For years, I have done a constant work of improving my writing skills – in English medium, since it is favorable for me for several undisclosed reasons. While I had had been a closeted writer and poet for years, it has been in recent months I tried to make my work reach to a wider audience. Upon close assessment I realized I have yet a heap of work to do, and that gave me a restless night with a question hovering over my face.
I have come across several talented writers who had produced really promising write-ups, stories and poetry in English language and are continuing to do so in their respective Facebook pages. Their content is the stuff of life, and a lonely afternoon can be accompanied with a piece out of one of those pages along with a cappuccino on hand.
But, are we going to spend our days simply posting inspirational writings on our blogs and Instagram as well as Facebook pages, or are we thriving to introduce our products into the sales market for a wider audience to read and get inspired from?
First of all, writers, if you aspire to be one and are breaking your shoes to make a name as one, have to go through their own pockets if they wish to publicize their work and hope to garner a wider audience through social media platforms. While the concept of post boosting in Facebook would not escape the minds of the modern day readers and the younger generations (technically speaking, everyone!) such an approach can only do so much.
We have witnessed several festivals and artist gatherings in the form of Kattihivvaru and such, that had given a platform for artists from a rich spectrum to showcase their work and talent, yet have failed to make an impact in a general sense – given the outreach capacity of such festivals.
There’s a reason why fresh talents make an impact out of Comic-Con or D23 fests and such. Will get into the details of it in a separate article.
Since I have been somewhat successful in making a stand as a writer myself, I have been blessed with socializing with several other writers who are struggling to take their name out in the open – or trying to get recognition if not acknowledgement for their work.
Most of their concern is rooted in the scarcity of adequate associations or similar entities that are delivering a platform for these fresh and local talents to perform and publicize themselves. We come across art exhibitions on a regular basis annually. There’s one almost days away from us, and I happened to reach out to them to clarify if they helped to give exposure to writers and poets – but was met with grief when they had replied with a no.
Another complaint I have faced among the horde of writers, both practicing Dhivehi and English medium, is the level of appreciation and acknowledgment they are subjected to in the Maldivian community.
One such local talent has been the proud script writer of a recently released Dhivehi flick with a woman-centric theme. This individual has been the mason and carpenter of crafting several award winning drama series to the national radio channel as well. His prime concern, or complaint was simply “we do not get appreciated as much as we would like us to be” adding “producers or individuals in the movie industry might reach out to us asking to pen a feature length script giving us the period of maybe two weeks or even less sometimes. We are then hurled back into this unending schedule of creating a vivid world of interacting characters that are not one dimensional, and we do it,” his worries spill from here onwards, “when we present them with an authentic script, they make us rewrite, omit and amend several portions of the story and this leads to contradictions in the plot and its characters.”
“When we complain about the tumultuous nature of the work, we are shunned with snarky remarks like ‘this isn’t that big of a deal’ or ‘anyone could have written this’ or sometimes as ridiculous as ‘writing isn’t really a big job anyways’ among the various insolences attached with local writers” he said.
True, our local community has festered a tradition of hailing painters, sketchers and such while several individuals, entities and such have undermined the value and capacity of writers. It is an ill-conceived belief that writing comes easily to everyone and anyone can write. An understatement when the same rule could be applied to artistry or painting – anyone could produce a canvas.
Natural born talent is a concept I have chosen to disagree on given how people have had honed their skills through years of immense work and pure dedication – so yeah, anyone can write or draw or paint, but question is, why isn’t everyone practicing it in the mainstream field or as a career path?
A question that is best left for the readers to assess and derive an answer out. For now, I simply have to raise this simple paradox for questioning; if writing is any man’s job, why hire ‘professional writers’ and then undermine them upon deliverance of proper quality works?
This is a topic which can be discussed in a diverse sense and to give a bereft conclusion within the timeline of one article would not do justice to the severity of the issue. So ergo, I have decided to push these questions towards the fellow readers and discuss about the reasons behind undervaluing and lack of acknowledgement of writers in the Maldivian community
Hence, you can expect a continuity of the topic on another day.