowly but surely growing, nibbling their quills, ink staining their clothes as they work on their manuscripts, words flowing from their souls as they pen new and amazing tales.
These are the Writers. The aspiring authors. Wordsmiths not content with living in a single world and letting their creativity and imagination other worlds into reality, breathing life into them with their pens, putting a piece of their soul into every character that they create.
India has seen a lot of successful writers in both, the pre and post-Independence era, in recent years, a lot of them have gone on to become massive commercial successes (I’ll leave the debate about their quality of writing up to you), raking in the money, their books turning into movies, and much more. But for every success story, there are many others who have yet to make it, who are still struggling to make ends meet, whose tale is yet to be published into a book. The struggles of writers and aspiring authors is a unique one, not known to many, and it is one upon which I plan to throw light upon here.
A writer’s greatest commodity is their imagination, creativity, and their way with words. However, all of these are intangible, and in the current Indian markets, writers – be it creative or content writers – aren’t appreciated as much as they should be. The situation is worse for Freelancers because today anyone with a computer and an internet connection can call themselves a freelancer. These folks work for low rates and provide a quick hack job, which brings the market rates and value down for truly passionate writers, and their profession is given the evil eye due to such practitioners as well. Thus, aspiring authors who seek to work as writers until they make it big are dealt a huge blow with the rates that they are offered, and many of them end up giving up on their dreams, or putting them on hold, pursuing safer choices until they can get back to writing the novel sometime in the future – a future which usually never comes.
Beyond that, traditional Indian families often do not offer the children the support when they say they want to become authors. Instead, parents and guardians caution against it, and thus the child’s choice and path, which is already a difficult one, becomes even more difficult without the support of the people the child could’ve banked on.
That isn’t all, the crippling doubts, the sudden loss of confidence, the fear of failure, are some other psychological troubles that plague every aspiring author, with some of the greatest names in the industry having suffered from despair and battled depression throughout their lives – after all, sometimes the words of the tale flow from the deepest and darkest places of the human heart and psyche.
These are just some of the many troubles that an aspiring author has to face, and if you are one of those planning to take the long down to ‘authorhood’, I would suggest you to rethink on whether it is truly the right choice for you.
But if you are one like me, for whom writing was never a choice, but a calling, a fiery passion from the depths of a personal hell, to you I say, write on. One day the struggle will be worth it.