I need to get started now. Milestones are important.
It has been a while since I wrote something that I was unconditionally proud of. Aside from a brief period in 2013, where I started a blog after completing college and during my first job ever, I think the last time I wrote something noticeable was before 2007. During my school time.
I have mixed memories from back then. I’ll, however, only focus on what’s relevant. I had this unnatural consistency in my performance on the English test. I used to always score at 80%. Not more. Not less. No matter what I do and how much I prepare. Mind you, that this was still among the top scores in my class. But, 80% is the glass ceiling that I could never break. In a paper of 20 marks, I get 16. On a paper of 50 marks, I get 40. You got the idea. This was not just one teacher, but a phenomenon occurring through 3-4 years and as many teachers. At some point, I really thought there was some elaborate conspiracy against me in the English department.
But, I’m sure they had better things to do. The jinx finally broke in the Class Xth Board exam. I scored 93%. But this is not a brag piece. This is not even the main point of this article, but just a segue.
All my English teachers, for reasons not completely clear to me, used to love my writing. I used to write differently, bordering on creativity, which, to them, was above average quality than what was coming from my peers. There was one teacher in particular who really appreciated and encouraged me to explore writing beyond the general curriculum. Regrettably, I never did.
There are a few anecdotes I want to share about this teacher:
- There was this one time in the 7th or 8th standard when a story writing competition was held in the school. I couldn’t be bothered, because, as is an introvert’s natural proclivity, I wasn’t participating. This teacher found out that I wasn’t. She forced me to participate. There were 30 minutes left to the deadline. I wrote what I could. I wrote a few lines more than a page. Others wrote much more, for much longer. I won the competition. It was a surprise to me
- She once advised me that I should write a daily journal. She suggested that because she knew that the practice would only make me better. I never followed her advice
At this point, when I remember that. I regret not following that advice. In my formative years, it would have made a world of difference in my life’s trajectory. Writing is not a singular, monochromatic skill, but has a plethora of second-order effects. It makes your thinking structured. It makes you more expressive. Et cetera. As an introvert, I write better than I speak. It would have been a win-win for me.
But, I didn’t follow the advice. Funny, how hindsight has a 20/20 vision.
I stopped writing creatively when school got over. Writing creatively in college, as an engineering student, never occurred to me as an option. When I picked it back up in 2012-2013, I mostly wrote analyses pieces. Those efforts lived a brief life.
But, now, I feel compelled to write again. I’ve been thinking about writing for more than a year, but never really started. Using July 01, 2020, as a milestone in this journey, I’m finally getting started. Let’s see where this road leads.
But, as of today, I’m confident that I will be able to sustain the practice. Because I have some precedence. Similar to writing, I had been putting off going to the gym for a very long time. For over a year. So, when I finally started in Aug 2019. I was able to sustain the practice. COVID situation has put a brake on this since March 2020, but I’ve restarted.
The biggest roadblock, that I’ve come to realize, is the inertia to get started. There are two kinds of friction - static friction and rolling friction. Static friction is much higher than rolling friction. Once you get started, it is often easy to maintain the movement. Control the movement. Manage the momentum. Even accelerate.
And that’s the motive of this article. I needed to get started now. Putting a milestone out there is important. Going from 0 to 1 makes a world of a difference. It symbolizes existence. After that, it is mostly about molding it.