Do I want to succeed?


“If I told you I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at, I’d be lying, because I have no idea where I am right now.”

― Jarod Kintz,

In my life, there have been several times when people have asked me this question. It was meant sarcastically. But each time someone did, it pushed me deep in reflection.

Why are they asking me that? Do my choices reflect that? Am I self-destructive? Don’t I want to succeed?

What the fuck is success anyway? Is it money? I don’t want too much of it, really. I know that. I hate when some of my friends act materialistic and only talk about things they’d like to buy next. Is that ambition? That is such a small, achievable thing. You can earn money doing anything. You could numb your brain and work in a call centre or be a social media executive. Not to say, that those jobs are bad, but really they are. (It is spirit-killing.) I’d rather be a clerk in a cubicle, where my tasks are clear, no one talks to me at all, and I just get things done and then when the office hours are over, I am done. That’s the level of drive I have if you only want me to earn money.

Is success fame? I think fame does not equal recognition. Why would I care what some random people think of my work? Being famous mostly means appealing to the average people with bite-sizes of good work. Something great can be popular over time. But I don’t think something great is popular immediately. I am not trying to demean popular work/people. Heck, I am a pop culture consumer. I am part of the “masses”! But when I say I don’t really want fame, I mean I don’t want to work for everyone’s adulation or even most people’s congratulations. It matters to me if my colleagues appreciate it. I want to know what the people, who are directly affected by my work, think of it. Fame is certainly not achieved by hard-work anyway.

So then, does success mean stability? This is tough. I am not a patient, uncomplaining worker. I cannot see myself in any job for more than a year, forget 5- 7 years in the same company. Is that success? Just growing in the ranks of a corporate? I always snicker when someone calls that growth. If you have read any of my recent posts, you know I am mortally scared of being sucked in the routine of life. To tell you the truth, I do see the comfort in routines, I seek it even; but when I have gained it, I only want to escape. There’s a contradiction here, and a restlessness I can’t comprehend right now.

I just thought of one more thing that would make me seem ‘unsuccessful’. I have not adorned any leadership roles in workspaces yet. That must mean success, right? I am clearly very naïve and idealistic, and I don’t appreciate too much hierarchy. At my most recent workplace, I was asked to approve a digital artist’s work, I was a bit taken aback. Firstly, how can an artist be answerable to anyone? Why are you calling it approval, when basically you need “fresh eyes” and “feedback” on the work? Why the hell are you creating so many steps of approval for such a simple task? Don’t you trust your employee, you dimwit?

Well, I went a little off track there.

Point is, I think leadership is when people work with you, and not for you. A leader has to have the drive, the vision and an understanding that there are people looking up to him/her for motivation, guidance and they also need some level of independence. (Basically, a leader becomes the parent-figure to adolescent-like employees.)

This overwhelming drive, vision and focus is what I don’t have.

The truth is what I don’t know what I want from my life. Everything I was really sure of, I am completely unsure of now. I don’t even know who I am anymore. It seems like my insides have flipped. I have realized that for the longest time even my reflections have avoided the question- What do I want in the long run?

Maybe I am a short-sighted person. I don’t think it through, and hence any ‘behaviour’ that is perfectly natural of me appears quite reckless to others. I don’t think through the long term effects of any decision because I can’t imagine that far. I can’t extend any temporary situation to a dystopian permanence to scare me enough to compromise. I avoid being in the rat race. So then, why do I feel a sinking disappointment today? I feel disillusioned. I feel I have disappointed no one but myself. I expected things would work out for the better, but today it has not. I have to live through this hopeless time with my chin up and be a little patient with myself. (I CAN’T. I CAN’T. But I will. :/ )

Sometimes I scream (in my head, of course) – “No, I don’t want to be anything. I just want to be!” But I think that it’s a reactionary statement on my part. When I find that I don’t fit the ideals of (what I call) “The Propaganda Dream”, then I regress into dreaming about how I shall be a clerk in a cold country, away from this unnecessary urgency to achieve something. I just loudly proclaim I’ll be the “worst” and I’ll still be happy.

Question is- Do I want to be happy? What the fuck makes me happy?

“I’ve had great success being a total idiot.”

― Jerry Lewis

Write, right now!


“One forges one’s style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines.”
Émile Zola

I have often heard writers and amateur writers and non-writers advising other budding writers to ‘Write, right now!’

I find that annoying. Every time someone tells me if you wanted to write, you would have written by now, that all there is to writing is to write diligently everyday, I frown. If the demand means to stay in touch with writing, I meet that anyway.

