“Wow, you’re really good at this” said my classmate. I had just finished writing the essay for her application to the prestigious XYZ college. I knew her compliment was genuine as this particular piece had come out very well (okay I admit I might have put in extra effort because I had the biggest crush on her). That essay would get her into the college. Hell, that essay would have got Osama Bin Laden a US visa. It wasn’t the first time someone had said this to me. It happened almost every time I took the blood oath to write an article, essay or obituary for anyone. I loved hearing it. It wasn’t like creativity was oozing out of every pore of my body that I’d get sick of it. I didn’t sing, I didn’t dance and my artistic career was over when my aunt put one of my paintings on her fridge thinking it was made by her 2 year old son. I was 14 at the time. But there was something about stringing words together that didn’t make me feel like the most challenged person in the room. I don’t remember when exactly, but at some point somebody asked me to write something for them, mostly just to shrug away their responsibility, hoping I wouldn’t screw it up too bad. I didn’t. From there on it was a series of once a year coincidences landing me my “gigs” a.k.a. something to do in Network Programming lab. I liked the praise that came with it, or rather, I liked that praise came with it. The only limit in the system being there just weren’t enough opportunities for me to showcase my writing (start a blog, maybe?)
Which is what it eventually came down to. Starting a blog. For no real reason I suppose. I wasn’t being paid for it. I didn’t think I really had something to write that anybody would bother reading. But nevertheless, it was the only viable idea that popped into my head when I tried to solve the problem of “too much time on my hands” with the tools of “need something I like to do.” That was four years ago. And three. And two. You get the drill.
So why did this self proclaimed connoisseur of language with eyes filled with dreams of one day being the author of an above average blog take so long to start one? It’s not hard to do it. It requires no start-up capital or special skills. Heck, 9 year olds start blogs to describe how painful their last breakup was. So why didn’t I have one? Due to a plethora of excuses my fears had sold me, which after all the cake and watermelon boiled down to two things:
Would anybody bother reading what I had written?
and if they did,
Was I really any good?
As it turns out, the first question didn’t matter and the second one could only be answered if I got around to writing one. And once the questions had been answered the noise started to fade away and the silver linings began to emerge. I wasn’t writing for a magazine or any other publication, so I had no obligation to be (politically) correct. Since I had already rendered the first question useless, I was basically writing for myself. Which meant I could write what I wanted, when I wanted. It could be a paragraph long or ten pages long. I could be as frequent or infrequent with my posts as I desired. And for those who did end up reading it( thank you so much), I could choose to serve you in any which way I fancied. These were strangely empowering realizations. I’m still not sure what I’ll be writing about, as is evident by my first blog post, about writing a blog post, but I hope for three characteristics to be prevalent.
- The articles make the readers laugh(or at least smile to begin with)
- They are uplifting and/or thought-provoking
- They are well written
I’m not sure I know how to do any of these things yet. But then again, there was a time when I had no idea how to take a shit, and now I can almost always do it on my own, so let’s see where this takes me.
So for those – if any – of you that have stuck by till the end of this first article, I guess I owe you something for your time. Here’s the corniest piece of free advice I can think of: Do it. Even if just for yourself. What’s the worst that could happen?
Cheers, to me popping my cherry. And now, for the real question.
Was I really any good?