- Welcome readers to another entry on Voices behind the words: An interview series with writers. You’re getting a second helping of an interview this month. As usual this one will definitely be intriguing. This time around I spoke with Surya Pratap of Spirit Sage. He was one of the first bloggers I interacted with when I first joined WordPress in the spring of 2017. With that said, he spoke about his hiatus from the site and making his recent return, his perspective on writer’s block which he surprisingly didn’t know even existed and how he perceives poetry as the supreme form of literature. Additionally, he gave homage to 4 bloggers that he admires. I’ll leave a list of their blogs that you should check out at the bottom of the page. I’m familiar with 2 out of 4 blog sites. In closing, check out his blog site @SpiritSage because he has an eloquence and gaiety to his words that you’ll definitely appreciate. PEACE and WriteOn
Q: After exploring your page I noticed that there was a gap between months which you did not post content. So my question to you is, if you’re comfortable sharing, could you explain why was there a gap of no content uploaded from September until February?
Surya: Yeah, I sure took quite a long gap. Actually RhymeRula, I don’t consider myself much of a writer or a blogger. My writings are more of the conversations that I have within myself. I need to feel something within clearly- be it love, frustration, strength or whatever. I cannot write unless I truly vibe something. It was just a period when I was trying to figure a few things out. When I felt like I had something to express, I was back with Words Unsaid.
Q: What is your writing process like, do you hand write or type a draft? Or do you think of a theme and immediately start typing?
Surya:There are no such patterns actually. I don’t try to compose anything. It’s just like words come by themselves and I just provide an unresistant flow. Sometimes they come to me while driving or cooking or sometimes while at a meeting even. I just have a habit of noting them down somewhere at the very moment. Sometimes, I create a note on my phone or write them down in my diary or whatever seems the easiest accessible thing at the time.
Q: Can you talk about a time or experience that caused you to immerse yourself in writing consistently especially poetry? Also, what did that particular experience mean to you?
Surya: Wow, this seems the hardest question to answer. Well, I believe there are many times in life when you don’t get the chance to express yourself truly. There always remain some incomplete conversations that you long to have. For this, sometimes it is the time that’s to be blamed, sometimes the maturity and, perhaps, sometimes our absurd egos. But whatever be the reason, all those emotions, that feel clustered inside, need to be channelized. I too began with one such experience and this journey continued. As for poems, I always felt enthralled by them. I even started practicing this hobby with one.
Q: What do you perceive as the biggest pros and cons within the poetry community or blogging in general on WordPress?
Surya: I honestly appreciate all kinds of blogging communities. WordPress (and all the other blogging websites) has made it so easy even for amateur writers like me to try and express themselves. The best part is that you can write and exhibit about absolutely anything over here. Nobody is going to judge if you are good at writing or not. People also use it as a platform for various other purposes like advertising, spreading awareness about a specific topic or idea etc. I have loved its concept since the very first day I got to know about it. If I start talking about all the pros of WordPress community, it would probably constitute a whole different post by itself.
However, the only con comes into picture when people start writing just to impress or add up their number of followers. Else, everything’s perfect over here.
Q: What are your favorite book genres? Who are your favorite authors?
Surya: I am an avid reader and I tend to get very picky when it comes to books. I would only have certain genres on my shelf. Mostly it’d be something that stirs me from within but, very rarely, I’d also read something just for the fun of it (though I seldom complete those). So to pick the favorites would be hard for someone like me, however, I’d just recommend a few here –
‘Think and Grow Rich‘ by Napoleon Hill
‘The Alchemist‘ by Paulo Coelho
‘The Shiva Trilogy‘ by Amish Tripathi
‘Zero to One‘ by Peter Thiel
‘Benjamin Franklin‘ by Walter Isaacson
‘The Saint, the Surfer and the CEO‘ by Robin Sharma
Now, you can yourself deduce the genre and kind of authors that excite me.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who love poetry but don’t know how to start? I have some days where I can’t think of something to write so, do you believe in writer’s block?
Surya: Writer’s block! Well if I tell the truth, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of the term (and Wikipedia has a whole article about it). I, personally, don’t believe in any such condition. I’d rather consider it as the inability to understand your emotions. Now, that happens with everybody. Don’t rush it! It ain’t a race. Just try to feel it without putting desperate efforts. Just a suggestion here, make that mirror your best friend. Have a chat with ‘him’ daily!