I end up writing everyday. While conversing with friends (long discussions on chat, I mean), writing my diary, writing phone notes of ideas, writing rough drafts, writing letters and emails etc. Some days I don’t want to write. I am irritated to think that I am thinking the same thing over and over again. There’s no new thought. That’s when I feel trapped in my body and even my life. I reach out to people to escape that rut. Read their work, talk to them about their lives, read books, listen to music.. anything that’s outside of me.

That doesn’t mean I mean, daydream about being some kind of artist, and hope that someday you just might spontaneously create great work. One has to collect their many hours of practicing proficiency and enduring sincerity. That is important. You develop your style because of that. You create a rhythm which is a good thing. But you also create a writing pattern. Again, something that I think one must try to break free from.

Whenever I have attempted to write a blog post recently, I conclude that it is being didactic or is an angry rant. My friends tell me I always wrote just that. (I still have a hard time accepting it). I end up deleting the post because I am sick of it myself. I am bored again of my own comfortable writing. But then, I haven’t written for so long, it feels like I need a writing resolution or a writing slot in my schedule or more writing prompts. I hate the idea but I am tempted; I make plans, I break them. I am motivated and soon, dejected.

I have decided that “free association” is not “writing.” That’s what you do when you write for therapy sake. That’s how I write my diaries, or ward off the writer’s block. True writing is coming up with something more layered than that. Conscious writing is true writing, for me. That’s what should be the goal- Creation. So I have been unhappy with all that I have written yet. All I do is practice that style of poetry, or this style of plot. I don’t have an idea in my head that is driving the writing, which makes me feel empty.

I wonder if I am already setting myself up for defeat when I say I can’t write with the help of writing prompts. Prompts must inspire, not pressure. Again, prompts help starting off on ideas that originate external to you. So I am not against prompts; the idea tempts me to try it. However, I have read such great works in response to a specific prompt, I can’t take them casually. You compete when you write in response to a prompt.

At the end of the day, I know that one just has to write. I am the one who urges people to write down their ideas or feelings even, to articulate what they’re thinking, to experiment with styles, to read a lot (it is part of writing!)

What is problematic for me is the demand of “do it right now”.   I hate pseudo-urgency. Life is not an emergency situation. I do not understand how self-imposed deadlines work. If I don’t care, I don’t do it. If I care, I don’t need deadlines. But then there’s this one twist: If I don’t care but somebody else cares, I’ll do it.

Based on that principle, I asked some of my friends to give me writing topics to get me going.. I needed someone else to care because I had been in a very apathetic state for a long time. This doesn’t work in the long run, because you begin to feel smothered and then decide not to care.

This post is also a didactic rant. Half my mind wants to delete it. I ask myself- Is that all I have to give to the world? Granny talk?

Rants won’t stop soon.
Signing off,
Tame SheWolf
“If the novels are still being read in 50 years, no one is ever going to say: ‘What’s great about that sixth book is that he met his deadline!’ It will be about how the whole thing stands up.”
George R.R. Martin
PS: Again, this post seems all over the place to me. What am I really talking about?!!

The (Un)Tame(d) SheWolf Talks


My book-club is celebrating its anniversary! They’re interviewing “readers” to sign off their successful year 2013, and they chose me!
The questions were creative and fun, and frankly I had to pull up my socks to be as witty . 🙂

bookhad

Up next we have a regular reader (of our blog too) and a blogger Tame SheWolf! Lest we say something to provoke the shewolf, here’s a quick bio and then you can hear it from the wolf’s mouth.

Reader Bio: Tame SheWolf is a reluctant blogger suffering from existential crisis, who is valiantly fighting boredom and apathy everyday with the hope that the future is maddeningly beautiful and made of better dreams. She has graduated in the subject of psychology, whose traces still linger in her everyday chatter. She has to remind herself that she is 21 years old. And she believes that everybody should read and everybody can write.

Kajol_TSW

Tame SheWolf, who/what inspired you to read?
My English teacher and my mother.

My teacher used to discuss her favorite books in class, even though at that age, we would just listen because we had to. She used to recommend books to…

View original post 868 more words

Rand & Rowling


“Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artists metaphysical value judgments.”

~Ayn Rand

Let’s just start.

I think the two people who helped shape my philosophies are: Ayn Rand and J K Rowling, in that order, even though I read Harry Potter before Atlas Shrugged.

(Disclaimer: This is not an analysis of Rand/Rowling as writers and philosophers. It is simply an emotional impression of how they have impacted my thinking.)

