This day, seven years ago, I began to put down my words on paper (or screen). As this blog turns 7, I begin to wonder when and why I simply stopped writing. Was it when I ran out of things to say? Or was it when I simply found other means of expressing myself? Was it, as some of my friends say, when I found other things to do with my life and my time? Today is as good a day as any other to reflect on these questions in the hope that discovering answers to them will spur me on to becoming a better and more prolific writer.
This blog has surely seen better days, with opinions expressed, debates raging on in the comments columns and interaction being a given, rather than a possibility. But somewhere along the way, I lost track. I stopped writing as frequently as I used to and my readers lost patience with me and gave up on my ability to turn out posts worth reading. There was a time when I obsessed about page views, visitor stats and the like. Today, I find that none of these actually matter. It no longer matters to me if someone is reading what I write, although I do appreciate the odd comment that comes my way.
Much reflection and analysis later, I also discovered that I had stopped writing precisely because this blog was acquiring more and more readers. While it remains a pleasure to know that people are reading and appreciating what I write, I began to get more conscious of my writing when I met people in real life who began to discuss my blog. Ok. Let me get this out! I simply don’t like discussing the contents of my blog in real life. I am fine with interactions through comments and email, but confront me in person on something I have said on my blog and I get uncomfortable. Not that I am a shy person, far from it. But, there seems to be some kind of mental block in mixing my online life with my offline one. I certainly have friends who belong to both worlds, but not everyone makes that crossover as easily. In addition, I often find myself hesitating about posting something on my blog because I am concerned about the reaction of those on Facebook who might come across the post and have something to say. It didn’t help that my blog feeds were automatically synchronised with my Facebook timeline.
And then, one day, it came to me completely out of the blue. It was now time for me dissociate my personal identity from that of my blog. While this was in no way an attempt to become anonymous, it was an important step in my evolution as a blogger. So, with renewed determination, I set about the task of giving this blog a new identity distinct from that of it’s owner. I created a Facebook page for the Accidental Writer. I stopped the synchronisation of my blog with my FB profile. I decided to take it slowly and publish manual updates rather than allow automated feeds. It already feels better to know that my blogposts will be judged on their merit and not as something written by Amrutha. I don’t know if this experiment will succeed. But, whatever it is, the deed is done.
Now, the Accidental Writer has been officially resurrected. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. This is the second post in 10 days, which is more than I can claim to have done in the last two years. I am crossing my fingers and hoping this trend continues. And that one day, my readers come back to this blog knowing that it offers them something worth their while. Until then, I will continue to write. Because that’s what I know to do best!