Oh, I Juggle!

Home, Family, Success, Peace… Can a woman really have it all?

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

If you love what I write

I wrote a poem some time ago to promote my blog. SEO may be the better idea. Been lazy and haven’t figured that out yet.

I’ll go with the poem for now:

If you love what I write,
Or even love just me.
Keep my blog in your sight,
And click on “follow” me.

You may get to know me better,
Or find you don’t want to.
But nothing’s just to the letter,
Even things we know to be true.

So many things I think to be,
Manifestations of the real me.
Break it down and I see,
Just the desire to be free.

I am only going to write,
What touches my heart then.
Some deep, others quite slight,
Anything I may like to pen.

Feel free to share your mind,
In the light of being frank.
Don’t forget to be little kind,
For all of it I’ll deeply thank.

So, if you love what I write,
Or even love just me.
Keep my blog in your sight,
And click on ‘follow’ me.

Word Count Woes

Most of us have experienced the heady rush of momentum when a deadline looms ahead. A non-negotiable, externally set deadline.  The same kind of energy is more difficult to recreate when the said deadline is self set.

I have experienced this in the past, especially during home organising projects. Things happen so much faster when a houseguest is arriving in the weekend. The level of confidence and commitment that comes when one is in the flow is remarkable. These periods of extreme efficiency have been brief for me. Once the momentum is lost, it takes so much effort to get back on track.

Writing a book is a long process. Life’s many challenges are a great temptation to break the writing discipline. Writer’s block doesn’t help either.  To keep myself on track with writing my book and to get myself into a heightened state of efficiency, I decided to impose certain conditions.

Clear Goals

I needed to break it down into smaller measurable goals with a deadline each. So I have different finish by dates for the first draft and the final manuscript. I am not sure how many edits it will take since it is my first book. Judging the 5,600 words I have written till date, I have a feeling I will be spending quite an amount of time revising. Oh no, my goals are not that clear after all!

Word Count Breakdown 

The average running length of a novel in my genre is 100,000 plus words. I am going with 110,000. I plan to finish the first draft by the end of August 2012. Roughly I would have to produce 1,800 words per day. To keep a log of daily word counts I downloaded the NaNoWriMo 2011 word count tracker and adjusted the daily goal. The spreadsheet gives a running tally, per hour rate, percent completed and also a project finish date given the current pace.

Social Pressure

More than the fear of failure we fear standing shamefaced among our peers. To create that kind of artificial pressure I have announced to the world that I am working on the first draft of my first novel. Who cares? No one does. It will only be interesting if I fail. My family and friends encourage me and support me in this new found hobby. Then there is self doubt. Do I have it in me? There is only one way to find out. And if the answer is not favourable, it can always be remedied with a good dose of learning.

Writing Discipline

Writing without distractions for an extended period of time helps me gain momentum, making the words flow more smoothly. I had underestimated the power of a nine month old to seek attention (and here he is, clawing at my legs, asking to be picked up). I have always believed that so long as I planned and prioritized my activities properly, I could manage to find the time to do what I want. But how do I explain that to my baby? Jokes apart, I can still do this. I am working to be an advanced early riser. Getting up a good two hours before the world around me wakes up would give me solid time for good work. What a wonderful start to the day that would be! I am currently aiming for 4 a.m. Knowing myself, I still need my rest. So I have to factor in an early bedtime too.  That would take a lot of getting used to.

So many conditions to create a sense of urgency!

Now, if only I had a book deal to begin with, that would have cranked up the pressure and given me just what I need, a powerful kick in the pants.

Hyderabad Indiblogger’s Meet- June 2012

Stay at home motherhood is a lonesome job. I thought writing would cure that. Found that writing is lonelier still. Wondered if blogging would be the remedy. Even though I write primarily for myself, it does feel like stepping out into the world. The endless possibility of meeting wonderful people. What more could one want?

Dreams turned into reality on Sunday when an in-person meet was organized by Gautam through Indiblogger. I wanted to acquaint myself with all the bloggers registered for the meet before I went. With important guests arriving and my son falling ill, I did not have time and just skimmed through most of them. I knew I had to go. Even if it were only to establish that I still had a life of my own, other than caretaking and homemaking. 

I am fairly new to blogging with just seven posts published. Imagined I would meet a tight group of people who knew each other’s blogs and nothing to say to me. I was wrong. They welcomed me with open arms and hearts. Thank you, Gautam, Crack the Sky, Subho’s Jejun Diet, Gardener at 60, Tilling the Earthwoman, Gaming Garage, Cool PC Tips and Restless Fingers!

Subho said it was fun putting faces to blogs. For me it was more putting blogs to faces once I got home. Maybe it was just as well I did not know that I was among mini celebrities. Instead of basking in the warmth of the good company, I would have been mentally planning how to improve my own writing.

“Kindred Spirits” I smiled to myself as I rode back home.

Are we?

I don’t know.

It will surely be fun finding out!

Handwritten Letters

Ah, the joys of reading a handwritten letter!

My sister and I loved sending each other handwritten letters. Long before the internet revolution touched our lives. Maybe even years after it did. We have now migrated completely to email, Facebook and online chats. Technology keeps us in seamless touch with each others’ lives even though we live on different continents.

But, I am nostalgic thinking of the letters I have got from my sister. I would hold them in my hands and imagine her mood when she penned the words. Looking at her handwriting I would know whether she wrote at leisure or was in a hurry. She would sometimes write down a few spontaneous lines of poetry to end the letter. Draw lips and kiss them. I would press that picture against my cheek and imagine a kiss. Then I too would kiss the letter and as I did I would breathe in the scent, thinking about the journey of this piece of paper. The letter was so much more than the words on it. It was such a wonderful experience.

Communication is the whole package, isn’t it? Emotions expressed so completely that the other understands you. Choosing words to best convey the emotion one feels is an art on its own. And with letters we did put in much more thought. The letters would take time to reach and the next one would be sent much later. Emails reach instantly. We don’t try and make them poetic. We know we can always add new information clicking on ‘reply’. The message is conveyed. Clarifications sought immediately. Replies sent. All in a matter of minutes sometimes.

Yes, I am nostalgic. But not regretful. Because although I miss the good old letters, I know I couldn’t possibly have known what my sister had for breakfast each day if I did not have the internet.

For that I am ever so grateful!

 

*Image credit to True Stories, Honest Lies

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