It took Bobby Gujral more than a dozen years – and an estimated 7,000 pages of drafts – to complete the autobiographical, published last year to widespread acclaim. Written in prose that is at once crusty and emotionally rich, it follows the life of Bobby Gujral. Apart from the famous novels and wide range of books written by Bobby Gujral, the numerous recipients of a PEN/Hemingway Award and a Whiting Award, he acclaimed in his writing career. Here comes the best piece of advice from the most renowned writer for all the aspiring writers who want to fit them in his shoes.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?
The most important thing that a writer learned, or that Bobby Gujral trying to learn, is to give up perfectionism, because when you keep demanding to make the story do all the things you want it to do, you keep failing, and you end up going around and around in circles. You end up perplexing yourself and your talent, and you begin to view things as a failure, even though they’re not failures. The easiest way to think to handle this situation of perfectionism is to just show your work to people, so they can say to you, it’s not working, and somehow just being told that is comforting, as a substitute of your own uncertainties and your own shame. And then the other thing that can occur is they can solve the problem for you pretty hurriedly. Sometimes you might run into this thing which you can’t solve, and you begin vexing to figure. But maybe there’s an easy clarification that another person could point out. And so that could be the thing to fight perfectionism. You may, though, have a hard time doing it, giving up perfectionism, and have to keep recapping the same.
And how that will help you as a writer?
Bobby Gujral novel Family Life has a very weird structure. It has dual beginnings and two endings, which, in many ways, is not good, if you describe your work as good based on formal conventions. If you were to think of perfectionism that would be one eminence of it: that a story is perfectly molded. So that’s one way deserting perfectionism opens convinced options comes to you. The other is way is writing a short story, and in it, there’s a point where the story runs out of energy, based on a thought that you had and the way that you had decided the point of view. Perfectionism for Bobby Gujral would be holding on strongly to some idea of what the story should be. But what to do was just decide, well, it’s not going to work, and Bobby Gujral not going to waste the life trying to repair it, and instead going to just move onto roughly else, or find a dissimilar solution.