For those who may not be aware, the IWSG is where every struggling and insecure writer finds solace. The group was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh and they generally welcome people to join in.
Every month, IWSG asks a question that writers can answer on their blogs to inspire other writers or share their personal stories or challenges they face on their writing journey.
This month’s question goes like this:
If you ever did stop writing, what would you replace it with?
After reading my friend’s post, I had mulled over the question for a while. Later that week when we spoke, she even made me consider joining the blog hop. But, that didn’t happen. Days went by. Life took over, as it does, and I got busy with family commitments, juggling work and daily chores, while a general sense of inertia settled over me, that lasted weeks. The writer in me felt dead.
Reading Tulika’s post this morning nudged me again. This time, I decided to get back to my blog and finally answer the question.
It’s been eight years since I set out as a writer. As someone ridden with a lot of doubt and uncertainty, I was initially clueless about what to expect along the way.
As it happened, things got so much better than I had imagined. Through the writing groups, I got to meet many talented writers and authors. From blogging to editing, and then content writing and curation, my writing journey led me to exciting places. While the dream of being a published author still remained unfulfilled, the sheer joy of writing has always nudged me on to work on many interesting projects, whilst I keep my hopes pinned for the future.
Having spent years battling with the imposter syndrome, it has taken me a long time to acknowledge myself as a writer. Now, when I look back, I realise how all that self-doubt was actually unnecessary, but I guess, it was all part of my growth and my journey. Hundreds before me had gone through that. I was no exception.
Whenever I reflect on the road I had taken, I get goose bumps. In so many ways, being a writer has been the biggest catalyst for change in my life— one that has connected me to people, places, things, ideas and concepts that I never knew existed—and all of them put together, became the conduit through which I set out to heal myself, through meditation, mindfulness and eventually, becoming what they call a lifelong learner.
Looking back, I feel grateful for every experience and life lesson that has come my way…I’ve made friends for life, through writing; shared my pain and hurt as much as the angst and the fears; not forgetting the bridges we built with one another as fellow writers—growing in wisdom and strength and grace, all of which is very difficult to quantify.
I say this as a quiet and introverted person, one, who never thought such connections for life would ever be possible with like-minded people, and that too, spread far and wide, across the globe—especially those I’ve never met and perhaps never will, and yet, those very people have been privy to my most intimate thoughts and deep personal experiences, shared through my words.
Tell me, how else—but through writing, would this ever be possible?
I know of nothing else that could be as fulfilling, meaningful, beautiful and enriching, as writing has continues to be, for me, even today.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve agonised over the fact that writing has taken a backseat. Many of my readers know the challenges that have now come to be an inseparable part of my life. Some days, I’m doing a tight rope walk and some days I’m walking on egg shells—I multitask, juggle more than I can balance, and often bite more than I can chew and yet, this very propensity to do everything is the very reason why I never quit writing even through my worst days. I’ve definitely taken breaks. every now and then, but to quit writing has been rather unthinkable! Perhaps, even suicidal, if I may honestly say so!
Why? Because writing is my raison d’être. It’s my balm and my solace; my life source, my breath, my source of sustenance and my therapy!
At the end of a difficult day, it is my happy place.
It’s what makes me jump out of bed on a gloomy overcast morning, put the kettle on and get ready to tap away on the keyboard, even when I’m clueless about what to write.
So, here’s my answer to the question—if I ever did stop writing, there’d be nothing to replace it with. Absolutely nothing.
I’m one of those for whom there is no other option but to continue writing until their last breath. Nothing else brings me the same joy or happiness and this is what I’ve learned over the years—nothing ever will! 🙂
And for this one thing, I remain ever so grateful to the Universe!