Surrender is a part of Indian spirituality. It’s the first lesson a disciple is taught when he enters spiritual life and trains under his spiritual master. The only advice given to the disciple by his Spiritual Master is “Surrender”: go along with the flow of things.
Surrender in spiritual life simply means bowing down to the inevitable, shedding all desires and expectations and just enjoying the experiences that life/fate throws in our paths. The experience may be good, bad, sweet, bitter, small or big, but each experience teaches the disciple something and adds to the disciple’s spiritual growth. The surrender done with utmost humility and childlike innocence hastens the disciple’s spiritual progress and all obstacles are overcome.
Before you all shake your heads and wonder whether this post is about spiritual life, I hasten to deny it.
Have you all realized that as writers we follow the philosophy of surrender while working on our manuscripts. When we start writing our stories, don’t we surrender completely to it, bow down to the inevitable. The story not only consumes us, but chucks everything it has in our paths. Our characters throw tantrums, our muse often plays truant, mental blocks hamper the progress of our stories, there is criticism galore from various sources. But, like spiritual aspirants we continue on our chosen paths with dreams of the published book in our eyes.
When we try to force the story or impose our rules upon it, it turns hostile and unnatural. The only way we can do justice to our stories is by surrendering completely to it: we should write the story with our heart, pour our passion into it, be true to its theme, allow it to lead us where it wants to be taken, let the characters have the freedom to do what they want. There will be sufficient time later to summon the inner editor and spruce up the story and chop the undesirable parts.
Every story has a soul; it’s the essence of the story; the fragrance emanating from the story that touches the readers’ souls. This soul to soul connection is responsible for its success. This is possible only when we succumb all our senses to the story without asking ourselves any questions.
Many times writers write with an eye on the commercial market (at times I do too) they forget to be true to the story, but start pandering to the current trend. The stories in their hearts are suppressed by the stories that the market wants: stories that are the current flavours. The essence of the story is diluted and the soul weakened. These stories never achieve any amount of memorability. The success they achieve is temporary.
Have you at any time surrendered to the soul of the story? Given in completely to its pull without asking questions? If yes, where has it lead you? If no, where did you end up with the story? What are your views on it?