I don’t find Ayn Rand extreme. I find her romantic and isn’t it wonderful to watch someone be articulately idealistic? I remember cheering inside my head to the amazing dialogue-baazi in Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand taught me to build, analyze and break down arguments and spot the idea at its root. She taught me to say what I mean, and mean what I say. She taught me to not give up on idealism and protect that noble vision of life and future you have as a kid. She alerted me against our default philosophies, the contradictions we carry, and she marked out good and bad with conviction. Ayn Rand also taught me that feeling pity is not a virtue. Think about it, this thought blew my mind.

Most of her statements did. Like this one,

“To say ‘I love you’ one must first know how to say the ‘I.’ The meaning of the ‘I’ is an independent, self-sufficient entity that does not exist for the sake of any other person. A person who exists only for the sake of his loved one is not an independent entity, but a spiritual parasite. The love of a parasite is worth nothing.”

~Ayn Rand

Oh, you should have been there. I was growing by leaps and bounds in thought, in anger, in judgments.

Maybe I was an angry, misunderstood teen after all; who needed Rand’s persuasive arguments to rebel against what till then was only my undefined, emotional rebellion. And maybe when I furiously nodded to her statements while I read her works, I only sought external approval for what I was doing or had done. (Seeking approval is definitely not Rand.)

If I didn’t have her, I would have found myself being miserable and I wouldn’t have known why. I would have scanned my life for that moment, memory after memory, trying to find the turns that led me to lose the plot, and I still wouldn’t have found the root of my bitterness. Ayn Rand gave me a jump-start into proper thinking which I never would have had without her. I am so grateful for that.

My Randian invincibility didn’t last long. I was the INTJ personality that Rand idealizes in her romantic world, but like I have pointed out earlier, I was not a pure Randian heroine.

I was not self-sufficient. I was not complete all by myself. I still seek approval and praise. (The psychological root of this particular nonsensical behavior? Don’t ask.)

Soon I found myself just arguing constantly in my head, trying to resolve the contradictions I had inside me. I was imperfect by the standards of my own philosophical hero.

Walks in, J K Rowling.

—————————

Off track:
Before I knew to think properly, I was critical of stuff anyway. By now, you should know that. So… I used to hate cartoons where the smart guy, with some depth of character, is the sidekick and the talented-enough-but-really-just-stupid-with-unnecessary-bravado-guy is the hero of the story. Beyblade? Pokemon? When I was in school, they were a hit with all the franchise’ toys and stickers, and I sat in the corner just disapproving of heroes my classmates used to imitate.

Frankly, that was still better.

I feel sad that kids nowadays have to watch that whiny Doremon or that frustrating Shin Chan, when we had Scooby Doo, Ritchie Rich, Dexter, Oswald, Noddy, Bob the Builder, Powerpuff girls.. I could go on. We watched the good stuff. These kids watch crap! I would even watch the mind-numbingly slow Dora the Explorer or Blue’s clues than watch Doremon.

My current favorite cartoon series: Phineas and Ferb. That cartoon show shows kids to be ingenious, to trouble your sister silly, have arch-enemies and weird friends and weirder pets. That is all you need to know as a kid.

—————————-

Point being, I didn’t like the fact that Harry Potter was an accidental hero.

Not saying, I didn’t like the HP series as a kid. I was a Harry Potter fan (until too many kids became fans, and I was pissed off). I even had my own wand. I used to daydream about being in a magic school where I am a sincere, insufferable genius but still-kinda-cute– like Hermoine Granger– and life being amazing with magic in it.

But then I read Ayn Rand, and I realized by Randian standards, Harry is not a self-made hero. It seems like a complete fluke- Neville could have been that hero! And Dumbledore’s solution to every question Harry asks is LOVE! Are you kidding me, Dumbledore?

Why, Rowling? Why? Why isn’t Hermoine central to the plot and why is Harry ‘the Chosen One’?

And the answer was in the first book itself.

When they’re in the trapdoor, and in the second last test (Snape’s Potion Puzzle) and Hermoine realizes that they’ll have to part ways for Harry to reach the last level, she says,

“Harry – you’re a great wizard, you know.”
“I’m not as good as you,” said Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him.
“Me!” said Hermione. “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery and – oh Harry – be careful!”

And I argued with that too! It’s such a naïve thing to say.. Bravery and friendship? What.

Oh, how I wish I could tell you every little incident that proved to me that in fact, she was right. Other HP fans have helped me see how Harry is not a fluke. This post is getting long already, so I’ll just summarize that Rowling solves all my contradictions, and it doesn’t really go against what Rand believes.

