A question that has often plagued me in the recent past. And I do have some answers but not all feel justified to my own heart.
I started off my writing journey in 2014 when I became a Mom. Before this I had written a poem once in my early 20’s in my diary and that was it. I was always a voracious reader but had never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever take a penchant for writing. But after the birth of Angel, a month or so later when I had kind of settled down in my new life without office, not much of sleep and a new life I wasn’t liking as much, I discovered writing on a whim. I started reading about experiences of mothers on a website then known as mycity4kids and on a whim penned Angel’s birth story.
There was no looking back. It was as if I had been bitten by a bug and all I could do was write. I dared to write about the unpleasant side of motherhood, a question that had plagued me too often after I actually gave birth and realized this is far from those cozy baby ads and fairytale like life which was depicted. It was ugly for a new mom, one who was struggling with feeding, sleep deprived and a person who loved her independence, going out, to work and spending time on books and other things she loved. It was tough to care for an infant and why dint anyone speak of the struggles? So I spoke of them, half expecting some backlash for my post on bottle feeding, one of the first where I wrote on a topic I couldn’t find anything about in the Indian context and something I was genuinely struggling with. To my surprise I found support and a few naggers as always but that’s when I was starting to discover my USP (Unique selling proposition) as a writer. To lay bare the truth in my heart, pour it into words and create something which is an uncensored version of my thoughts, experiences, things I feel strongly about.
I was asked once by a friend “Aren’t you afraid of writing things like that, often expressing your thoughts unabashed, after all you are working and there are people in your organization who will read you and form opinions, or prospective employers too. I was well aware of this and I have never ever written anything referencing a person or something that I would later regret. I do understand writing is a hobby and as much as I love it, it wont put bread on my table or pay my bills. I do have my priorities crystal clear in my mind.
Over the years my regularity of writing has diminished, especially in 2019 and 2020. It picked up during corona where I was writing once per week which was really good given the fact I would hardly write once a month in the past. But that trend dwindled after a month or two. The reasons are aplenty.
Firstly I had started writing solely on my own blog and hardly on other sites so all the promotion had to be done by me and that’s not something I totally enjoy. Secondly I was reading other blogs much lesser, blogging is often about relationships. You read others work, stop by to share your thoughts, share their posts and they do the same for yours. This is how bonds are formed at least with a few whose work resonates with you more strongly.
As I wasn’t reading much, I wasn’t having too many visitors to my site. The third factor is participating in writing contests, cues , things like April to Z Blogging Challenge which actually gets you a lot of visitors (I had a whooping 3500 views in April 2018 when I participated.) I was also getting very busy with my job which had become more demanding and stressful with my advancement in the organization and any breather I found, I would like to spend it with Angel or doing something else.
Writing needs a lot of discipline and passion. The former is something that’s well ingrained in me, whether its studies, working out, my job or any other aspect, discipline in doing what I set my mind on comes naturally to me.
I am also passionate about writing but I was getting a bit demotivated with lesser visitors to my site, at times I found this whole thing a farce. If I don’t read what others write, will that mean no one will read me? Do they just read my stuff for quid pro quo and not because they actually like what I write? But then I remembered a dear blogger friend whom I met on this site I first started writing on (mycity4kids) who is an excellent writer but not the most social person, she writes exceptionally well but often does not have as many visitors. That has never deterred her from writing regularly and its her passion which drives her, not the views on her page or the likes.
And shouldn’t it always be like this in life? Shouldn’t we think about what matters to us rather than people? In my personal life I have always put myself and my family first, outriders be damned. I have never been deterred by what people will think or how will this impact my image in society so why was I giving so much importance to people when it came to my writing? I write about topics I feel strongly about and not necessarily what people like cos I write for myself. This is not a paid assignment neither do I have the objective of monetizing my blog.
Yes it involves some effort in maintaining a steady pace of regular writing, staying in touch with your blogging friends, visit them at times if not at the same pace as earlier but its worth it for the inner satisfaction I derive.
2 days back my blog was chosen among the 22 top Indian blogs in literature apart from being among the Top Indian blogs for 3 years consecutively. I was overjoyed as this was totally unexpected given the pace at which my writing was progressing since the past year but that strengthened my resolve to nurture my writing.
And how could I forget the tribe of girls- women I had never met, with whom I had nothing common except the fact that most of us were mommies but over time we forged such strong bonds that I have derived comfort from some of them during tough phases of my life, much more than I could ever get from people I meet regularly. I had the pleasure of meeting a few of them in person and its these friendships which I made in the most extraordinary ways that I cherish. I haven’t met a few yet but it doesn’t feel like not seeing each other is a barrier to sharing our innermost feelings, joys, and struggles. And all this thanks to writing else I would never have met these wonderful people.
Writing has opened up new doors for me, I fondly recall the accolades I won on various sites for my writing including my prized kindle which I won in 2015 for the Top 5 blogs on mycity4kids, the struggle with penning posts for 30 days of the AtoZ Blogging challenge, ensuring you post daily and read other people’ posts which was a crazy time but worth it in the end. It always is worth it if it excites you, gives you this euphoric feeling the memories associated with it warm the cockles of your heart. This what writing does to me, its my 2nd baby in a way and I hope I can shed my inhibitions which have been keeping me away and pour my heart out as I did in the past.