Reflections from a 21-day writing journey

I jumped into a commitment to write every day for 21 days. I started this exercise without a “backlog” of topics. Without much thought and plan. I knew in the back of my mind that, my mind will play games and prevent me from committing publicly. If this is some news for you, you have to go back to my first post and find my commitment at the end – so easy to miss 😀. I wanted to share a few observations and learnings from this exercise.

The most crucial observation from this exercise has been the increased attention it brings to your day. Once you commit to writing and sharing a post daily, at the back of your mind you are looking for a topic. This brings a focus to your day. Without it, this past month would have been a blur for me. Merging seamlessly with the many months and years before it. There have been many days where any event, which significantly affected my emotion or triggered my curiosity has resulted in a post. It could be a deep conversation you had with your peer or a friend, an “aha” moment, or a post on a social platform. It forces you to reflect on it and uncover it a little more. This exercise by itself brings a sense of joy.

This increased attention & focus on key events pushed the usual anxieties and other frivolous thoughts out of your mind. Do you keep asking yourself what did I do today? What experience is worth recounting and reflecting upon? You want every day to count and start setting yourself a little higher bar.

Writing by itself and especially in a public platform requires you to switch off your self-judgment. You park your judgment on the idea, topic, narration, style, or language. Without it, you will play a dual role of a creator and editor/polisher. Many experts recommend switching off the critique mode when you create and switch it on when you edit. As you practice and develop this, you can try to apply this to other parts of your life as well. Giving yourself more freedom to be creative and being in the moment when you are cooking, preparing a presentation, etc.

The oft-cited benefit of bringing clarity to thoughts and ideas is very real too. There are days when I started with a nebulose idea or a “thingy” or a vague curiosity on a topic. As I start writing and editing, I could see that topic a little more clearly and uncover the parts.

When you start researching to know more about a topic or engage in a conversation about it with someone you learn more. There are a bunch of URLs open in my browser to read and dig a little deeper into a topic.

You start valuing your family support system, friends, and social connections a little more. I had the privilege of a bunch of friends (RajiRamjeeManiAnandSureshDarshan & Prashanth) encouraging me in this journey with their likes, comments, direct messages, and conversations. I am grateful for Subra’s mentoring mentor, the daily WhatsApp nudges, comments, and words of encouragement. Thanks to JK, a longtime friend and the one who sowed the seeds of inspiration for my writing.

image credit: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-feeling-close-to-the-finish-line-makes-you-push-harder/

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