Just about everyone I know (that’s all of you my three friends and four acquaintances – dad doesn’t count because he is obviously biased) has been on my case that I should write fiction because they think I can do it. To be frank, I can do a lot of other stuff such as stay in bed the whole day, sleep with mascara on and eat a jar of nutella with spoon, but I have been never prompted to do any one that.
Honestly, I too hold a very high opinion about my writing skills and think I would be the next Helen Fielding/Zadie Smith/Kamila Shamsie – all rolled in one – if I do write. The problem is, I am not disciplined enough to write something substantial. The best I do manage is either this blog, or a few random articles I write for newspapers. For the past three years, I start something that is inspired/stimulated by whatever is going on with my excruciatingly dull life, write a couple of chapters and then lose interest. A friend suggested that Karachi is not loving enough to inspire creativity (he lives in Lahore and marvels at how Karachiites survive the pace of life) but we all know that it ranks way on top when it comes to flimsy excuses.
I have always blamed my zodiac sign for lack of focus in my life. I am Sagittarius and I read somewhere that Sagittarians are extremely flighty and cannot concentrate on anything for long. I just discovered that good ol’ Ms. Jane Austen was a fellow Sagittarian and if she had curbed her typical Sag fickle behaviour and sat down long enough to pen not one, but six novels and some other works, than I can do that too. The problem is, I have a pretty demanding job and whatever time I have apart from work, I spend it commuting. The woman who created the man most women would want to date – that’s a certain Mr Darcy for you – could not have done that while running a million errands every weekend and driving miles to and back from work during the weekdays. The problem is, I need to work to pay the bills, so I will continue to drive the length and breadth of Karachi – back and forth – in pursuit of livelihood and that great novel that I have in me will die with me.
I think I need a sugar daddy to pay my bills, the luxury of not working and the guilt of actually having a sugar daddy who pays my bills will prompt/jolt/nudge/push/shove me into writing fiction.
On a side note, if I ever get disciplined enough to actually write a novel, my hero would be nothing like Mr Darcy. Austen’s Darcy was twenty-eight years old, fairly good looking (or as good looking as a man can be in coattails and frilly shirts), quite judgmental and concerned with social status. My protagonist would be older, way cooler, non conformist to the core, far more intelligent, witty and street smart. In short, a 21st century thorough bad boy.
December 16th is Jane Austen’s Birthday.