By RAKESH GUPTA, Special Contributor
DUKHAN, QATAR — I was unsure of the best way to cope with misfortune. However, pursuing creative projects and contributing to a meaningful community seems to work. Despite being unemployed for the first time in my life, I made a promise that I would get into the world a story that’s been simmering in my brain – and I have. I self-published my book on Amazon in early January.
Cormac McCarthy says, “Creative work is often driven by pain. It may be that if you don’t have something in the back of your head driving you nuts, you may not do anything. It’s not a good arrangement. If I were God, I wouldn’t have done it that way.” He’s absolutely right. I’ve found that indulging the creative urge and doing the best damn job that I can instills in the soul a deep sense of satisfaction that tempers pain.
Writing is a lonely profession. There are no ‘team-members’ to bitch to about plot inconsistencies or the best point-of-view. Dealing with the anxiety of unemployment and getting up early in the morning to write is one of the hardest things to do. Editing it a countless times after a draft has been compiled is not any easier. In the self-publishing world, you have the additional responsibility to market it yourself by finding people who will ‘agree’ to review your genre and put in a good word on their blogs.
I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur but found myself thinking like one after I published my first work and began to think of ways to market it. This has kept my mind free of negative thinking — the power of which I’m only just beginning to appreciate. As I try to concentrate on a second novel while, I try to focus on the feeling of satisfaction that will come from having two books to my name. Many people talk about writing a book in their lifetime. In a couple of months I will proudly say that I have two.
And that’s my giving a damn.
Rakesh is an active member of the Doha Writers’ Workshop.