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writing

 

I have been blogging somewhat regularly for a year. I always wanted to write ever since I was a teenager. I had big dreams of writing a book at 13 that I mercilessly killed but thankfully those dreams are back on the horizon greatly due to the joy, connection and purpose that I get from my digital home, this blog. When I started writing, I didn’t know what it would mean for me. I had this deep voice in me that wanted to write and I knew I couldn’t say no to it even though it was likely one of the busiest times in my life with a full time job in tech, an infant who co-slept with us and didn’t have regular sleep schedules and I didn’t get a full night’s sleep on most nights and grad school. And yet, writing is what got me home and helped me connect to myself. Seeing the world and experiencing it through my words helped me grow in ways I didn’t quite imagine when I took this leap to share my stories with the world.

Looking back

As I look back on this past year of writing, here is what I have learnt about myself, writing and the world…

  • Writing is healing, joyful, scary, fulfilling, vulnerable all at the same time. On same days, it feels easy and words and ideas come so easily and I loose a sense of time and on other days my writing feels dry, lifeless and cold. What’s important is that I write – even when its not perfect and not my best work that I keep showing up. Often times my writing isn’t great when I am overly tired, exhausted or depleted or I am focusing too much on how something is going to land with my audience.
  • It’s much harder to write about the things I struggle with and yet I am also not comfortable sharing about the things that I can do well. I hope to write more about the former in the future (see below). As for the latter, I am not sure if that’s because I don’t want to brag and seek attention or something else.
  • The best and the worst thing about a blog that isn’t famous or read by several thousand people is that you don’t know what people think about it. I wish I did so I could write more about what people like and also get better at writing. The best thing is that I can often write about what I want and the way I want and not have to worry about what people like.
  • I have strengthened my relationships with so many people in ways I didn’t imagine. I have received “me too” emails and people sharing how they understand or know me better because of my words. I have met some incredibly beautiful people and the kind words always make me feel incredibly grateful. I often wish I could meet face to face with all my blog subscribers.
  • Writing has given me a container, a safe space when my mind can go crazy. With everything I see and experience, I often have a layer of words in my heart and that makes me feel cozy, kind of like having a glass of hot chocolate and a warm blanket on a cold rainy night (like today!)
  • My first drafts are messy, lack structure and are a data dump of my thoughts and that’s okay. I can be an editor later and I am glad Microsoft word has a backspace button!
  • I never realized this when I started, but this blog has been an incredible online journal for myself. Reading back my own posts has given me a way to live back on the simple, ordinary moments of my own life in ways I have not known in the past and that’s been a powerful motivator to write more.
  • My hour of writing is often times the most sacred, quiet and focused time in my day. The introvert in me loves this time alone and yes, I wish I could give myself this gift more often.
  • I read more as a result of writing, carry my journal everywhere and sticky notes are my new best friend. Sometimes, I will write in parking lots, red lights (yup I do that with my pen and paper), on the train, at lunch on Friday with food beside me…
  • I have learnt to look at the word marketing with a new lens. For me marketing my blog means finding avenues to introduce the world to my home and inviting them to a conversation that could be of value. Ensuring they are never felt forced to stay yet reassured that they are loved & appreciated for being a part of this community. Finally, writing in a way that feeds my soul yet serves my readers in the form of content that can support and inspire them in living more mindfully in ways that are different, unique and different to each of us.
  • Saying yes to writing means saying no to a lot of things. Today it means saying no to doing dishes or folding laundry or organizing my house or more importantly reading and signing to my son (which is something I struggle more with than a clean house)…
  • This blog has reaffirmed by calling to create work that feeds my desire to teach, inspire and allow others to live more fulfilling, authentic and creative lives and eventually create a social enterprise that seems to be knocking at my door for the last many years. I promise, it will come…

Looking ahead

As I look ahead in this year, here’s what I hope to do

  • I like writing more memoir style articles vs. “how tos” and I hope to share more of my life’s journey and what I experience, learn and struggle with this year. I also want to capture more of life’s ordinary moments that make it so extraordinary and this blog will be one place for more of that. I hope to be more courageous by being more vulnerable and writing from my heart. I hope to write about stories that move me and my own struggles, my own ego and the places that scare me. Those posts and stories are always the hardest to write and more importantly hardest to share but I hope to do more of that in service of my core values of being authentic and hopefully giving you all permission to be more authentic.
  • I hope to continue to bring to you more interviews and stories of people who inspire me on my journey. These take more effort, coordination, and I want to ensure I bring people who are willing to be raw, real and honest with their paths in life.
  • I also hope to continue writing outside of my blog in service of how I defined marketing above. It’s scary, rewarding and a very enriching experience to send your writing to editors, hear a yes, hear a no and come back to the writing board and start afresh and not let the ego interfere with the sheer joy of reaching a wider audience and the sadness of not being the one selected. It’s a valuable life lesson in itself.

 

Much gratitude to each of you for being a part of my life, this blog and my writing journey. Knowing that I have someone on the other side, reading my words makes my journey less lonely.

 

Please let me know if there are things that you want me to write more of in the year to come!

Also, if you are curious about developing a writing practice, here is a lovely post by Brynn Harrington and another one from Jeena Cho

Much love!

Neha

 

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