The April that was

This year in March, I felt a strong desire to get into writing in a more disciplined way. Irrespective of what I was writing, I just wished to get into a habit of writing daily. One look at my blog and I knew this was in no way going to help me fulfil this wish. In the four years that I have been blogging, my frequency of posting has been erratic, confused and far-fetched from being considered disciplined. Then where should I start writing?

While seeking an answer to the above question, I encountered another intriguing query. Why can’t it be my blog? I had to be honest because that is one thing I work hard to maintain on this blog. The only thing stopping me was my fear of failure. What if I couldn’t maintain the pace? What if I gave up in two days? It didn’t take me long to figure out how baseless and irrational all these excuses were. In the unlikely event of me failing to writing daily, I would still have enough fodder to scribble out a post from whatever caused it. So it was a total win-win. That’s when I signed up for the April A to Z Challenge.April 2016

Before April arrived, the one thing that had been bothering me was the constant stress on pre-scheduled posts to keep us sailing smoothly through the challenge. I knew this would put one in an advantageous position leaving lot of room to network and read other blogs, but that didn’t suit my circumstances. It wasn’t exactly what I had been aiming to achieve by participating in the challenge. I wanted to write daily, coherently, learning to enjoy being myself in my words. That’s exactly what I did.

It was overwhelming to see people taking time to read and share what I wrote. This proved to be the nudge that kept me going. The one thing I was most elated about was I was never short of things to say. I did struggle while deciding which story or topic to touch under which alphabet to be able to do justice to each letter. But once I started, those proved to be start-up hiccups, gone with the flow of words, surge of emotions.  My rusty writing felt loved when the stats hinted that some (kind) souls actually took time to read my 1000+ words posts every day.

Brevity has been ever elusive on my blog and this didn’t change this April either. My blog’s readers (from before the challenge) were left baffled by the downpour of posts in their mailbox and reader that many of them decided to disown my blog and left the matter of seeing how far my craziness goes to arrival of May.  I can imagine so many heaving a sigh of relief the minute I published my post for letter Z. If you’re one of them, I can assure you, it is safe to return to read what I have to say, because I am not going to bombard you with my daily posts. Not any time soon.

To add to the punch of taking up this herculean task, I had chosen to stick to a theme. But let me tell you, it was the best thing I did to swim through this writing challenge like a star performer. My theme was parenting and that is what I do 24*7. It was only when I was one week into the challenge that I realized that my theme selection was rather perfect and it did allow me room to pour my thoughts, capture the missed (in noting on blog) milestones and have an open debate on topics circling my mind.

One of the highs has been the many wonderful blogs I got to read during the course of the challenge. Reading 26 straight posts helped me decide which ones I’d love to visit in future while others showed me how a single letter of the English language could evoke different feelings in every writer even when the topic is same. This diversity was a beautiful learning curve for me.

As I slowly marched towards the end of the challenge, the one thing I dreaded was returning back in the warm embrace of procrastination. I am hoping to defy it, though I do not wish to make any claims just yet. Strangely though, I have no feeling of triumph or accomplishment despite having successfully completed my first ever writing challenge. The joy is missing. The feeling of triumph is astray. The one emotion that has lingered is the craving to write more. The realization that I can be my muse has left me inspired to settle for a niche for my blog to write in a more disciplined way. What it is, is yet to be finalized though.

The A to Z Challenge has been the first step towards a dream I harbour. The longing to let words flow freely washing my thoughts, purging my pain, painting my aspirations in a form that I can comprehend better. This isn’t about a task well done but the beginning of a journey I have just embarked upon.

The song on my mind: Tumko dekha to ye khayal aaya 

34 thoughts on “The April that was

  1. I read most of the posts. I think you were of the few people who I saw stick to a theme and do so good. I didn’t, obviously, understand or relate to everything, but you are a good mommy and doing everything you can to thrive. You can clap a bit for yourself. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You did an awesome job of pouring your heart out throughout April. If not for A to Z, I wouldn’t have met you 🙂 So, keep going girl. We all fall in that trap sometimes of who’s reading but then I think of writing for self.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wondeful post. I was toying with idea of writing a post for the April month since I had seen many people do it and found this just now. I think should take it up too.