If you ask me, I’d say poems are the supreme form of literature. The way it intensifies a certain theme or emotion, with or without the rhythmic pattern, just feels so intriguing. No other style of writing related so well to me. Once I perceive a certain link within, words easily group up, and sometimes rhythmically too. But I do struggle to find apt metaphors, though. So, I guess the best advice would be to seek inspiration from somewhere. Feel it. Read as many as you can. Your mind would itself start to device the patterns. And don’t despair, it’ll come in its own time. Desperation only kills creativity.
Q: How would you describe the current state of poetry and should schools emphasize creative writing and poetry in English curriculum?
Surya: I’d say the current state of poetry is not so good. Poems, as beautifully as they were perceived once, have now lost that glory. It’s not that people don’t like poetry now, but perhaps the intensity and assertion that poetry had earlier is lost with age. I don’t recall any such famous names after Pablo Neruda and Maya Angelou. Here, I’d also talk about Hindi poetry. The potency that was there in the poetry of Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Premchand is lost in the literature today.
And I don’t think schools can help much in this situation. Literature can’t be dissolved as a tonic for your brain. I guess that vigor comes when you feel what you’re writing. And it is the appalling reality of today that people don’t actually talk to themselves. Technology, although necessary, has taken over so much that nowadays most of the leisure moment is wasted on some kind of screen. People even go for months without
acknowledging their own emotions. I know it sounds abstract but that’s just what I believe. And sadly enough, there isn’t any app to encourage emotions in a person, yet.
But all thanks to WordPress, it has connected me to some amazing poets whom I love to read. I’ll just suggest a few here-
The writer’s blogk
By the Mighty Mumford
Poems in a Coffer
They all have a different style of writing and they all have a beauty in their uniqueness.
Q: I don’t recall ever seeing you on Twitter since a majority of the people I follow on WordPress I also do on Twitter. So do you have any tips for bloggers when it comes to promoting content?
Surya: Yes, I’m not quite active on social media. I just like to keep my circles separate. Although promoting your blog on your social profiles is an excellent way of diverting a huge traffic to your side. I guess choosing the right tags works well too. Another great way is re blogging the posts that you love and that you think would relate better to your page. It’s a win-win thing for both the bloggers involved. And the best old way is to genuinely visit other pages, like them and leave a comment according to how that particular piece of writing made you feel. Also if you would like them to visit a certain post on your blog, leave the link to it in their comments. Most people do like to revert the gesture and would definitely love to visit you back.
Q: When someone finishes reading your work, what would you want them to take away from it?
Surya: I always want people to get a glimpse of the feeling that led me to write the post. I want them to understand my perception of things. But above all, I want them all to leave with a lighter heart and a smile on their faces. The world is already full of pessimists and everybody has got their share of problems, I just like to shine a light of optimism on everybody.
Q: When you’re writing, what would one find you doing? What other things do you enjoy doing besides writing?
Surya: Well, I’ve just started a company that is still very small and needs a lot of time. I’m involved in it much of the time. But when in leisure, one would usually find me reading some book or with earphones plugged into the ears beating to Eminem’s or Coldplay’s tracks. But this is quite seldom. Mostly I’d be on the roads seeking the classic less trodden spots around.
Q: Would you ever consider publishing your writing, and if you have how were the reception and reviews? Are you familiar with any publishing literary sites that you’ve been looking into publishing with?
Surya: That definitely would be a dream come true. Although, I’ve never thought about it. I don’t write for anyone. They’re all mine. I don’t share them much. That also is a reason I don’t write many posts.
Q: If you could describe your writing in one sentence how would it go?
Surya: I would refer to it as ‘an honest attempt to express my perception’. Writing, and even this blog, are just my ways to connect with my true self. It happens sometimes that, kneaded in the demeanor of this ‘perfect’ world, you forget to feel your own existence. My blog is my way to align with that.
Surya’s 4 blog site shout -outs
1. @The writer’s blogk
2. @By the Mighty Mumford
4. @Poems in a Coffer