I belong to the #writersofinstagram community.
I am among the long list of writers whom the hopeful reader acknowledges as harbinger of love & exemplary survival of loss while the cynics term writers like me as hypocritical-melodramatic-clichéd-self-acclaimed-poets. (I swear I did not make this up.)
I have a willful indulgence in the #writersofinstagram space in spite of fully understanding the qualms about whether or not it is about ‘writing’ indeed.
For anybody to understand the explanation that will follow, it’s important to know what my understanding of a writer and poet is.
Our faithful buddy-Google says, “A writer is a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing to reach the public” while “A poet is someone with powers of imagination and creativity.”
Now this qualifies as a simple definition to a very complex task i.e. writing.
On the contrary, whatever has been historically and conventionally termed as ‘real writing’ springs from the virtue of comprehension of underlying layers of the truth.
Literary artists seem to unearth reality in profound ways, that has the power to invoke wonder & curiosity and also question the legitimacy of prevalent ideas & norms that we function with.
Where do I, a #writerofinstagram fit in this scenario?
To begin with my explanation, I would like you to know that writing to me is an intention to encourage my reader to think.
I try not to let an observation pass into oblivion and write about things and moments as if they were living people in themselves, meant to be loved, understood, accepted and cherished.
Writing can mean different things to different people. It also evolves in form, like seeds that sprout into blossoming flowers and grow into lush trees, branching out in all directions.
To me, writing has been a journey in itself, one where I discovered answers that led me to new questions, all of which continue to lead me to my becoming. Writing makes me swing between fact & fiction, past & present, certainty & confusion. But is this enough reason in entitlement to call myself a writer? Definitely, maybe.
On the surface of the above mentioned explanation, 3 am conversations often comprise of such ‘swinging’. What takes me from a maybe to a definitive yes is what connecting with readers on Instagram did to my words.
In the essay titled ‘Death of the Author’ by Roland Barthes, one could conclude that words face a mortal life once they are inked from the writer’s pen. How I look at my own words and how intend to make them sound, can be a stark contrast from how they are looked at and interpreted by my readers. Hence, what I begin as an expression of individual thought, inspired by a collection of personal experiences is vulnerable to varied interpretations. An average, un-moving piece of writing in my opinion, can draw a reader who responds to it as a motivational anecdote and/or an apt description of his/her situation. This is what fuels the fire to interact in the #writersofinstagram space; you understand the gravity of the paradox of life.
It no longer matters whether a stranger says the right words or they were uttered from the lips of someone who owns your heart. The space that #writersofinstagram creates is a freedom of perception takes form at the behest of my intention to converse about moments and mighty without it being a monologue. Like I said, writing has been a never-ending game of Q&A, I reached the answer that a writer must inspire and empower the reader. To start a revolution was not on my list but to be more than words on a screen and strum the strings in a stranger’s heart is my carpe diem. This is how I know I am a writer.
Instagram, alike any other social media platform, has content you want to love and preach (aka follow) and content you abhor. However, the bigger truth about technology remains that it serves as another form of escapism, where some of us indulge to keep ourselves away from/closer to other things. In the middle of this constantly raging storm in our lives, #writersofinstagram often becomes that repose which lets fresh perspective breathe where both, the writer and the writing evolves.
With the sublime power that the pen begins to yield, I write about life from tinted visions of simplest forms of complexity. I spend minutes, trying to explain the fractions of seconds which sometimes emerge as turning points.
Irony serves my intention, since in one such fraction of a second, I understood the difference between being a poet and a writer. I learned to speak of reality as if it were a speck of cosmic dust settling in a perfectly timed manner, in a space where it radiates regardless of how seemingly insignificant and trivial it may seem.
I try to write words that can do justice to how wonderfully our hearts feel. I also try to seek the writer inside me to talk about the things that the reader in me is keen to know. I let myself explore the depth of reason and doubt, fully aware that we are all as human as we could be and the only difference between a me and you is that in this moment, I might be able to make these 26-letter combinations that describe what we all go through, in more descriptive ways than you can.
The interaction in the space that #writersofinstagram creates, there is energy that both terrifies me and empowers me. On one end, there are stories brewing with memoirs of struggle, heartbreak, dissatisfaction and misery. We are being weighed down by burdens of life. On the other end, there is optimism that resonates strength and replaces struggle with survival and makes heroes out of daily battles. In this tug of war, a writer/poet like me strives to create a story of her own which can strike the right chords on both ends of the string. I am learning to be perceptual and recreating my own vision in poetic ways that can speak difficult things in easy ways. I am also learning to unlearn what has been (force) fed to me in the years gone by. I am learning to acknowledge thin-lines and swim through layers that mask my own reality. I am growing by sharing these experiences through the medium of words, intended to deep-dive into the souls of my readers.
I continue with words for ideas, hope for dreams, good-will for others and acceptance for self as I am only trying to argue explain that writing is a journey that is set afoot alone and you create spaces while you find your way to your becoming.
Pratishtha Khattar is a 21 year old girl from India who aspires to live each day as a free spirit. She is a thinker and explorer, constantly searching for a better version of herself. Her love for philosophy and all the stories that surround her translates into her passion for writing. She sees life as a constant paradox and writes about her musings on all that meets the eye & all that doesn’t. Follow her work on Instagram @paradox.metaphors and on Facebook as Paradox & Metaphors.