Based on the votes on fb, IG and twitter, here is the post on writing everyday.
I assume that people who voted for this topic want to know how to write everyday. I don’t have an answer for those who haven’t written anything and want to start now. Not because it can’t be done but am not the right person to give that advice.
My tryst with writing started in school. I don’t remember the first thing I ever wrote but we were encouraged to write creatively and use our imagination in our English assignments. Most of my school mates were voracious readers. Bunking games period to finish reading a new novel was common. I wrote poems as a teenager. Tacky and embarrassing ones, of course but I have all of them saved up in a book. An actual book. With my handwriting. From maybe 20 years back. I do have a heart, guys, but it is buried deep within layers and layers of sarcasm and darkness.
Language also makes a difference. I joined a convent boarding school when I was 7 years old. I spoke Sindhi at home and a mix of Gujarati and Hindi in school. During the 9 months every year, it was compulsory to speak in English. Hindi was restricted to that one period everyday. I started thinking in English and spoke mainly Sindhi in the balance 3 months of the year. Hindi isn’t my strong forte and am not being pretentious. Gujarati is now too broken for a comfortable conversation and I can’t read or write Sindhi. If you think in a regional language, writing in English is slightly more difficult.
Like most hobbies in school, writing could have met its end due to paucity of time once I joined college. But I started a blog in 2006. Blogging was “in” then. Pretty much anyone who was internet savvy had a blog. Even people who had not written an original paragraph in their life had a blog. My posts were quite shallow. I didn’t really share any real life experiences. Sometimes, I wrote about conversations I had with friends about interesting topics like religion or sex or other random stuff.
I joined the corporate world in 2007. During the first year I didn’t have a laptop and would kill time at the cyber cafe on weekends. I blogged about my travels and the experience of working in sales in remote towns. Somehow the blogging continued. The tricky balance of keeping your real life private and finding interesting things to write about kept me hooked. During my lowest point the blog just has to-do lists but it had posts. Maybe not every week, but at the very least every month.
I started the current blog few years back when I paid for the domain and for hosting it on godaddy. If I stop paying for it, either all the posts will be lost or they will have to be backed up and moved to another hosting site. Godaddy charges a bomb for retrieving old posts and the latter is very tedious, boring and time consuming. Basically, am stuck with paying for the blog month after month and the only option is to keep it going by churning out post after post.
In the last 2 years, the readership and engagement have dropped because I was too busy to write regularly. Sure, the link is not accessible to people on my restricted list on facebook though I have no compunction about sharing it with strangers on Twitter. Last month I vowed to write everyday. My biggest worry wasn’t whether I will be able to make time but rather what will I write about. I spend lesser time on social media now, there are fewer people I engage with on a daily basis, my life as a corporate whore isn’t interesting enough and there is only so much I can reveal about work without getting fired or sued. The good news is there hasn’t been a dearth of topics to write about. Reading helps. It takes you into a different world you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. This is why writers are voracious readers.
I write at night, mostly. Sometimes I can write with the TV on, other times (like now) I need alone time in another room to type out a post. Sometimes the thought of spending 10 mins on a laptop after a long day at work makes me chicken out.
Though I’d rather write on paper and drop it at everyone’s doorsteps. Just kidding.
That would require putting on a bra and would be too much effort for the readers of this blog. Not kidding.
Blogging vs journaling:
Journaling is more personal. Your real self can be revealed through journaling and it is cathartic. But there is no pressure to frame a coherent thought, focus on grammar and engage another person. Journaling has its benefits but does it make you a better writer? I don’t know. Blogging forces you to complete a thought or an idea and write about diverse topics. It pushes you to write for an audience. You can’t chicken out by writing 10 miserable lines. There has to be a beginning and an end to every post. Also, writing happy posts is so much more difficult in a journal. A journal is for your deeper and inner thoughts but do we want to deal with those on a daily basis? I’d rather live in denial.
Blogging and social media:
It is so easy to put out any thought in real time on social media. With Twitter increasing their characters count and encouraging threads, blogging is a dying art. Who wants to type out a whole post, publish and share it when threads are easier to read and share. We are all on social media all the time anyway. A blog needs to be logged into and requires patience to read.
I get it. I truly do. This is like journaling with real pen and paper. But it is what it is. Till there are people engaging with the blog, it will be alive. When they stop, I will move on to Medium or Twitter threads or podcasts or whatever the hell everyone is on then.
Or maybe I will continue to blog.