Ernest Hemingway said, “you must know 10 words for every word you write.” I got to hear this only while drafting this, my 150th blog. Imagine If I had heard this on the day I was planning to post my first blog, I would have never started!
Raymond Chandler used to claim that a writer had to get a million words of crap out of their system before they got to the good stuff. I liked that one. I still recollect my early days of huffing and puffing and always getting worried about my level of language expertise in writing. Interestingly I started learning to speak before I got into writing. Since I ran out of speech material I decided to try writing. After all, content is king.
Earl Nightingale said it best, “Success is a progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal“. So I decided to look back on the initial spark I had on writing. My tryst with writing started during my school days. I used to put some of my day-to-day activities into small spiral notes. I thank my paternal uncle for advising me to buy an Oxford Learning dictionary ( he was particular with this one as it had sentences that explained the meaning of each word with an example ). He encouraged me to read the Hindu edit pages which made me put the dictionary to good use. I started enjoying the process of reading and writing and it stuck with me until I got busy with life.
It was in 2016 that in a coaching intervention with Ian when his push came to shove I decided to get my act together. I put out my first blog on Dec 12th 2016. When I look back at some of my blogs I felt that I could have done better. I believe that done is better than perfect when I was on this journey. I want to thank my well-wishers who had encouraged me on the way.
Writing regularly has changed me in more ways than one. One of the most important things that I have done is to observe and be aware of what is happening around me. That leads me to pick a lot of content for my blogs. I felt like it was a sight and gained insight. I could better see the world for what it was. In writing a speech they say, “You write for the ears” and in writing they say, “you write for the eyes”. That was a new revelation. My next attempt is to write in a manner to evoke the senses.
Last July 2019 I had written only one blog. I lost steam after publishing my 100th blog. When I finished my 100th blog on April 21st 2019, I thanked Ian, Kavitha and a lot of my blog readers who had given me immense feedback on the way to my 100th blog. The road to 150 was a very different experience as I enjoyed my microstories, time with family, school mates, college mates and friends. Also cherished memories from my second US Visit and time with my daughter and nephew. I completed my 71st story since my 100th blog was published. I started capturing those nuanced moments of life and share it with the world. I wanted to enjoy and acknowledge those moments of pleasure and pain in equal measure. I had to take the support of Campbell and Rumi to sometimes get creative and pour over the post. I was always thinking that I will be able to write blogs during my travel as it gives me a lot of ideas and presented interesting moments. That changed after March 12th. Since March 21st I have written 22 blogs in 5 months which was my earlier target of 4 blogs per month.
It was in the last week of June that I set this target to reach Blog 15O by the early hours of 26th July. I was recounting the past 100 days of lockdown. I was not sure how I will do 8 blogs in July. It was not sure how I will make it. I was full of doubt. But as I finished the final lines of my 150th blog it was a feeling of Dejavu. So how did it come along? It was only because of one important principle I learned which is the ABC of writing. ABC is the acronym for Apply Butt to Chair. Did I want it so badly?
Execution is a critical gap between ideals and reality but it is not the only one. Another important thing I learned is to believe from 100 to 150. Ideas need supporters and carriers and that was the case with me on blogging. I got excellent support from family and friends. What started on Dec 12th 2016 was not just a writing journey. I came to the realisation what John Asraff said “What is the best personal growth program in the world? The one you apply and stick with”. So when I set my goal of 150 in the last week of June, I couldn’t unsee it. This is a wild triumphant moment on a day when you know that you are fully alive as I complete my 8th blog this July 2020 to hit that 150th blog on my birthday.