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.
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