I have always been a writer.
I have published three books and am grateful that another one is in the works. And then there is this blog which you all are reading. I have also started submitting entries into vocal (a creative platform for budding authors) for the last two years. And apart from that, I write in my journal, jot down passages from books that touch me, and pen down important milestones like the goodbye letter to Aki, all find their way into writing. Even growing up as a child of ten or so years, I remember starting a storybook anything secret – I could write any story there as long as it was something secret – Secret Axe, Secret Tree etc.
My books are not best sellers. My blog gets an average of 1-3 reads a day, and my vocal would be lucky if it got a read once a month. But, still, I keep writing; why?
Enid Blyton’s children’s books inspired me to write my secret series. I was a voracious reader and still am, so in some ways, there is always a hidden writer in a reader. As it is impossible to like or hate something in others that you don’t have in yourself. The journal writing started because of The Diary of Anne Frank. And I thought her way of exploring what she is going through in her life was a brilliant way to live her life, so I adopted that. The blogs had a few starts and stop, but the desire came because I had these ideas that I felt very strongly about, and they needed an outlet. The books were a result of my doing The Artist’s Way self-course. I always wanted to write, and that book by Julia Cameron helped me bust through the obstacles in my writing.
When people ask me why I write – my answer is: I cannot stop writing, so I write. As mentioned in my last blog, I want to focus on writing in 2023, and I started with the book – Right to Write, again by Julia Cameron. And that book is about life, not writing, and going through the initial chapters made me realize that I write because it puts me squarely in the witness state. When I am writing, I become an observer and watcher of movies. And if you are on the spiritual path, then that is where you want to spend most of your time or be connected to that state all the time. Because when you are an observer, you are not fully engulfed in what is happening – you still have your head above the water. Why is it important? So that you don’t lose yourself. It’s the difference between being sad and experiencing grief. It’s angry vs having anger.
On a sad note, our lovely pup and the love of our life – Aki, passed away recently. And it has been an overwhelming experience but being the writer, observer or witness helped us stay equanimous for the most part. And when one of us was overwhelmed with grief – the other was there to support us, or we reached out to our friends and family. For me, the way to get through difficult times is to ground myself in the presence or NOW, which I can only do as a watcher of my thoughts, emotions etc. It is more peaceful to watch the emotions go through you as become the emotions.
We all need a mechanism to cope – what is yours?