I still completely understand ‘the virtue of selfishness’. Living in a collectivistic society, one battles with norms and even the good-will of family and friends all the time. It may seem virtuous to compromise and adjust and find your own self within the boundaries acceptable to all, but it is even more important to break free and selfishly do what is right for you.

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

~Dumbledore

Because you know what, you think you are being this martyr for the good of all, but the same people are going to turn around and tell you that they didn’t ask for you to do that for them. So, really, did you just sacrifice yourself because you are an idiot who felt compelled to bow down to undefined, unconscious values?

And if you’ve been that idiot, it is not over for you yet. Even though Ayn Rand may seem like this unforgiving, easily irritated by people-less-than-awesome, I am sure she wouldn’t condemn you to it. She’d urge you to snap out of it! Act on what you’ve realized.  There’s hope! There’s always hope. Nobody can condemn you to a life you don’t want to live. Have the guts to do what you want to do. That’s what Rowling says too.

“The thing about growing up with Fred and George,” said Ginny thoughtfully, “is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

I love Ayn Rand. She fought with articulate conviction for her romantic ideal. She lived her ideal, with psychological issues and all. I love J K Rowling. Harry Potter could really be analyzed as a piece of literature, and also be a fairy-tale for kids to start learning to read. You see the genius? She’s not even being didactic, and she has saved me.

Rand is my extreme, Rowling is my centre. It may seem surprising, but they don’t contradict each other. Yet.

Apparently,

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

~John Rogers

So you think I will have a lifelong obsession with fictional characters of their stories?

Why shouldn’t I?

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

WORDLY WISE:

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

~ Dumbledore

PS: I got sorted into Gryffindor and my wand is 14 ½ inches, silver lime with unicorn core. I am so much more cooler than you. Just get with it. (I am saying this with Randian invincibility. You can hear it, right?)

P.PS: This post seems pretty coherent to me, for now.. but I don’t know if it seems just disconnected blabbering to you.

Making sense of it all


“The Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is… 42!”

~ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Nothing makes sense. If it did, then I must have forced it to. I must have brought it to a harsh conclusion or given it a romantic ending, but it does not make any more sense than it did before. I just decorated it with pretty words and good intentions.

I don’t know how to live with that: knowing I created the meaning to cope with the void. How tiring is it to then let go of the old meaning each time you become aware and recognize that the memories have faded; that the new experiences have changed your story and that hope still clings on.

What a joke.

Can I get off this train? Can’t deliverance just be delivered at my doorstep? Can’t I just die when I find it pointless? Why do I even have to go through the effort of killing myself? Why can’t I just welcome death with open arms, scream, “Death, come to me. I am ready now. This is exhausting. Just get it done with.” Why do I have to live through pointlessness? For whom is this fun to watch? Who is watching anyway? No one!

Maybe, only me, and my jokes are getting stale.

(Sigh)

I am always angry. Then, I get bored of being angry.
Then I reflect on how psychologically healthy is apathy really?

I am sure it isn’t.

Should I let the blog-name remain and let it continue to summarize my attitude? Because frankly, I hate to realize that I care when it doesn’t matter.

(Sigh)

While counseling, the two things one tries to help the person with are rebuilding ‘social connections’ and beginning activities that help create ‘meaning in life’.

Social connection, I get it. An introvert or even a strongly independent person understands the need to feel support and understanding in another person. But, meaning of life.. How can that be right? How can something so imaginary at its root and fragile to questioning be the answer?

(‘Don’t over-intellectualize. Even that’s a defense mechanism’, I hear myself say.)

I wish someone knew better, and did better. I wish, for once, I loved a tangible, existing, heroic being than an abstraction. I wish people were more than just human. It’s so boring to see everybody succumb under the weight of their excuses. It is difficult to forgive others, even more to forgive oneself.

“Ulrich has sometimes wondered whether his life has been a failure. Once he would have looked at all this and said yes. But now he does not know what it means for a life to succeed or fail. How can a dog fail its life, or a tree? A life is just a quantity; and he can no more see failure in it than he can see failure in a pile of earth, or a bucket of water. Failure and success are foreign terms to such blind matter.”

― Rana Dasgupta, Solo

Solo. It is a slow book to read. While I read it, I did not understand it. A book about an old man and his daydreams. What. How can you write a whole book on it,. and I assure you, at no point, did the author give the man’s life more meaning than it deserved. I will never suggest this book to a friend, unless s/he specifically asks me to recommend an Indian author. This book comes to me in bits and pieces (like it did now, while writing) and saves me. So beautiful and warm at its heart. I wonder if I will ever be able to write like that– when my writing does not have anger at its core, but warmth.

