I would be lying if I said I write to make sense of the world, of human relationships, and of the human condition. I would be lying if I said I write to fill a void or to give meaning to my existence. On the contrary, writing fills me with more vacuum, more doubt, more haze, and more fear. Should writing do that? I don’t know. But it does and no exit seems to be in sight. To stare at the hollowness day after day, to be constantly reminded of its presence, to come face-to-face with the sheer horror of it, and to struggle interminably is what makes the ride worth it.

I would be lying if I said I write to fill a void or to give meaning to my existence. On the contrary, writing fills me with more vacuum, more doubt, more haze, and more fear.

Yet ironically, the act of writing creates an illusion of bringing something—a person or a place or the relationship between the two, for instance—into existence, no matter how flawed or ephemeral it might be. It lures you into the unknown full of puzzles, riddles and mysteries. It gives you a fleeting feeling of experiencing humanity with its contradictions and paradoxes, its ugliness and beauty. You mistake the finite for the infinite, transitory for the permanent. You see things no one else sees. And then you marvel at them until they crumble one after another. You see the rise and fall of hope.

Yet ironically, the act of writing creates an illusion of bringing something—a person or a place or the relationship between the two, for instance—into existence, no matter how flawed or ephemeral it might be.

To feel the shiver of heart, the tremor of soul, the passion of desire is what keeps me from calling off the search.Not yet, I say to myself. One more story, one more sentence, one more word… It’s an endless quest for something that may or may not exist after all.

Maybe that’s why we exist—to endure the unendurable, to explore the unexplorable, to experience the unexperiencable, to express the inexpressible, and to dream the undreamable.

Siddhartha Gigoo is a novelist, short story writer, anthologist, and filmmaker. In 2015, he won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for his short story, The Umbrella Man. His story, The Christmas Dinner, received an honorable mention in the 38th Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition 2018. He has also been longlisted for Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize 2018. The views expressed are author’s own.

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