Writing

I will not give up on my blog. I will not give up on my blog. I will not give up on my blog. This is my silent atheist prayer and promise to myself and the universe.

I like writing. I really do. And I think my stuff is quite readable. At any rate, I personally enjoy reading it. But writing on a schedule, week after week, is a whole different cup of tea from writing at leisure. It goes just fine at the beginning, when you’ve just started, and you’re brimming full of the ideas you’ve accumulated for decades. As you run out of those ideas, it becomes harder and harder.

gaiman

If you want to maintain a blog, you need to have an editorial calendar, with a running list of topics that you regularly update. I tend to draw from my personal experiences while writing, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Random ideas, or writing prompts, written on my whiteboard, don’t quite inspire me. Instead they languish, unused, for weeks. I’ve developed a whole new respect for writers since I started this blog. It is hard work! It is hard work to sit down once a week, rain or shine, and produce a coherent piece of writing. How much harder would it be to sit down every day and do that for hours? How persistent would you have to be? How much would you write and rewrite just to throw away and start over? How much worse is the stress if you know your livelihood depends on this?

Writers need to be inspired. But they also need to be tremendously disciplined. “Disciplined” is the last word I would use to describe myself. Far from setting rules for myself, if I see a rule at a hundred yards, my instinct is to run from it. Do just the opposite. And to keep going at something difficult — oh my. The magic word, I think,the one that I lack, is “grit”.

A podcast that I listen to, and highly recommend, is Freakonomics. After popularizing micro-economics with their great books, authors Steve Levitt (economist) and Stephen Dubner (journalist) run this podcast, which covers a wide range of topics in an analytical, yet entertaining way. Their latest podcast is titled “How to get more grit in your life“. According to that, the good news is, if I believe I lack grit, it is a quality I can develop. You start with passion, and you follow it up with hard work.

Will I have the grit to maintain this blog? I’m working on that.

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2 Responses to Writing

  1. swamimalathi says:

    Definitely readable. Do keep writing. By the way, writing readable essays to a schedule is probably a lot harder than writing fiction or content-driven material. And popular writers and journalists probably have staff or even readers who keep providing them material.

    Some topics I would like to hear about:

    What similarities do you see between places you have visited, particularly in terms of people and culture? Have you met people in widely different circumstances and places where the attitudes and interaction felt much the same to you? Have you encountered situations that you simply would not have expected in that particular country or culture?

    How have your own attitudes changed over the decades? Do you find yourself reacting very differently to situations than when you were younger? What triggered the change of attitude? What triggered changes in viewpoints, in opinions?

    How has your view of yourself evolved over time? How about relationships with other people?
    How about taking some imaginary situations, and discussing how it woudl play out in New York vs Kolkata?

    If you had the opportunity (and need) to go back to the graduate student life for the next 3 years, would you want to do it? What would be the pluses and minuses?

    Maybe some of your other readers have topics they would like to hear about too.

    Like

  2. Mimi G. says:

    Thank you for your great suggestions. I hope you’ll see some of those ideas in the posts to come.

    Liked by 1 person

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