A day like any other dawned last May when I opened up WordPress and tentatively typed in my first blog post here on The Moving Quill. I wasn’t new to blogging, but I was new to everything else- the platform, the ‘likes’, the commenting system, the templates, the customisation, the notifications and most important, the audience.
Venturing into writing flash fiction, poetry, creative non fiction and writing tips was perhaps one of the most daring things I have ever done since I started blogging. Writing has always been a saviour of sorts for me, helping me express my deepest feelings when talk couldn’t come to my rescue.
When I think back over the year, a part of me pauses to think about what this post should cover. What is it that I want to celebrate a year later?
The stats? That’s debatable, because, really, stats don’t maketh the writer, not all the time. I know bloggers who write incredibly well but who don’t get read enough, more’s the pity. So, no, not stats.
The number of posts? Again, not relevant, because a few posts are a few words long while others are essays, so there’s no uniformity there.
Awards? Those from fellow bloggers or blogging platforms, while incredibly wonderful, still don’t make them reasons enough for celebration.
And when I really pause to think, I realise it’s two things: The lessons learnt and the audience.
7 lessons in a year
I’ve been blogging for almost eight years now, but I have been writing in this space only for a year. Yet, I feel I have grown more as a writer and hopefully as a person in these last few months than all the years put together. Here are 7 lessons this year taught me through my work on this blog:
- Write when you can, any time, every time the muse strikes. You can choose not to publish it, but do write.
- Write from your heart, even if it is for a prompt or a challenge.You’d be surprised how much better you feel.
- Listen to the comments and the feedback. Take advice seriously and work on the criticism.
- Always be ready to change your technique or strategy. Experimentation is the life blood of a writer.
- Stay true to your voice. There is a reason people read you. Don’t compromise on it.
- Don’t hurt others through your writing. If you have trouble with someone, talk it out or write about it, but don’t share it with the world at large. Distances grow wider and the rift never heals.
- Read. A lot. Works by the great authors, other bloggers, budding poets are all food for more writing. Always feed the mind. It has an amazing capacity for growth.
The readers, the fellow bloggers, the ones who take out a few seconds each day to glance at my posts, maybe like them, perhaps comment on them and even share them- you people make it all worthwhile.
So, I think I should pay tribute to a few people/ places that really make writing in this space worthwhile. These are the ones who motivate me to think outside the box, push myself beyond the boundaries, write when I feel unable to string words together or just stand at my elbow and make encouraging noises.
Yeah Write- I know I have mentioned this site before but they deserve another shout out. The regularity of their prompts, the keen eye of the editors, the support of fellow writers, the honesty of the feedback- there IS no better place for writers looking to hone their craft. This year also saw me doing better on their challenge grids, which I am hoping will shape the way forward for me as a writer. I have a special place in my heart for the writers/editors I met through this site, especially Michelle Longo, Christine Hanolsy, Cynking Feeling, Silver Leaf, Stacie Dalrymple, Nathan James, Asha Rajan, Arden Ruth, Meg Galipault, Natalie De Young and Rowan Grigsby.
Aparna George– A truer friend and stauncher supporter I will be hard pressed to find. She reads/ likes all my posts, even the really crappy ones! Do you know what a morale booster that is? My friend, you mean more to me than anything else in the blogging world.
Sid Balachandran- A published author, engaging writer and a good critic of my writing. He says it like it is and doesn’t mince words. I mean that in a good way. 😀
Tulika Singh– She reads my posts. All of them. And she gets bullied by me and takes it with a good grace. You know that’s someone you need in your corner!
Shilpa Halwe– Although someone I came to know fairly recently, Shilpa and I took to each other almost instantly. She is rather too generous in her praise, though. Hey, I am not complaining 😉
Rachna Parmar– She is another blogger I connected with less than 6 months ago, but one who always makes the time to stop by, read and comment on my posts. The way she handles her own blog’s comments are really admirable!
This is not a comprehensive list, by any means. Think of it as the limited time on stage at an awards ceremony and the music’s started to play, so I need to wind up now 🙂
I truly appreciate every single person who stops by and reads my blog. Because, let’s face it, without you all, I’m just yelling into the void and while it’s nice to hear the sound of your own voice, it’s infinitely better to hear the echoes of your friends and fellow writers when they resonate with your thoughts and keep you writing.