Friday, December 09, 2005

The Power of a group

Anyone who's travelled in Mumbai's local trains knows this, physically. The train halts at a station for only 14 seconds, and the passengers, more than 50 at any time, have to get out and get in within that time. How does it happen? Well, do nothing. Just stand with the crowd and the crowd pushes you out of the train or into the train from the platform.

And those who've meditated in a group or sung in a group know this group effect at a deeper level. The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. A strange energy gets built up in a mass gathering that propels everyone in the group towards something unimaginable--either good or bad. People kill one another in riots, they can't do it alone, only a mob can do it. And the same people marched towards claiming back independence from a powerful coloniser more than 60 years ago in this country--again, in a group, not individually.

I always thought that writing is essentially a solitary activity, that you never could collaborate and produce any piece of writing. But blogger guys proved me wrong, at least partially. We all have heard about a group of people continuing on a piece of fiction, taking turns and contributing a part to the growth of a story. But can a group of people sit together and write their own individual short stories and novels, inspiring each other, commenting on each one's work and contributing to the overall creative process? Well, it seems Yes!

Every year in the month of november, thousands of writers gather on the net and resolve to write a 50000 word novel within one month. Each writer writes his novel and submits-- the only criterion should be that he has completed 50000 words. What he writes and submits is entirely his, and he can take it to any publisher and get it into print. Many people drop out but thousands reach the target as well. Whether what they write in that mad rush remains readable or not is questionable but What's interesting is that, this collective energy can push the writer towards a goal which he'd have found daunting were he to be alone.

I stumbled upon this last month but couldn't register because the due date was over and also because i had no idea what to write about. Now i have almost 11 months to get ready before November 2006 stares me in the face. And then for one month, i'll keep aside some time everyday to give shape to a long forgotten dream. Where can this take us? Anywhere! Where was R.K. Narayan before Swami got published? And Arundhati roy, or salman rushdie or any writer worth his salt? where were we before we opened our individual accounts on blogspot and posted our first words? Now we share our thoughts and have a handful of audience which,i believe has definetly contributed to the richness of our writing.

Forget glory, money and fame. What's thrilling is the fact that you are giving birth to something unique, something that never existed before. Once created, this can have a life of its own and touch someone, somewhere around the world, maybe in some future, if not now. A Novel!! A portrait of someone's life! You are the creator, the provider and the destroyer of this new world. You get to play God.

Anyone interested? Check This!


  1. awesome!!
    I am definitely interested and thanks for the info!!!


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Great post vishwa!!

    Group meditation - I 'd guess it's that power of group prayers that makes temples so rich and serene in experience . The generated vibration will leave us calm!

  4. hey vishwa is it the same site u have put on my blog once earlier ........fiction writng .....maybe i'll try too next time
    it would be fun with all of us together trying

  5. Jen... Maybe you could reserve that photo of yours( meditating in fire!!!) for the cover of your novel. Who can say where we'd end up after this? Worth trying and unleashing the creative giant trapped within!

    Bhanu... group meditations and prayers do contribute to the serenity of temples, but i understand that there are bigger forces at work there. There's a science-- the spiritual science-- at work there, which we seem to have lost touch with. You need to actually sit and meditate, either alone or in a group to realise its power.

    Ash....yes, it's the same one. I'm excited about it and it'd be fun if all of us jump into it in one go.

  6. hey nice post..and the end was quite encouragin:) I ve added the link to my favorties..will definitely try next year..will be fun:)

    Thanks for enlightening us!

  7. Hey there, thanks for dropping by on my blog!I loved this post of yours.My god it is powerful.I am not sure of I want to play God..but your words have been inspiring.Thanks and see ya around!

  8. yup it wld definity be fun if all of us jump in it together vishwa .....
    Good morning .......

  9. Ego... educated....ash,

    I think it's not that easy to write a readable novel. You need to have an understanding of how the novel works and also a passion to create a fictional world with believable characters. It's hard work, definetly. What this forum does is to bring together all writers who know what a novel is and who have a passion and perseverance to write one. That's it. Beyond that it's our blood and sweat that creates a piece of fiction.

    I was and am fascinated by the creative process that gives birth to something utterly fictional but yet, which seems more real than the actual world. I always wanted to tell stories, and this is a fantastic opportunity to share our stories with the whole world. What i want to emphasise is that we need to take this a tad seriously and think about what we're going to create and give shape to in that one month.

    If possible please put this link in your posts and spread the word around to all those who visit your blogs. Let more people join and bring out the best in them