When does a writer finally ‘feel’ like a writer? Is it in that moment a publisher agrees to publish their manuscript? Or Is it when their work hits the stands? Or the times when their work starts getting awards and they finally gain recognition?
Millennials who know Salman Rushdie may find it difficult to gauge when this happened for Salman Rushdie. Awarded the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1981, Rushdie has been a star writer. The author, who turns seventy today, has also been so prolific that it would appear strange if one learnt that even he, as reputable and famous as he is, had doubts about becoming a writer.
But the truth is just that. Like most writers, Rushdie had a tough time becoming a writer. It was only over a decade after he graduated that his second novel – “Midnight’s Children” – catapulted him to fame.
The ‘super-fame’ is not what the writer remembers as that defining moment when he felt like a writer. In an episode of ‘Shrink Rap’- a television series which ran in the late 2000s – Rushdie speaks of a much tinier event that finally made him believe in himself. In the video, where the author opens up about his childhood traumas, Rushdie talks about this event, welling up with emotions.
Coming from an acclaimed author who has numerous laurels to his name, watching the interview can be a humbling experience. Especially for all aspiring authors, who sometimes find themselves doubting their capabilities, just like Rushdie did once upon a time.