I want to write articles as a service to Krishna. But I am unable to get time. How should I go ahead?
Transcription By: Jyoti Shirsangi Mataji
Edited By: Shyam Venkateswaran P
Question: I want to write articles as a part of devotional service, but I am not able to manage the time. How can I go ahead?
Answer: The first and foremost thing for doing any service is associating with those who recognize the importance of that service. So, writing is the service that, relatively speaking, few people do, few devotees do, even within devotional service. So, if we are not associating with other devotee writers, by meeting them or reading their writings, by trying to observe and learn from that, by seeking guidance and encouragement and improvement, we will not be able to sustain the enthusiasm. Because the results of writing don’t come up immediately; it’s a slow art, that needs to be perfected, and perfecting it requires a substantial amount of time. Therefore, associating with those who consider writing important is essential, even indispensible for aspiring devotee writers.
In general, for us to do any service, associating with those who share that definition of success, within the service, are important. Now, regarding making time, once we get the inspiration by the association, there are three different ways which I have seen that senior devotee writers adopt, and I also adopt at various times in my life. One is plan our schedules in such a way that we can take a significant amount of time out. So, for example, take a weekend out, or take at least one day out where we plan our day in such a way that no one will come to meet us, we will not pickup any phone calls, we will disconnect the internet, and we focus on writing at that time. So, taking out time like that, exclusively for several hours, can help us to get quality work done. Often for the writer, the best friends, relatives, the acquaintances may become the greatest obstacle. So, we must communicate with them clearly, and at the same time sympathetically- this is the time which is sacred for us in our service to Krishna, and that, we will not be responding to them at such a time. And it’s not always possible, for everyone to do that.
The other alternative is that one take out time every day and writes something. So, there are many devotees, who write their personal diary, and they make it a rule to write every day, come what may. So, similarly we can decide that we will write something, it may be an article, it may be a personal diary, or whatever, but everyday I will write 500 words. So, just the habit of getting words out on paper will familiarize us with the activity of writing and familiarize us with the linear logical thinking that is often required to put thoughts down on paper, and that will stand us in a good step in becoming a writer. So, if you keep writing like this everyday, not only does our brain and body get habituated to writing, in terms of external dedication of time and internal orientation of thought, but along with that, we will also get some material. So, if we keep on writing 500 words everyday, for one week, and at the end of the week we will have 3500 words, and then we can cut that, edit that, and we can easily get atleast a substantial amount of matter from that, may be half of it, less or more sometimes, which will be of good quality enough to eventually build a article.
The third is that we make time, whenever we get inspiration. So, actually, all arts, especially creative art like writing, depend a lot on inspiration. Sometimes, inspiration strikes us by Krishna’s grace, at the most unexpected moments. So, sometimes we may hear something, see something, and we feel inspired- this could be a very good idea for an article. And when we get that idea, we need to put it down,immediately.
If we can adjust things in such a way that we can write down the article immediately, putting other things aside, it’s definitely worth it, even if it disrupts our schedule a little bit. There are so many adhoc reasons for which we let our schedules get disrupted. So many adhoc factors come up, beyond our control. Sometimes for our own writing, if we disrupt our schedule, that is the least we can do for our commitment as writers. But often, even if it is not possible, as soon as we get the inspiration to write down the full article, ofcourse we may not get the final draft, but if we get a rough draft, that is also good. Then we have something solid to work on during our future writing sessions. But atleast, we should be able to write down the points, somewhere, maybe as a brief note in a computer, or in a cell phone, or in a pocket diary, preferably not on a chit of paper, as a chit of paper may be lost or forgotten, or if nothing else, we can just record it. Nowadays, even cellphones have recorders, and we can just record the idea as it has come to us, and then later on, we can use that as a starting material for writing an article. So, when an inspiration comes, unless we work on that inspiration, after some time when the moment of inspiration is gone away, what might have been seen to be an exciting idea may later on seem to be a routine idea? So, what was it which excited us about the idea? What was it that we felt we could expand and illuminate and thereby make an article out of? We need to put it down somewhere,and once we do that, then we can move forward and do other things, and later on make time to actually write down the articles.
By taking exclusive time, occasionally, or by devoting daily time, diligently, or by taking time out, whenever inspiration comes, we can kick start our writing process, and eventually we will find, which among these three, or what proportion of combination of these three works best for us to serve Krishna as a writer.