“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”
– Anaïs Nin
Four weeks back, I realised something bothered me about my blog. I didn’t quite know what it was. So when I came across Jeff Goins’ free Intentional Blogging Challenge for 21 days on Facebook, I jumped at it. Each day he posted a blogging exercise that I needed to do. I’ll admit it was a struggle. It made me re-think my blog and I had to stop blogging to figure things out. During this Challenge, I learned about many things I hadn’t even considered before I started blogging. It helped me be more honest with myself. I’ll also admit that there are a few things I still need to work on. But I’m back and so are my posts.
The challenge started with rewriting my About page. So do have a look and feel free to leave your comments.
One of the challenges was to post a blog that shares the story behind my blog, why I started writing, why I feel I have to write and what I hope to achieve through it. That’s what this post is about.
How it started
It all started with a story. I make my own animations, but I was too impatient to get the story out of my head and writing seemed like the shortest way to get it out. Just goes to prove how little I knew back then. Now, if that was the only reason why I started writing, I would have written the story and moved on, and never thought about writing again. However, once I opened the flood gates, it was too late to stop the flow. Thank God, because I’m rather sure if not for that, if I didn’t write, two things would have happened: 1) I would have gone mental with the thoughts swirling in my head, 2) I would have never found my true calling in life.
It feels strange to write those words. No, not the going crazy part, I always had an inkling that I was wee bit crazy, which I think adds to the charm :). I’m referring to the finding-my-true-calling part. Those are not words I would usually use. For a long time, I was the kind of person who knew exactly how my life was supposed to turn out, who had to stay in control of things – life, career, emotions, people. Somehow I had concluded that being in control would remove all uncertainties from my life. After years of struggle and some hard lessons learnt, I can tell you that there’s one thing I’m certain of: Uncertainty, though scary, is a good thing. Taking a leap of faith in life teaches you things that’s both exhilarating and enlightening. It not only opens your mind, but also your heart.
That’s why I love stories. They take me on a journey of self-discovery. It starts in some unknown place and I have no idea where it will take me. As I immerse myself in journeys that characters take, I find myself, I learn who I am and what matters to me. I connect the dots that I’m not even sure are there, but when I step back and see the picture it reveals, and trust me, there’s always a big picture underneath every story, I begin to understand how Archimedes felt when he said Eureka, or perhaps how Newton or Einstein felt when they found the fundamental connections in the world around them through gravity and relativity. But the connections I see run much deeper, into the very core of what makes us human, of who we are as living beings. Those are the connections I seek.
The “four selves” I found through writing
Scientists, for years, have been trying to come up with a Theory of Everything, something to explain and link all the physical aspects of our Universe. But perhaps, the answers we seek are more fundamental and personal. Perhaps, the answers lie within each of us and the journeys we make to find those answers, those are stories worth telling. Those are stories worth sharing. This probably sounds philosophical to some. But I believe in keeping an open mind. If I didn’t, I would have never thought that it was possible to live a life where your happiness does not depend on external factors. Imagine if you could be happy without putting tremendous pressure on the people and things in your life to make yourself feel good. Yes, that’s possible and oddly enough, I would have never discovered this if I hadn’t started writing.
This is what I’ve found: There are “four selves” we need to be truly happy in life, and these are the four themes I explore through my writing.
Connect with our true Self with the knowledge that no amount of outer pursuits and achievements can ever make us truly happy unless we know who we are. When we do, the purpose of our life becomes clear and we know where we need to go. You probably think this sounds too spiritual. Perhaps. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be practical. You don’t need to live in a cave for years to get in touch with yourself. And I say this from experience.
Be happy with who we are. Be content and grateful for what we have in our lives. Have the courage to say, “I’m enough”.
This is the confidence that comes from knowing who we are and loving it. Not a designation, not a job, not a place, not someone’s someone, just each of us on our own. A sense of confidence that does not depend on where we are in life, how much money we have, who our friends are. It depends on our inner Self that grounds us, a homing beacon to our life so we can find our way back if we ever get lost.
Care enough about others, give enough of ourselves to others, so we see beyond our own life, widen our view of the world, grow as a person, and lead a purposeful and happy life that is filled with love for all.
Through writing (and reading), I’ve had but a glimpse of what it means to let go of my fears, my doubts and just live a happy life. I write so I can find the courage to face my fears, to fly on the wings of the unknown, to understand and accept not just who I am but also others, people who may be completely different from me, but are searching for answers to the same questions. And I share my stories with you in the hope that you will share yours, and together, we can find the connections we all share.
Why do you write? Share your stories in the Comments.