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Reflections on seven years of writing

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. My first attempt at writing something and having it published was way back when I was twelve or thirteen years old. That was a time when I had not read a single book that wasn't a comic with lots of pictures and little text. This was before I was introduced to Harry Potter or Jeffrey Archer (the Harry Potter series and Kane & Abel were the first novels that I read).

But, it has been a little over seven years since I started this blog. And it took me three or four years to really get going and be regular about writing something. Now, I have settled into a decent flow that keeps me writing regularly. Sometimes I write things that people read and sometimes I write things that very few people read. Sometimes I write things that people like and share, sometimes I write things that people criticise and sometimes I write things that doesn't evoke any response. Nevertheless, I write. The habit has formed. It is something I enjoy and something that makes me feel.

While writing is something that makes me feel good, it is in no way successful in commercial terms. It is not something that I'd depend on for a livelihood (not yet at least). Which means I do other things apart from write. But ensure that I make time to do what I enjoy and am passionate about - that is write. And I know a good friend of mine who used to do this with coding - until doing it full time was the natural next step.

I have worked for startups and have tried starting up on my own (and failed, for now). If you are in the startup circles, you are bound to hear how it is your prerogative to do everything you can and give it everything you've got and that is the only way to make it work. Broaden your circle a little to include some liberal freewheelers and you will hear how you ought to quit your job and travel or startup or whatever it is that you are passionate about - 'find your calling'. And pursue it till you nail it (no pun intended).

This is perhaps why a lot of us feel that doing something is out of our league, only a pipe dream. That we are happy to give up on before we even begin. While at the same time struggle and persist at the one thing that we tell ourselves is what we ought to be doing.

It need not be at either extreme. Starting is the key. Start so that you know how you feel about actually doing it. Start to find out if you enjoy the process or whatever it is that is associated with it. I know people that want to be 'founders', but don't enjoy understanding or solving user problems. That's setting yourself up for failure.

Start to find out where you stand. And in order to do the comparison, you ought to see what's already out there. As I realised back when I was twelve or thirteen, you can't write a novel without ever reading one. And once you find that out, ask yourself if you want to put in the effort to get better, if you will enjoy it.

I wasn't passionate about writing when I started off. Sure, I wanted to do it. But it didn't excite me as much as it does now. So start to find out if it will kindle your passion or stoke a fire in you.

Start so that if you don't leave yourself wondering what might have been.

Quite often, I don't know what the ending will be or what the gist of the post will be when I begin to write, but I start. In the case of the book I'm now writing, I don't know how the story will proceed, or end, but I have started. And it has been fun writing it.

Reflecting back on seven years of writing, the only thing I'm glad about is the fact that I started. 

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