To the points here that I don’t lack, I’d like to add one more, that I’ve grown up giving much precedence to, in giving credence – to anyone I’d consider a ‘good writer.’ And that is the proficiency, rather a mastery of the language one is writing in. Which youngsters today think is so inconsequential.
I might be rather old school, and considering this attribute to good writing of utmost importance I find it difficult to tolerate bad language in putting forth whatever great thoughts you’re putting across to the world.
I have immense respect for regional language writers, who are masters in the language they write in, but have not an iota of it for those who choose to write in English but have no clue how to use it let alone have mastery of it and worse still are smug and arrogant enough to not want to try and improve.
I came to Chennai in 2006. It’s been twelve years. One thing I deeply regret is not having learned Tamil, even though I’ve imbibed a lot of the culture, food habits etc. The reason I sacrificed this desire to learn Tamil to feel more at home in my new home city is that my coming to Chennai coincided with my aspiration to be an English language writer for which I had no prior experience. So I spent every ounce of my language learning ability in the last twelve years to improving my usage of the English language by reading classics and skillfully written literary fiction cover to cover and back to back. I had to have a focus, and I couldn’t deviate from it, in the desire to learn another language now. I decided to learn it later.
I did not take my prior knowledge of the English language, of which my school English teacher considered I had a knack for, sufficient. I’ve always, all my life raised the bar to my own goals towards excellence and cannot suffer easily those who do not consider quality in their work of utmost importance. So you can judge my work as much as you like, even by how I look or dress, but my confidence stems from the fact that I’ve done my sincerest best to reach where I’m today in the completion of four books. Though I humbly acknowledge that my best may be very far from good for the world.