- While embarking on a long-winded arduous journey of writing a book, I had several doubts brewing in my mind, full of what-ifs scenarios.
I like adventures and I like writing, both speak to my soul directly. While going on an adventure trip resonates with our inner calling of ‘exploration,’ writing resonates with our soul’s inner idea of ‘creation.’ There is certainly a kind of magical feeling about creating something from scratch, be it a piece of art, or a book of poetry. It consumes your mind and spirit fully until you can give some shape to that fire that burns deep inside of you. You channel your energy towards building something new, not worried so much about the outcome but enjoying the journey totally engrossed in the process.
I went through a similar crest of emotions, shaping my book, “Years Spent: Exploring Poetry in Adventure, Life and Love.” It has just been released to warm applause and I couldn’t be more excited, experiencing the culmination of my love to share poetry with the readers and to be able to touch someone with the power of words.
In addition, having dabbled in adventure sports over the last few years including skydiving, motorcycle, skiing, scuba diving, ocean kayaking and so on, I couldn’t stop myself but compare the long-winded arduous journey of writing a book to my most recent adventure trip.
In both cases, I had a fair amount of idea about the respective destination but I wasn’t entirely sure of the roads that will take me there. I had several doubts brewing in my mind before I began my journey, full of what-ifs scenarios? What if I don’t reach point A before the night-fall driving by myself in a treacherous remote location? What if the book gets rejected and never finds a reader? What if I fall and break my bones while attempting rock climbing? What if the cover page doesn’t reflect the vision that has gone inside the book? There was no end to what-ifs that kept cropping up in my mind from time to time but once I firmly set sail on the journey, the what-ifs gradually died down on their own. I then realized that taking action is the best antidote to nipping doubts in the bud.
Adventure inherently comes with certain risks and similarly putting a book out there in the public eye, inherently comes with the risk of being judged. Both are uncomfortable experiences that can blow out of control, if not managed well. But if risks are managed well in the first case and the personal reputation is managed well in the second case, congrats you have tested the limits of your comfort zone and come out unscathed.
Serendipity is another positive aspect of any long journey. I believe you don’t have to know everything to embark on a trip and turn it into a managed experience. The beauty of life lies in the fact that we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Just think for a moment that you knew what your future holds, then how would you have experienced fundamental human emotions of hope, dreams and aspirations? Serendipity is what makes a writing journey interesting as you twist, turn or alter your subplots as you scribble pages after pages or serendipity is what sparks joy as you behold a dreamy rainbow on the horizon and you choose to take a detour on the road to witness the splendor. Whoever said that the journey itself is the destination couldn’t be more accurate.
Moreover, these adventure activities challenged me to learn new skills and they have been rejuvenating for the soul to an extent that it has found utterances in this book especially in the sections on ‘Life and exploration’ and ‘Adventure and Freedom.’
The accompanying mindset growth and the zeal to ‘get it done’ have widened my worldview. I wrote down in one of my poems:
“Niggling fear or the raging fire,
Whom should I choose?
I choose fear,
feels my life beginning to shrink.
I choose fire
I expand beyond my proportion. “
While adventure sports push us out of our comfort zone and enable us to experience the euphoria that lies just beyond the limits of fear, poetry helps us to explore and experience the world in a more vivid way. After returning from a Motorcycle trip, I wrote down these lines which took the shape of uplifting poetry eventually:
“Have you felt the fire lately,
burning deep inside of you?
Raring to engulf, the enthralls
Of your heart, beating deep inside of you.”
The book, “Years Spent,” captures this spirit of adventure and exploration, including the themes of love, loss and redemption that many of us go through as a seeker on this journey of life. It will be featured at upcoming New Delhi World Book Fair 2022, you can also pick a copy on Amazon.
Lalit Kumar likes to write both poetry and prose around the themes of adventure, exploration and everything in between. His articles and poetry have been published in India Currents, The Financial Express and multiple online forums. He is an IIT (ISM Dhanbad) and IIM graduate and works in a business development role in the technology sector. Currently, he lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be reached on Twitter, @lalitk08, or Instagram, @lalitk06.