    You have gained a follower on your blog. Keep going. Give me time to read the second half og your atoz challenge posts

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! so glad to have you read my blog regularly 🙂
      I’ll be hopping over soon to read your April Reflections post, so make sure you post it if you haven’t already.

      Like

  4. I’m so happy that you could complete the challenge with a bang! What a great series it was and I somehow feel as if a dear friend had shared her insights on parenting with me. Much love to you and Pari ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completing this challenge wouldn’t have been possible with the constant motivation of awesome friends like you. Thank you for being around, it means a lot 🙂
      Love from Pari & myself ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Read and enjoyed several of your posts. Your theme would have been an easy one for me too – parenting is a never ending subject. My children are in their thirties but parenting them is still important even though it is different. My mother is in her eighties but I still need and appreciate her parenting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Shirley for taking time to read my blog.
      I agree, parenting is a topic which any parent can talk and write endlessly about. Great to learn about your loving family and how much you adore them 🙂

      Like

  6. Dashy

    Congratulations. Reading this makes me wish all the more that I could have participated in the challenge (circumstances gave me no time this last month). Bur there’s always the next year coming up! All the best to you anyhow ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dashy 🙂
      I believe there are more writing challenges happening all through the year (though I am not the best person to talk about them given it was my first blogging challenge ever). Hope you get to take those up.
      Best wishes to you too. Keep writing!

      Like

  7. Though it was 1000 + words, but your posts had an attraction which pushed me (and I am sure many others) to read the complete post instead of skipping it! I used to look forward to reading your posts 😀
    You really have a wonderful way of playing with the words making them look simple, easy but equally effective!
    I loved reading your posts and have become a fan of your parenting skills (I guess I have repeated this statement multiple times in my comments in various posts..but its a fact :D)!

    Thank you Era for connecting with me and I would love to read your posts in future as well 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I usually stay away from long posts but that was certainly not the case this april with your blog! You made a serious topic most interesting as you tapped into your personal experiences which makes a huge differences to the reader. Congratulations for a job well done! Good luck to Pari and you!! 🙂

    Like

    1. It was a pleasure connecting with you Archana. Loved rekindling my love for Botany and learning to see the world around me with fresh eyes 🙂
      Love & hugs from Pari and myself ❤

      Like

  9. Sara

    I agree with princessbutter. You should clap for yourself a bit, if not a lot. It must’ve put a strain on you writing about parenting a whole month, like dealing with it wasn’t stressful enough. Sigh. Mothers!👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Sara 🙂 It is the love and constant support of awesome blogging friends like yourself that I keep going. Your being around means a lot ❤

      Like

  10. randommusings29

    Congrats on completing the challenge 🙂 I normally post daily anyway so I did pre-write my posts so I had a bit more spare time to visit other blogs, but if you don’t write daily, this challenge is perfect for kick starting a consistent writing routine
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Debbie for that very inspiring note 🙂
      have been pretty regular with writing (even if it is not on this blog) since I started on 1st April. This challenge did help me see how much I can enjoy writing daily.

      Like

  11. Your posts were wonderful dear, and there’s no way I got tired of reading them. Your A to Z reflections post is also lovely, so heartfelt and true. I feel the same way about the posts, everything was so well planned and now I’m just meandering again.

    Like

  12. Hello there, I dunno how I missed this post. I haven’t even missed one from the 26. Like I have told you before, I took the journey along with you, and Pari a lucky gal!
    Congratulations on finishing the challenge. I am glad you participated coz I got to read your blog!
    Much Love and Hugs to you and Pari,
    Ramya

    Like

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