(Sigh)

I couldn’t bring myself to write anything recently. I was just consuming content, analyzing it, then going back to more consumption. Whatever I wrote was a rant or a complain. Nothing happy to say. Nothing creative to offer. What do I write?

Off track: Did I tell you I don’t write creative stuff because I fear being a schizophrenic?
Poetry? I can handle that.
Feel overwhelmed. Pour out the nonsense. Don’t even pretend to rhyme or explain or end it! Easy-peasy!
Story-telling!?
Isn’t that nurturing hallucinations consciously? And if you are me, you will also psychoanalyze it, and beat yourself over it.

(Enough sighing.)

Anyway, I realize it’s not the questioning that will help. It’s the quest. Amidst all my questions, I forget to ‘participate’ in life. Having realized it, I still don’t know how exactly to do it. But I am not going to ask anymore, I’ll just do whatever.

Broken thoughts. Public rambling. I know this write up will be sincerely regretted in the months to come.

I ask forgiveness from the future-me, who really doesn’t have any other option but to do just that.

Ah, the joke. It’ll kill me.

Blank.

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

WORDLY WISE:

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free”

~Ralph Ellison

Three things I ask


 

“Do I dare disturb the universe?”

–      T S Eliot

I ask these things for me. This is the basic understanding you must have for a peaceful co-existence with me.

1. Don’t be afraid of judgments.

I am a judge. I judge left, right and centre. Having said that, I’m the most non-judgmental judgmental person you’ll ever meet. If you tell me something, I make a judgment of the context, the kind of person you are, how that adds or subtracts from the person I thought you are or will be.

For me, to be a friend is to know a person in and out. I am obsessive. I feel cheated and guilty, if I realize my friend has changed manifolds; cheated because s/he grew up without me, and guilty because I was absent and not part of the change. If I can’t plot the subtle thought growth in my friends, then I feel I am not a good friend.

I judge. Unlike a judge/critic, I will not condemn you to be a brat or even an angel. Everyone’s life is different. Everyone has something different to learn from their journeys. How can any one definition fit all? My judgment is not written in stone. And, it is not me who is writing what you are, it is you who are writing on me about what in that moment you think/feel you are. If you only knew that nothing about anyone can be damned permanent, even if the person insists for consistency. Everything you do builds up to the conclusion, it is never the conclusion.

As far as I know, I am not outspoken. I talk too much, yes. I am not childish about it. I know my words bring consequences, good and bad, and I say only so much, that which I can bear. I have no intention of saving the world by being blunt honest about what I think.

Judge. The word has such an unnecessary negative connotation to it. Should I say ‘analyze’?  Should I say ‘evaluate’? Should I say ‘understand’?

If you add the ‘Don’t judge’ clause to the sentence you’re about to say, I’m going to cry a little bit in my head and go deaf.

2. Celebrate irreverence.

I think I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: Humour is my defense mechanism.

Imagine what would happen to me, if my over-thinking brain took everything seriously.

So when I deride concepts like god, country, (so many concepts really) you should be immune to it or rejoice with me.

3. Seek daily attention elsewhere.

I cannot give anyone 24*7 attention. I get bored. People tire me.

I think this wouldn’t have been a problem if it wasn’t for mobile phones. There’s someone you’re talking to constantly. I feel suffocated. I throw my phone away if I am at home. I chat only after it’s evening, that stays true even if I have nothing to do all day. My funda is- Only I will waste my time; nobody else is allowed to.

I can’t chat with/talk to anyone daily. I feel the pressure to entertain maybe, or listen attentively, and I don’t have that energy to give to any one every single day.

I have best friends. I speak to all of them once a month. Remember the thought growth graph I keep? My monthly conversations have purpose. I don’t know how I will ever date with this state of mind, but I always hope that he has a life without me.

If you don’t understand why I am being such an uptight nutcase, I really don’t have anything more to say to that. I will just shut up and politely nod. What else does an introvert do anyway?

Let me be.

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

WORDLY WISE:

“I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.”

–      T S Eliot

 

PS: I love T S Eliot. Both the quotes are from his poem, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock.

Analyzing my writing


In my last post, I had decided I am analytically morbid (like Lovecraft), and creatively nonsensical (like Carroll). Hear me reason out loud!

When I write like “H P Lovecraft”

So, this tool (pun intended) says that I write like H P Lovecraft. I had submitted this write-up for the analysis:

Reading Fiction

Most agree that reading is a good habit, but many also neglect the importance of reading novels and stories. I love reading, and it is true that I lap up fiction faster than non-fiction. In spite of that I have a hard time convincing people about the importance of reading fiction. Apparently, “just!” and “for the heck of it!” are reasons not good enough.

