Friday, January 11, 2019

#629 : When words fail

Writing has been my "thing" for a long time now. I love the sound of my keyboard clattering while I hammer away my thoughts, broadcasting it to the world. I love scribbling on my notepad about anything and everything. I would never rate myself as a good writer, but I can string words without making major grammatical blunders. I don't agree with people who call my writing good. I brush them off with sigh and tell them there is always room for improvement and I need to improve. People mistake it for arrogance, but that's just how I'm built. I cannot take a compliment and I absolutely push my self hard to excel. 

Over the course of time, I began feeling a slight sense of disorientation every time I had a blank document or a paper in front of me. I couldn't simply get myself to write a sentence without being anxious about how I should continue. Thankfully, my day job does not need me to wax about eloquently. A couple of technical reports, a handful of instructive mails and a bunch of markings on engineering documents is all is needed of me through the week apart from the occasional howler when things go wrong. I get through that comfortably, but the minute I open a document to pen down a review or continue the story I started writing, words fail. My fingers hover over the keyboard hoping words tumble out magically. A million of thoughts zip by and by the time I manage penning some of them down, they are  a incoherent mess which needs to be read, re-read and re-written. Desperation sets in and I save my work for the session.  I always read thrice and edit like mad before I hit publish, but never have I ever given up in frustration and hit the button. Of late, that seems to be the general way of getting through a piece to be published or mailed. No amount of editing seems to be make me happy. In fact, this very post took me a week to write, edit and re-write. I would have done this in day.

Personally, my life is almost peaceful barring the general feel of mild discontent with various finer aspects of life, just like any other normal human. Being the person that I am, I sat down to contemplate and work on a solution. No amount of introspection helped me arrive at a conclusion on the reason behind this phase. I don't know if it would have helped to speak to my friends.

That's when it struck me that I had become an introvert. I used to have a handful of people around me who used to support me or just be there.I used to love talking to people, hearing their stories, that too in person. Over the time, the handful seems to have dwindled and boiled down to just a couple. Must be the hectic schedule and my day job, I reasoned, but that sounds like a watery excuse to not make that effort to socialize. On the other hand, nor did those people make an effort to come talk to me. It's supposed to be a two way street isn't it? Or may be I'm not really a like- "able" person.

I even considered a social media and general interaction detox. However, I did realize that my story, the things I write, all of it stems from interactions with people. It would be like killing my golden egg laying muse.

What do I really do?

I decided to stop coercing myself into writing for the sake of it. I have short term plans for various features on the blog which are not really writing intensive. I'm planning to wade through my review commitments step by step with a general format in mind.

As far as the creative writing bit is concerned, I'm researching various activities which would help. Also planning to unlearn the language - English - and learn it again with vigor.

Would all the plan work, I wonder! 

I do hope all this works! *Fingers Crossed* *No scratch that, hands crossed may be?*
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Monday, January 7, 2019

#628 : Another Year gone! - 2018

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2018 - A year of changes. Frankly, it's been like that since Dec 2016! 

I welcomed 2018 in a tiny claustrophobic room lying on the bed despairing to be with my loved ones. I was in Spain for work and home sickness had begun to set in. It did eventually get better though. Days passed by in a blur as I worked my head off for a good 4 months there before I got packed off to home. Being home felt good, but I missed the independence and the peace that Spain offered me. 

The year turned out to be a complete surprise in many ways. Just like 2017, the "adapt" streak continued. I moved to a new house, took a good vacation ( A perfect trip to Thailand) and ended up experiencing a lot of new things. 

Most important of all, I published my first short story book. In the process, I did realize a few things which lead me to my goals for 2019. I also indulged quite a bit by eating out a lot exploring different cuisines, shopping for good organic skincare/makeup and clothes and books. However, with all the expenses, I realized the value of budgeting and planning. I also decided it was high time I got fit, joined a gym and also stumbled on a group on Facebook which mentally supported me to realize the importance of fitness. A special mention of thanks to Janaki & Rubina. 

Blogging wise, it has been a stellar year. I set up my own domain, customized mail ID and managed to blog pretty regularly. I also worked on supporting the blog-sphere by commenting on most of the blogs I read. Thanks to Blogchatter's My Friend Alexa campaign, I discovered pretty interesting blogs and my Alexa ranking hit the roof. 

Reading wise, it has been a mixed bag. I didn't really read the books I wanted to, with Shashi Tharoor being an exception. Missed out on reading works of Perumal Murugan, Jeet Thayil & Manu Joseph. I began actively participating in the Bookstagram community, but then again, some harsh lessons there. I attended a book club meet this year finally! Met a lot of interesting people and of course, I met my book-reviewing-idol - Vishy. Been following his book reviews for a long time now. He is so humble and simple for a man who has read so much. 

The highlight of the year however was one goal that I set for myself and accomplished it perfectly - cutting off toxic people from my life. I shut out all of them. Aishwarya, my friend from school, helped me mentally to do that. Thank you Aish :) 

Some goals for 2019. 

1. Plan, plan, plan & execute - I discovered that once I have a plan in place, my mind refuses to stray and sticks to it. I intend to efficiently bring about a routine to incorporate my personal goals. Time to explore bullet journal may be?

2. Explore DIY - I'm not much of an arts and crafts person. This year, I intend to dabble with something that would help me focus on the beauty of little things of life. 

3. Improve my writing - The ever helpful Bragadeesh, writer & fellow blogger, helped me chart out a structure for the novel I had started to write. However, I realized my writing was weak. I need practice. This is the year for it. Detailed post later. 

4. Forget Bookstagram - Detailed post about this later. 

Wish you all a peaceful year ahead. I wanted to take some time to gather my thoughts before I penned this post down, hence the delay of 7 days! 





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