T r e a d Softly... YOU MIGHT TRIP ON TEXT

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Value of Mirrors

The process of writing can get a bit sticky towards the end of your work.
You're worried about whether it's really working or not. You weren't at first, but as you near the deadline and all those finishing touches have to be frozen, you start wondering. And then, until someone delivers a verdict, you're virtually on pins and needles.
It's funny, come to think of it. We know what we're like, but we need the constant presence of a mirror to find out.
You present yourself-- whether as a writer or as an individual-- in what they used to call as-is-where-is condition. There's nothing you can drastically change, actually. And still you look for that outside opinion, that assurance or advice, believing that it would nudge us towards a corner of perfection.
If only we stop to think: who is our audience? Do they have nothing else to do but assess us against some mysterious yardstick? And then, what is this yardstick? I received a forward recently which quotes Isaac Asimov on IQ levels. An academic answering questions set by an academic may be rated with a high IQ. Likewise, a mechanic, a plumber, an animal lover and so on. It depends on what our core abilities or interests are. We could all have a high IQ in our respective fields.

Actually, in this time of blogging and citizen journalism and opinionated comments all over the place on the internet, everyone is potentially looking you over, assessing you and passing judgement. It may be a published work or a private comment you made, but you're being seen and talked about. You can't change or alter yourself to please them all!
I think of the stylized acting of our older stars--- their unique mannerisms that have been fodder and livelihood for thousands of mimicry artists. It could have been an unfortunate gesture or an ungainly movement that stuck and then became a sign of celebrity! Like Talat Mehmood's "quiver" which he was bent on removing, but was advised by a music director to "let it be", and that quiver is what makes him so unique and underlines his sensitivity!
So, if you're looking at mirrors, it had better be for confirmation, not to receive judgement.
The mirror's the same, but our mood changes, and what we see could be different each time.

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