I really believe that one must try not to cut back on reading fiction or limit students to the assigned readings given in a coursework. Even though it may seem that people read fiction only for pleasure and it doesn’t contribute to their knowledge or personal growth, I assure you it is not the case.

Reading fiction is an important way to inculcate the habit of reading in children and young adults. It teaches you a language without being didactic, and without you explicitly realizing the process. It would be foolish to believe that fiction doesn’t require critical thinking.  In fact, it cultivates the habits of reflection and evaluation. It helps you to explore the “what-ifs” and “should-bes”. Fiction may not be the truth but it helps the writer and the reader use that as an excuse to safely take the journey that tests the limits of morality; to have discussions that would otherwise be deemed unnecessary. Fiction readers who are emotionally engaged to the story also develop the trait of empathy.

I agree with William Styron, who said that: “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” 

To get the most from reading, I think, there should be a healthy balance between reading non-fiction and fiction, rather than sticking to just one genre.

 

THE EVALUATION:

(This was my final assignment graded by five peers from the online course.)

What my peers said:

Your grade is 85.5/90, which is simply the grade you received from your peers.

peer 1 → I liked reading your paragraph. You have been effective in helping me add to my own reasons for reading fiction! 🙂 *goes off to reserve a ‘Lord of the Rings’ book from her library, online* ^-^ -Leah

peer 3 → A few punctuation issues. Your concluding sentence really looks more like the topic sentence for a paragraph to come afterwards. The sentence about “empathy” seems out of place, like it was thrown in there but never developed.

peer 4 → Great job. 🙂

 

I like when peer assessments are kind. I agree with Peer 3 even. By the way, I’ve not excluded any comment. Some just don’t prefer commenting and only score the paragraph.

 

But H P LOVECRAFT talks like this:

  •  “The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.”
  • “It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to show by this statement that I am not his murderer.”
  • “All I say is that I think it is damned unlikely that anything like a central cosmic will, a spirit world, or an eternal survival of personality exist. They are the most preposterous and unjustified of all the guesses which can be made about the universe, and I am not enough of a hair-splitter to pretend that I don’t regard them as arrant and negligible moonshine. In theory I am an agnostic, but pending the appearance of radical evidence I must be classed, practically and provisionally, as an atheist.”
  • “Creative minds are uneven, and the best of fabrics have their dull spots.”

 

Ha, this guy definitely talks like me!

 

 

When I write like “Lewis Caroll”

The same tool (pun still intended) also says that I write like Lewis Carroll. I had submitted this write-up for the analysis:

 

Kabir, a thoughtful, little boy, doesn’t have any preferences when it comes to choosing his favorite season. If you persist a little, he’ll answer that he doesn’t really like going to school during monsoons. He explains further that he’d rather get wet in the rains and let his mother worry about him getting sick than he himself having to worry about getting his notebooks damp. It seems it doesn’t bother him as much because as soon as he says that, he starts to describe the monsoon as he sees it.

(Well, by the way, he describes the whole scene in simpler terms.)

Apparently, he is fascinated by the snails that crawl on wet walls and tree trunks. The shell that grows with the size of the snail, the pace that never seems to increase with the size, the thin antennae attached to their slimy body among many other things, fascinates him. He likes to watch how the snail curls inside its hood as soon as he presses its shell.
It’s not only the snails that capture his wonder, he also likes the frogs. It is hard to notice a frog, he says. The frogs, camouflaged in the mud, can be spotted when they’re jumping around in the corners. He loves trying to pick them up and scare the girls in his building. He suddenly remarks that he loves all types of insect for that matter, and so many creep out of the earth during the rains!

By now, you’d conclude that he only likes the monsoon for the insects he gets to play with.

But he is not done with his description yet. He declares how he likes the drama of the grey clouds, with its thunders followed by lightening, that announce the arrival of storms. He is not that scared of the thunder, he adds. He is in ‘awe’ of it. After the storm, he loves the incessant chirping of the birds, and of course, the rainbows. He also loves the smell of fresh, wet earth.

His friends, whom he knows since as far back as he can remember, make paper-boats to play with. Sailing them on dirty puddles, the kids even try to transport small, light pebbles on the paper-boats sometimes. To measure the ideal weight their delicate boats can carry, they experiment with different sizes of the pebbles and thickness of the paper.

Lost in thought, he smiles. At the end, he wonders aloud why anyone has to choose a favorite season anyway.

