MM turned a year old today. A number of my fellow bloggers (check this and this) completed their blog anniversaries recently. I have read their posts. Nothing I say is going to compare to those posts. There, now that I have completely dashed your expectations, let me tell you why this day is important to me and why I am choosing to commemorate it instead of letting it quietly pass.
A year ago, a lot of things in my life were changing and changing rapidly. Relationships I was confident about seemed to have been damaged irreparably overnight. I was frustrated and had no avenue to express myself. The very people I would have spoken to, when things were not going so good were slipping away from me. I was also being repeatedly assured by the same people that my perspective of the situation was wrong and that I was blowing things out of proportion.
At a time, when I felt I was being cut away from my moorings, I decided to go back and do something that I did for fun in college. Back in those days I would write silly limericks when I was bored in class. I did some poetry too but it was so full of teenage angst that to call it poetry would be blasphemous . However, all this was just a way to while away time. Writing had never been an emotional release for me. I would use wit to caption my photographs and later on in my Facebook updates but I never thought I had it in me to write anything more than 2 sentences (I still don’t think I do, but that is fodder for another post). One day I was fiddling around with the computer to see how to set up a blog and came across “The Mad Momma”. I spent the next 3 days devouring her posts. If anything, reading her, convinced me that I should not set up a blog. She has the ability to convert the most complicated emotions into the most fluid blog posts and I still haven’t grasped the art of doing that.
A couple of days after coming up to date with the The Mad Momma’s posts, I decided I wouldn’t write or at least I wouldn’t set up a blog. There were several unnamed fears – I wouldn’t be able to pen my thoughts coherently, nobody would ever read my blog, if people did read my blog, I’d have to consistently write well to fulfill expectations (yes, I can imagine success and its subsequent pitfalls even before I undertake a task – I’m clairvoyant like that). Not writing and not being able to talk about what was happening was stifling, too. So I decided to do a trial run. I would write all my posts and save them as word documents before I put them out in the world wide web. I wrote 10 posts over a month or two and eventually on 24th June 2011, I sent my precious babies to be judged and criticized by discerning readers. Was I happy with all my posts? No, absolutely not, but I was tired of not knowing if my writing was merely bad or cringeworthy, never read again bad. Determining this required I look for feedback from the blog world and that is exactly what I did.
I can’t tell you how many days I have had 0 views. In those early days, I would celebrate each page view as if I had been handed a Pulitzer. The first time I crossed a 100 views in one day, I did a post on it. My initial readers were friends (they had no choice, I nagged them into reading what I wrote. Surprisingly, the same tactic did not work with my family, I think they have developed some kind of immunity to my nagging ). Funnily, my writing never reflected the inner turmoil that had got me writing in the first place I wanted to see if I could make people laugh with my material. I wanted people to go away from my blog with a smile on their faces. Whatever I was dealing with, I relegated to several drafts that are still sitting on my dashboard. Though I will never publish them, writing stuff down helped. It made me see I wasn’t overreacting, contrary to what I was being told. My perspective of the situation was not wrong. Knowing that was comfort enough. I’m happy to report I have found a way to tackle those relationships. It required a behavioral change on my part and some mental adjustment. Life’s good again, by the grace of God.
The act of writing, though, had become addictive. I started looking for humor in everyday situations or I tried to put a humorous spin on all that happened with me. By now, fellow bloggers had started commenting on some of my posts. The interactive nature of the blog also had me coming back for more.
I wanted to do something challenging, so one day I decided to jump into the flash fiction genre. I had no idea that this genre would become my favorite or that i would spend maximum time writing, rewriting or editing my 55′s. I have written 2000 word posts that have taken me lesser time.
One year into blogging, I belong to a community of people that are as important to me as close friends. I miss them when I don’t see a new post from them for a week or two. I miss my regular commenters and their feedback when they don’t comment ASAP on a new post. I know most of these people by their handles, I would be hard-pressed to recognize them if I bump into them, yet, they’re friends. They have laughed with me, expressed sympathy, and have encouraged me with every comment and page view.
To all of these people, I am deeply indebted. I AM because you ARE.
I would like to conclude by saying that I hope this relationship endures. I will be here again tomorrow sharing my happiness, sorrow, dreams, hopes and my life with you and I hope you will be here, too.
P.S: As a tribute to the limerick writer I originally was, here’s one I came up with recently
DD’s a silly billy
sitting on a hilly
eating hot, hot chili
running willy nilly
and telling her pet cat
tu bhi billi
main bhi billi