I distinctly remember the day I started this blog, May 24th, 2014. It was my first experiment with WordPress. While it wasn’t love at first sight, it was definitely an interesting experience. Writing: That’s how I began my journey as a writer in this space.

In two days, I complete 4 years of writing on this blog. A lot has changed in 4 years and a part of me wonders if it even makes sense to write this post.

Am I just doing it out of some sort of misplaced compulsion to record this anniversary?

Will it even matter to the handful of people reading, if I’ve been writing for 4 years or 14?

Or am I just doing this as some sort of reminder that a writer does exist, somewhere deep within?

As I entered my 4th decade last month, a strange sense of detachment descended on me and my writing soul. I was no longer compelled to write for the sake of comments, likes or shares, at least on this blog.

On the other blog, however, I approach things with an almost clinical precision. I slave over my blog posts, work hard on the SEO, optimise my images and ensure the content is readable.Β  Here? No such thing. I write because it catches my fancy.

The really interesting thing though? I love both my blogs and I like the diversity it encourages in me as a writer. In that sense, I believe the writer and the blogger are two, very distinct people.

The blogger needs to be read.

The writer can choose not to be.

If I never promoted my posts on social media, chances are that only a handful of people would see them. But chances are equally likely that the ones who come here voluntarily are the ones who will appreciate my writing for what it is.

I know anniversaries are special and I believe that they are usually marked by some sort of milestone. In this case, I could talk about my number of followers or the number of posts written or the extraordinary number of comments I got one year.

But a beautiful piece I read recently listed Zadie Smith’s top 10 rules for writing. And the one that truly spoke to my heart was this one:

Don’t confuse honours with achievement.

I’ve been rolling this sentence around in my head for the last couple of days and the more I hear it, the greater a sense of detachment I feel. They say that every special occasion must be marked by some sort of milestone.

Well, I think that this year, the one conscious decision I have taken is that I will no longer be submitting my blogs/social media channels for anyΒ  award nominations. It’s not something I frown upon, oh no! I think it’s a wonderful way to garner appreciation for your work and it’s very gratifying too.

However, I believe there comes a time in our lives when we must step back and get into writing/blogging for the pleasure that it gives us and nothing more. If I do submit my writing, it should be for anthologies, short story submissions, novel writing, a manuscript query. For isn’t that the reason I started this blog? To hone my writing and perhaps get it the critique that it deserves? And find a home for it in some treasured place?

But, as Zadie says, let’s not confuse honour with achievement. Let’s not write for the sake of being lauded and appreciated. Instead let’s do it for the deeply satisfying sense of self that it gives us.

If you have been reading my blog over the last 4 years, I truly, deeply cherish the time you’ve spent here. I love the fact that my writing has managed to touch a chord, make people smile and even helped them make changes in their lives.

For a writer, there can be no greater reward. For that, no anniversary is sufficient.

Thank you and thank you again.

***

Linking this up with one of my favourite bloggers, Shantala Nayak, who runs the Chatty Blogs link up over at Shanaya Tales. Go check it out.

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27 thoughts on “4 Years of Writing

  1. That’s one incredible journey! Congratulations again and wishing you many many years of fruitful blogging! Thanks for sharing that lovely quote. It’s going to linger in my mind for a while.

  2. Since your writing is relatable and honest, I love reading your blog. Though I love your posts, I must honestly admit I don’t make time to read them regularly. That’s when the social media helps, however, I am not a regular now on that as well. At other times I am a lurker. I read, but don’t comment – Since your posts make me think a bit(actually more), at times I am left with little words. It is true you are an excellent writer, above that you make a lot of people think and act. So I really couldn’t leave a comment saying, “Great post”. It is only bits of the points I loved about a post that I could share with you here in comments every now and then. Thanks for writing what makes sense. Hugs.

  3. Its been a lovely journey indeed for you Shailaja. Four years of writer and a blogger. Oh well yes I do diffrentiate it too and you have done remarkably well. Love your flair for writing and the dedicated approach to whatever you do. Many many more years of blogging Shailaja, and be an inspiration to all of us, like you always have been. Cheers !!!