 

THE EVALUATION:

(This too was one of my assignments. Frankly, I don’t like it that much. The assignment required one to describe a natural scene compulsorily using all four types of sentences, all the types of phrases/clauses/what not. According to me, it made the passage fake and unnecessarily complicated. Hence, the joke ‘he describes the whole scene in simpler terms.’ I was expecting a lot of criticism and a low score in this one. Apparently, no one seemed to bother as long as I followed the assignment. Yay me! )

What my peers said: 

Your grade is 20/20, which is simply the grade you received from your peers.

peer 2 → Description is good but unnecessarily lengthy.

peer 4 → Wow, very thrilling piece of writing! Thoroughly enjoyed.

 

But LEWIS CARROLL talks like this:

  • “You used to be much more…”muchier.” You’ve lost your muchness.”
  • “I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then”
  • “Well, I never heard it before, but it sounds uncommon nonsense.”
  • “Be what you would seem to be – or, if you’d like it put more simply – never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.”

 

It would be fun to talk like this.

Well, I am also Rudyard Kipling, and even David Foster Wallace. I am sure, if I let the statistical tool analyze my other write-ups, I’ll be someone else. So I am being sober about my celebrity writing style. 😛
Anyway, this post may seem dry to you although it is quite amusing to me.

Too much analysis & counter-analysis for the day,

Signing off

Tame SheWolf

Trying to keep the writer alive


“Try as we might, we write what we write”

― bg Thurston

Complaining about writing is not ‘writing’. If only I could really understand that.

So here goes another post tucked neatly in the ‘Dead Writer Series’.

I tell myself I have successfully resolved my quarter-life crisis. I assure you that in the face of my own cruel, introverted life review and career review sessions, I keep perspective. However, each year, I find myself with an aching lack of clarity about what kind of a writer I am.

I like my writing. (There I said it.)

Keep all my write-ups at a comfortable emotional distance, I know it’s not bad, but it is not great either. Push me any closer, and as the creator of my content I expect others to like it as much as I do, if not more. Pull me any further away; I realize my writing is broken. So now, in a sweeping generalization, I have decided I hate all my writings older than six months. I can label this behavior as ‘The IKEA effect’. (Did anyone tell you that labeling your own insanity doesn’t bring you any solace? Well, take my word for it, it doesn’t.)

I’ve come to believe that a writer must be ‘a disciplined mess.’
Mess? I am. No discussion required.
Disciplined? That is difficult. Sigh.
To make writing a daily ritual requires the urgent determination I don’t have in me. For now.

Meanwhile, I try to keep the writer alive in all the non-committal ways possible.

(Off-track: So… I am enthusiastic about the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) experience and Coursera has caught my fascination. I’ve finished three courses yet, and plan to do six more by the end of this year. Check it out! The courses offered are of good quality, varied and interesting.)

In my attempt to keep improving my writing, I had recently taken up an online course on ‘Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade by Lorrie Ross, Lawrence (Larry) Barkley, Ted Blake.’  The results should be due in a month. If you score 80% above, you get a certificate that states “The ___ University did not verify/cannot guarantee the identity of the student taking this online course.”  Yeah. I am sure I am getting that certificate.

Anyway, it was a course on grammar with written assignments and stuff. (No course can stop me from saying words like ‘stuff’.) The written assignments undergo peer assessment i.e. five students, randomly chosen by the system, evaluate it based on the given rubric.

But that’s not the point. I found this link in the discussion forum of the course. It ‘analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers. Voila! That’s what I needed today.

So I got my two written assignments analyzed.

Apparently, when I pretend to be creative, I write like Lewis Carroll.

I write like
Lewis Carroll

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

And when I write essays, I write like H P Lovecraft.

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

So, I did some research (i.e. checked two websites only) and the conclusion is that I am analytically morbid, and creatively nonsensical.

Hmm.

So that’s that.

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

WORDLY WISE:

“Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.”

― Lili St. Crow

PS: I’ll post those assignments with the peer evaluation, and explain my conclusion in the next blog.

I wrote to kill.


“One always has a better book in one’s mind than one can manage to get onto paper.”

― Michael Cunningham

Three years of blogging. I should be happy. But I am not.
It’s an achievement, really! Given that I am a quitter.

But I am not happy. My resolution last year was to ‘Write happy things’. Guess, it was meant to be broken. Not to say that happiness is not possible to me; but I find it difficult to write only about happy things. Initially, in order to stick to this resolution, I used to post sweet, happy poems by better poets than me. Eventually, my need to ramble took over.

