Thirty days to write a book. A book that hopefully people will want to read. That’s the crazy target I have been set. And I thought this insane target-setter was my friend. Little did I know, you crazy woman. This is what I get when I ask innocently, “So, what are you giving me for my 40th?”
I write best when I have muses. I struggle without a muse. And I have been missing a muse. So, a book that I started two years ago has been languishing. I can’t seem to get to it again. I have left it. It’s something that frustrates the one person in my life who wants me to write and write more. I can’t even seem to put together another, already-written book of short stories and send it to publishers.
And then, THIS happened. When I won that short story award, I was stunned by the number of people who wanted me to write. When I don’t update this blog, I receive a reminder from one of you. “Haven’t heard from you? I miss your posts,” you tell me. So. Deep breath. So, I am going to find the muse from all of you. From everything that moves me. From the stories I have read. From the stories I have heard. From the stories unsaid within me. Within you. From the blocks of colors that move the sky to the rusty edges of my mind, I will find and coax the words. So, I will accept the challenge that my friend has set.
I start writing an entirely new book on April 27. By May 27, before I leave on a life-changing soul-searching adventure that I shall tell you in another post, I would have completed writing this new book.
The Soul Of YA
What’s the book? So, my friend and I have been reading a fair bit of Young Adult (YA) literature over the past few months. We hadn’t read much in this genre, and I have been on a quest to find real gems here. I haven’t found many, to be honest. But I have been fascinated with the way young minds think. I see my nephew growing up, and I realize that there is so much I can’t relate to. I think of my own self when I was in my teens, and I know that there was a different life out then. Life seemed slower. Yet, were the choices any easier? Despite the changes, we all go through conflicts. We struggle to make the right choices and not just the easy ones.
Ah! Our life and the choices we make to keep ourselves sane. Or insane. How do we know at the end of our ‘young adult’ life if we are even adults? And what does that mean? Do we magically become mature? Thoughtful? At peace? I don’t know the answers.
So, I kept reading more YA books. And I became fascinated with diverse YA literature.
And then, one evening, about two years ago, my friend, another book-loving friend, and I sat down on a beach in Chennai.
Embers flew across the blue sky from the man roasting corn. We sat on the sand and watched the waves. We spoke of books. Of movies. We counted planes. I spoke of my struggles with finding relatable YA literature. “Most YA seems to follow the same path: Angst-ridden hero or heroine and that one person who understands you from the pain of the mundane around you. You have to be redeemed. And it’s always through the other.” The book-loving friend nodded. “You have seen through to the heart of YA – you have in you the soul of YA,” he said, even as my friend burst out laughing. It’s a tag that has stuck since then. My friend teases me as “The Soul of YA.”
So, I am going to see if ‘The Soul of YA’ has better words in her. I am going to find the space and the time to just write a diverse YA book even though both time and space elude me right now.
May 27th, I will let you all know if I have made it. 75,774 words. I had to add THAT number there. :-). Maybe, putting this challenge in the open will push me more. Wish me luck!
Courage is being foolish. Courage is also forgetting that you have nothing to lose. Except for pride.