Jason Howell
Jason Howell asked Tariq Saleim:

Tariq, Have you ever worried that your work isn't "literary" or "smart" enough? and/or "Marketable" or "accessible" enough? Are these necessary concerns? Or do you find them stifling? When concepts like these start closing in, do you work *around* or *through* them?

Tariq Saleim Let me answer this question by narrating a real life incident. I am an avid golfer and one day I was playing with the club champion. It was a difficult tee shot. Right after the tee, there was a water hazard. The fairway was narrow and sloping to the water hazard. I told the club champion that it was a difficult shot and I was likely to end up in water hazard anyway. The champ’s answer surprised me. He said that some senior golfer once said (and I do not which one) that when you get onto the tee box and you can only see hazards then you should find yourself a new game. He said he only sees the patch on fairway where he wants his ball to land and he recommended me to do the same. I tried to follow his counsel, imagined my ball landing in the middle of the fairway and took the swing. I ended up in the hazard anyway.

Over time, however, after enough practice and hard work I was able to control my mind better on such difficult shots. My game improved and handicap came down and I give a lot of credit to the counsel of my fellow golfer.

Now coming back to your question – yes, I have several reservations when I am writing, editing and finally publishing. Sometimes critics can be very rude as well. But, like golf, if I let these fears stop me, then I will never improve as a writer. I try to face my fears. I write, edit, and do the best job I can keeping in view the limited time I have at my disposal given my full day job as a banker. I have no doubts in my mind that one day I will become an established writer. I keep myself focused on that aim and keep writing, keep moving forward.

I hope this was helpful.



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