Winter, Holidays, Writing, Solitude, Reading

A Winter of Writing and Editing

It’s the term vacation. Which means there are no assignments, no team meetings, and most importantly no deadlines for the next eight days. Eight days to do whatever one wants to.

When such an occasion presents itself to me, the impulse is to take off for home or travel elsewhere. The impulse can be explained by the fatigue that sets in due to constant busyness and the general inability to get out of campus during the term. After these eight days, it will be back to assignments, cases, team meetings, and the deadlines. It makes it compelling to make use of the holidays we have.

The campus life is like a monastery. The monk of the b-school monastery lives in a plain single room, eats the simple food with your peers in large halls, and congregates in lecture halls to meditate on business problems. With no presence of commercial attractions like the malls, restaurants, cinemas, and neither the spending power, as he is a non-earning full-time student, the b-school monk is removed from distractions.

For an ordinary person like me, I begin to crave for the outside world after a few months. This time, I even hatched a couple of travel plans. One was very compelling. Fly to Goa, catch the International Film Festival, idle at the beaches, devour the seafood, and explore the Portuguese Christian villages. 

It was a compelling pitch I had made to myself. It is also winter here, I’d have loved to go some place warmer.

But I resisted.

This winter, I will be writing and editing in solitude. Much like Daphne, who stayed back in the harsh winter of Sifnos to write One Hundred Days of Solitude. While she was in a Greek Island with a few people to talk and fewer commercial attractions, I’d be on the b-school island. I hope to take walks around the green campus in the warmth of the afternoon sun to shrug of my restlessness.

I want to get my work on the book done. At least to an extent from where I see a less anxious path forward. It’s going to be challenging. But when the nights are uninspiring, I’d have some tea, and remind myself of Obama writing his ‘Dreams from My Father.’  

Why do I want to do this?  I believe that getting my first book done will improve my existence than doing anything else. I will believe that I can produce a book. That belief will change the way I experience everything else. The more I write and believe in it, I will create more meaning out of my travels and other experiences. This is why it very important to finish this book. It gives me meaning.  

Of course, when I’m too lazy to work or crave for a travel adventure, I will catch up on my favorite films – The Sound of Music, Little Forest, Hideous Kinky, The Man from the Earth, Fresa y Chocolate, The Double Life of Veronique. And some books that match the mood – My Family and Other Animals, Hundred Days of Solitude, and a few travel books.

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Closure: The end of daily blogging and thoughts on writing daily

close up of fruits hanging on tree
There is a moment when the apple has to be plucked off the tree. That moment is this.

I have not been writing here for the last ten days. In that time, I have been scripting new plans, working on some interesting class assignments and a few personal projects, agonizing over the lack of drive, reading a book, and in general, being dissatisfied.

I found out that taking a blog to a book is not going to be easy. I took almost an hour to edit my first post. I couldn’t bear to continue with the second post – reading it made me doubt if there was a book at all here. I’ve left it there. I’ve been too scared to pick-up the word file to edit. It’s been untouched since.

But then, I know this is my first time visualizing a book, and it is perfectly normal to feel inadequate and terrified as I do. Four months ago, I’d have scoffed at the notion of a book of my own anytime soon. But I’m here now. I must embrace the stress and the anxiety that comes with the process and keep my perspective intact.

I thought and rethought if I must continue recording my days on this blog every single day. I’ve done my goal, will publish my book, where is the motivation to go on? There was a magical discipline to this process, why would I want to stop it? I’ve gained so much, how else would I have ever put together 60k words! But with new pressing issues like editing my book and the opportunity to do other exciting work, I wonder if it is the best use of my time to write about my day? Also, my schedule has meant that the writing I was doing was speed-writing without much flavor. I was focussed on achieving my targets than the quality of writing. But then again, there has been a network of benefits. Can’t I spend just half an hour every day writing down? What about recording the b-school life and lessons?

I could go on and on. But what I’ve decided is this. I’m committed to writing and still committed to recording my b-school days, and there are interesting things happening here. I will record my learning, though not on a daily basis but at least twice a week. I will strive for a higher quality of writing.

As I write this, I feel a heavy loss inside me. I did not know that recording your life every day can be addictive and too absorbing to disengage. It is almost like a day not written about is not lived at all.

I will always remember these 100 odd days of my life. They have been very special to me and have opened new paths ahead.

To learning. To writing. To life.

PS: I will be here and will be writing, and am committed to growing this community.