  4. I love your writing on both your blogs and admire your your words of wisdom! I also take my hat off to you that you can manage 2 blogs and to juggle life. You are inspiring!

    1. How absolutely wonderful to hear that, Claire. Thank you! That made my day. This is what I enjoy about blogging. The way we connect with each other. I love your writing too πŸ™‚

  5. Congratulations on the 4th anniversary.. I guess I am following this blog from the beginning. You have surely inspired me on the writing front. It sure has come a long way.

  6. I love the way you have differentiated the writer and the blogger. I’m still wondering what I am. But, you have got it all sorted and I’m so happy for you and I’m incredibly proud of you for how far you have come.

    Thank God for this space, that I found you and today I can call you as one of my closest friends who is always there for me. You have taught me so much and inspired me so much that I cannot put it down in words.

    Bask in the success, bask in the celebration. We all know how much you deserve it.

    Lots of love and higs!

    1. I doubt I have got it all sorted, but how sweet of you to think so, Soumya πŸ™‚ I thank blogging for many many things and you are one of the highlights of that gratitude list πŸ™‚

  7. So happy for you, Shailaja.
    Thank God for blogging or else I wouldn’t have found you or had the chance to learn from you.
    So, congratulations and wish you all the success because you deserve it.

  8. Every blog post is a tiny milestone if you ask me. Indeed it is true that blogging thrives on readership and community, while being a writer is more of a lonely profession. I loved Zadie’s wise words. Blogging nowadays seems more of a race than the happy hobby or passion it used to be. Putting that aside, you’ve done great on both blogs, no mean feat! And a proud mom of two blogs you should be really proud! Cheers and congrats on this blogversary Shay!

    1. That’s true! Every blog post is a milestone by itself πŸ™‚ Zadie is lovely, isn’t she? Sigh, I am now keen to read her books.

      Blogging should never be a race. I’ve kind of stepped back from that aspect a while ago.

      Thank you so much for your kind, warm words, Kala. They mean a lot.

  9. Anniversaries are special, and they should be celebrated. Which is why, Happy Anniversary, Shy, to you and to The Moving Quill.

    That being said, I love how both your blogs play such different roles in your life, and yet are really fulfilling in their own ways.

    Here’s wishing you lots more such milestones to celebrate!

  10. Happy for you and the perspective that you’ve gained. I don’t read much fiction and hence may have missed out on many posts here but I do love your writing. How are you doing with respect to your memoir? Writing for the pleasure of writing is the purest creative satisfaction. It is very spiritual in nature. I wish you luck with that. Many congratulations on completing 4 years.

    1. Totally understand, Rachna πŸ™‚ I haven’t written much fiction on the blog since last year actually. Want to get back to that since it makes me very happy to be writing πŸ™‚

      As for the memoir I STILL haven’t checked my Google Drive to see how much of it is there. Have to bite the bullet and check soon.

      Thank you for the love you shower on my writing. I do appreciate it a lot. πŸ™‚

  11. Congrats and best wishes for completing 4 years on this blog. Zadie Smith’s words are now playing inside my head too. I loved the way you have differentiated the blogger and the writer. So unique perspective. A food for thought.
    May be i should celebrate my blog anniversary too. I actually don’t remember the date and i have to check. We should celebrate milestones.

    1. Thanks Pratikshya πŸ™‚

      I do believe we should celebrate anniversaries too. In whatever way we deem fit. And I am happy you liked the distinction I made between the blogger and the writer. Thank you!

  12. Did you hear that?
    No?
    Listen carefully again.
    Yes, that.
    That’s the sound of me applauding you. For both your journey as well as the dedication with which you continue to churn out quality posts one after the other.
    In my books, that’s both an honour and an achievement.

    1. Thank you Sid πŸ™‚ That’s very sweet of you. I am grateful to have found blogging and for the path it’s taken me on, with all its ups and downs. It’s really helped me grow as a parent, person and writer.

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