I wrote this on April 12, 2007. It was a private post and nobody read it but me. Why then, am I sharing it here now?
Because lately I’ve been accused of not being passionate about writing, by someone whose opinion matters very much.
Because I find I’m constantly arguing with people who believe anything said in a ‘rational’ monotone trumps ideas expressed with emotion. Remember this when you get to the last sentence. People are talking about this now, but I said it (and more importantly) I felt it five years ago.
Because I’ve watched this blog go from close confidante to a marketable, resume-worthy commodity. The writing has changed, obviously. I just want to remember what it felt like to write this this, for once. Even if it is a rehashed post from the past. Be kind on my heart.
Last week I came back after another failed attempt at blog-icide. Lately blogging has started to feel like a really traumatic relationship that I keep trying to get out of and stumbling back to, out of sheer bad habit. And the identity of IdeaSmith starts to remind me of Frankenstein. Monster-like, gone beyond control and being forced to live up (or down) to this identity…is painful.
I shut out several people who know this blog and me in real life. It hurt too much to be force-fitted into the image of a wise-cracking, emotionless, always sparkling object of entertainment. IdeaSmith is my creation, not all of me. And if I write XXFactor, I also write poetry, sentimental posts about my friends and boring but personal anecdotes about friends and family. Every now and then I get a mail or a comment from a stranger telling me how much they identify with what I say. Those make me smile, for sometime. But last week, feeling this way, I wanted to cry…
Where are all of you? If you know what I’m talking about why do you rip me apart? When people turn up mud-slinging or betting on me like I’m a racehorse, telling me I’m a source of amusement, where are you, then? I’ve spoken for you…you’ve said that so often…why then, do you not speak up for me, when someone forcibly silences me?
I haven’t got any answers to that. But I guess…I can’t stop talking. Not just yet anyway.
I know someone who likes coffee shops so much he says he could spend the rest of his life in one. I found that odd then. But yesterday I spent the evening in my favorite bookshop and I realized I haven’t felt so exhilarated for weeks. Home is where you heal, where you grow, where you get your best view of life. And in that case, I could live in a bookshop for the rest of mine.
I also felt something that felt curiously like….a sense of belonging. I’ve been stumbling about blindly for weeks now, feeling rudderless, like I’m a long way from home. A visit to the bookshop is all it took to ground me. This is my world, my place. Among ideas, words, books. Last week I actually thought I should bury my dream of being a professional writer since…if I couldn’t take people’s reactions to my blog….however would I handle their reactions to a book?
The few people I spoke to all had only one thing to say
Don’t let it matter so much!
Yes, there is such a thing as getting too involved. Caring too much. And yet, how can I not? My beliefs and ideas matter to me. Who I am matters to me. And writing matters to me. Most of all. If I can glow over the bouquets, I have to bleed over the arrows. It is humanely impossible to shut out the detractors as also the indifferent and the vicious.
What makes it possible for me to write, is the fact that I feel. Very much. There’s no more hiding that.
Six months ago, I decided to ease out of complete anonymity. I also started replying to comments, to emails and to messages from strangers who read my blog. I opened up, in essence, a part of my life here. This blog is no more a personal diary. It has become a an open court. You come in, shape my thinking and I turn it into a post.
To everyone who reads my blogs, I’m deeply grateful to you for the time you spend and the direction you give to my thinking. You shape my life in some way as I hope to shape yours with my words. Remember then, that what you read here, no longer remains my property but something that was created by me and you.