Arguments with Myself: Why I Write This Blog
This is an important part of my life. I have been writing this blog for 5 years now, and have written 600 notes and posted another 100 odd from somewhere else. That indeed is quite a bit, and considering that almost 500 of these entries have come in the last two years, this is indeed becoming a bit of addiction. So, I usually blog early in the morning, rather than browsing a newspaper or watching television. And, some of the evenings, and most definitely Sunday afternoons, like now. This means eating away the time I could see movies, read books or go out drinking with friends. Despite investing in some gear since I came to UK, I have hardly pursued my other hobby, photography, and now the cameras and scanners are lying in a state of disuse. All for this blog, and therefore, I must find myself a good reason to continue investing on this.
That changed things quite a bit, but two things persist: First, I could not really stop writing about private thoughts and reflections and often they feature in my posts. I soon realized that though this meant I expose my vulnerabilities, but people treat me kindly when I do so. Unexpectedly, I built friendships with people who I never knew before and never met, and discovered the kindness of strangers. This was quite a discovery: My blog, a random thing, gave me a more positive outlook about the world and other people. My writing exercises, amateurish as they are, gave me connections, however distant, which all my in-person friendships failed to give. What's more, these connections were based on interest and a sort of shared view of things, a completely different matter than the coincidental friendships I entered into purely based on being at the same place at the same time with other people.
Second, I kept practicing. In the meantime, I read Malcolm Gladwell and his '10,000 hour rule', that a cognitively challenging discipline (such as writing) takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to master. Roughly, that translates into 200 days full time work for approximately 10 years, and I am surely not putting in full days here. But that 10 year idea stuck with me: I am only 5 years down and hence I have miles to go, I said. So, to the great annoyance of my sister, who was finally forced to take an Internet break by my prolific output, I kept writing.
However, apart from being the place to build friendships and connecting with people, and to keep practicing my writing, this blog helps me in another way: This is indeed my scrapbook of ideas. This is where I capture interesting moments, ideas, reflections, things that I come across and think about, or passionately believe in (at least for a passing moment). This is a scrapbook I may never open in the future, but for the brief moment that I end up lingering with the thought as I try to put it in writing embeds the thought in my person: By writing, the thought becomes more real, somewhat more permanent.
For all my dreams, I don't know what the future holds. I am the optimistic kind, so I am starting this year with great optimism and energy: And, indeed, with lofty resolutions, including not to touch Alcohol for a year (after all the seasonal drinking, this one keeps coming back every year), but also more serious and more realistic ones. As I write this note, I know that this blog is part of my self. However pointless this time spent is, my life revolves around this space now: All my significant friendships, conversations, hopes and dreams are here. This is one bit I can't let go.