I guess it is not even about that. I began this blog as a creative outlet. Up till now, all it has ended up to be is a public display of my thought rut. All I do is rant, crib and vent.

This year, I wrote to kill my boredom. I wrote to kill with words.  I wrote to get over… er..  stuff (see, I don’t even have apt words in my head anymore!) I wrote to move past all my writer’s block and all my writer’s excuses. I wrote because I would forget otherwise. I wrote because it had to be done.

Three years of blogging. It should improve my writing. But it did not.
It’s been a drag and I realized it only now, when I am contemplating about writing a blog anniversary post.

Recently, I realized I am an approval-seeker. On further reflection, I realized I am unnecessarily funny even in my blog. Who says that’s the only thing that keeps a reader engaged?

Once I write, I actually forget about it. It’s posted, and I’m done with it. The readers (their comments/likes/site-view) get me back suddenly to a lost blog-post. So when I re-read my own work with fresh eyes and increased grey cells, I can spot so many errors- from mistyped words to blunders in grammar!

Sometimes I rationalize that the sentence structure would make sense with the tone I have intended to say it in. Other times I cringe and let it be. But I wonder if all readers read in the tone it is meant to be read in.

My (few) readers have been kind to me. No complaints and hence (maybe) no demands either. Anyway, I am sorry for uninspired writing. I am sorry for lazy ideas. I am sorry for tired editing. This was not how it was supposed to be.

This year’s resolution: Be Creative.
I promise less clutter, less unnecessary chatter.

That will happen, one slow step at a time.

I shall write to haunt.

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

WORDLY WISE:

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” 

― Jack Kerouac

Life is short and Love is shorter still


“Ask me why life is short and love is
Shorter still, ask me what is bliss and what its price..”

-Kamala Das, from the poem The Stone Age

Oh god, how much I hate to see my friends pining for someone special in this infinite universe, or someone specific. : P
Like my mom categorizes everything I do as a ‘teenage phase’− which is frustrating for me, and this frustration also she’ll conveniently label the same, and then the conversation just becomes a vicious, frustrating cycle− I could categorize this romantic stupidity as just that. When my friends get older (and I pray, more mature), they may look back and laugh at all this and say ‘what the fuck was I thinking’!
But what if, they don’t.
What if they don’t regret their childish stubbornness and the feeling is/becomes one of the last, pure idealism of adolescence before they turn into realistic and rational adults. Their definition of love might change from the filmi-romantic perspective that they hold today to the unromantic-evolutionary perspective (i.e. for progeny, security, psychological well-being, blah-blah…). For that one percent possibility of their feelings being more than just-a-phase, I’d not wake them up and let them continue dreaming with their eyes wide open.

But that’s not the point. I have a theory on love to share today.

“Time is indirectly proportional to love felt.”

Yeah, there I said it. No show-sha.

Let me explain it in simple terms. The lesser the time spent, more the love felt. The more time spent, the less one romanticizes the relationship. For example, a break-up after a few months due to external factors (eg. parents, long distance stay etc.) would be thoroughly romanticized.

When love is short, you have only the good memories to bring back and replay over and over again in your head. Since everything was so perfect in that little time y’all had together, you will surely but erroneously conclude that life would have been perfect with that person. And then, you’ll be stuck in time with the memories labelling that person as your one true love.

When love has lasted forever, then it is just a habit. It is complacent and comfortable. Love is felt, but not as giddy-headed.

My graph has an aberration in this specific case: When love is spread out across years of togetherness (at least 5 years, that’s my litmus test), and if the couple breaks up, then they still love each other. Yes. But they don’t over-do the after break-up effect. I guess it’s just easier to accept the reasons (external or internal) of the mutual break-up. After 5 years, you have seen the good and bad side of the person/the relationship; you have fought off the problems and come strong; you have lived out all the realistic possibilities.
So, the love you feel after the break up is in proportion. I grant you the permission to cry. :/

Don’t hate me for making love black and white. But that’s my theory. Maybe in the future when I cry over a stupidly short romance (that’s never happening, but whatever) I will disregard this theory and write a blog about it. It’s just a theory.

Figuring out the riddle,

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

WORDLY WISE:

“I don’t quite know how to say how I feel.
Those three words are said too much.
They’re not enough.”

-Snow Patrol, ‘Chasing Cars’.

 

PS: I had been thinking about this theory for more than a month now, and it got reinforced with proof many times too. I finally wrote it when this song drove me to just sit and write. The oh-so-hopelessly-romantic song by Snow Patrol: Chasing Cars. You must’ve noticed that the lyrics are my wordly-wise for today! : )