I have never understood the fuss about special days such as anniversaries, birthday, new year etc. After all they are just like any other day. But then come to think of it, they probably do serve some purpose. They are probably time markers where you stand like the two headed Roman God Janus (incidentally after who the month January is also named) looking to your past and the future. A time to reflect on the years gone past and the years to come!
I have wanted to do this kind of a yearend post for my blog. But have somehow missed out every year so far. I would not be honest if I said due to lack of time. In my opinion, there is nothing called lack of time. It is just lack of will or different priorities. This year however I decided to put up a post on how this year went by as a writer. Please note I have said writer and not blogger. Early this year, somebody had posted a question (at a blogger’s forum) on whether you are a writer who blogs or a blogger who writes. This made me think- though I am not sure if the distinction really exists. In my opinion, a writer is more an artist who tries to create works of art and uses blog as a medium to bring it out to the public for the lack of a better medium. A blogger on the other hand is someone who seeks more to stand up and be counted among a circle wider than his friends and family circle.
These two are by no means the only classification of bloggers. We have techies who blog, travelers who blog, artists who blog, photographers who blog, cooks who blog, visual content creators who blog etc. But the point is sometimes people get lost in the maze called blog-o-sphere and forget their core identity. Time markers like New Year are a good time to sit back and reflect to see if one can make out some method in this madness. That is what I seek to do in this post.
This year has indeed been momentous as a writer like last year. It started off with a frenzy of contests. Contests and prompts are what that has kept me going continuously for the past 22 months without a single month’s break. Before that my blogging used to happen in spurts with 5-6 months of blogging followed by 3-4 months of silence and then again another 5-6 months of blogging. Contests and prompts also help open up a new vista of topics to write on for a newbie blogger who has exhausted all his or her ammunition of memorable experiences and strong opinions in the first few posts. I must definitely acknowledge the role of contests in my development as a writer. Also the few contests I won kind of helped reaffirm my faith in my writing skills.
Having said that, I am reminded one of the sayings of Swami Vivekananda. “It is good to be born in a church, but it is bad to die there. It is good to be born a child, but bad to remain a child. Churches, ceremonies, symbols are good for children; but when the child is grown up, he must burst, either the church or himself. The end of all religion is the realization of God” In a way, I feel the same about contests and prompts from a writer’s perspective. It is good for a writer to start with contests and prompts, but bad to remain bound by them for eternity. So I think time has come for me to bid adieu to contests and prompts. At this point in my evolution as a writer, I think they are more likely to strangle me and stunt my further development as a writer.
Having declared what I won’t do, let me now outline what I do plan to do. I have started this Hogwarts Origins series which I consider my practice novel. Other than that I hope to write a lot of nostalgia posts. That is something close to my heart. They are all those wonderful moments from my life that I do not want to take to my grave with me. I am also planning to do a series on the cities I have visited. I have started out with the most recent one: Kodaikanal. Travel blogging is something I have long wanted to take up, not so much for itself, but more to help me develop the skills to create realistic backdrops for my fiction. Hopefully it will also make me more observant during my trips which might in turn help me enjoy trips better.
The post seems to have fanned out much longer than I expected. So I need to do it two parts I guess. I have so much more to say and it would be such a pity to wind it up hastily. So continuing with the image of the two faced Janus I started this post with, let me do it in two parts, one in the last day of the year past and the second in the first day of the year to come.
Before I close, I have a request of folks who are reading this. There are some who opine that the ones who comment on posts are not true readers but just other bloggers who are trying to pull you over to their blog. Apparently there exist another set of silent readers lurking in the dark; quietly stalking your blog and they are the true readers. If any such readers exist, I tell you “speak now or forever hold your peace”. I know it is difficult to comment on all posts. Though you may have liked a post, there is not much you really have to say about it. And it does not feel right to say something just for the heck with the only purpose being to let the writer know you have read him. But then the writer also needs to know there are people out there reading and appreciating his work. So this kind of post is the chance to express your love and encourage me to keep writing.
I hope though none of you will say, “You write very well. Wish you a great year ahead. Now can you please check out my blog?” At least not for this post! That will just decimate my heart into zillions of microscopic pulsating particles! But if anyways back scratching was your intention, let me not pass any value judgment on you. Instead let me suggest something more mutually beneficial. Here is the link for promoting my story for Harper Collins.
Link to promote my Harper Collins Entry
You can promote it and leave a comment letting me know you have done the needful and the link to something you want me to read or promote or whatever in return. However please note: offer open only till stocks last. In other words only as long as the voting lines are open. As of now the date is January 23.