Musings

Why did I stop writing?

If you knew me since 2010 or 2011, you’d find it quite hard to believe when I say ‘I cannot write’.

I’m not new to writing, I’m not new to blogosphere. There were days in my life when I spent my time only writing down things, writing sentences and patching them up that I’d call as ‘poems’, writing and then striking them off because they’re not good enough for the world. That was the only way I could express. That was the only outlet to my creative freedom. As a child, I was not very good at any creative hobby like singing or drawing. I was encouraged to study more than pursuing hobbies. If you go and ask my parents, right now, why didn’t you encourage Vidya to have more hobbies, then they would answer with a counter-question, ‘Do these hobbies put bread on your plate?’

This was the answer (or question?) I got from my mom when I was throwing a tantrum to buy more sketches to draw in my 10th grade (passing 10th grade is a big deal in India). I was discouraged from drawing. I was discouraged from reading fictional books. I was discouraged from singing. I was discouraged from dancing.

The only thing I could do without grabbing attention from my parents was, yes you guessed it, writing. I wrote and wrote until there was nothing left to say. I’m embarrassed to go back to my old blogs and read them. I’m embarrassed to know that I felt such deep feelings at that age. I could have been spared from all those feelings if only I was given a medium to be creative if only I was a given choice to explore things other than studying. Like Natalie Portman, I don’t like studying, I like learning. Learning things that tickle my curiosity is beautiful. So, I was not against learning but I was this child who believed her parents’ words. I believed for such a long time that hobbies don’t feed you, they don’t put bread on your plate so they’re not worth pursuing, they’re not worth your time. Boy, were they wrong!

If I could go back in time and tell my younger self one thing, then it would be to let her know that hobbies DO NOT have to put food on the table. Not everything in life is pursued to make more money. If you do decide to make your hobby as your career, that’s a topic for another day. But, they are not necessarily pursued to create material wealth. They are pursued out of pure curiosity. Out of pure interest. Hobbies are like food for your creativity. They are an outlet to express what you are as a person. They shape your thinking. They help you explore the corners that are otherwise hidden away. Hobbies simply exist to bring you joy, not money. If they do bring money, well then, aren’t you the luckiest person in the world? ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re wondering where you could access my old blogs, you can click here and here. But, I’d advise you not to do yet. If you could refrain from reading them at all, that would be really nice too because I don’t want you to discover that childish, immature girl which I was. I’ve only shared this as a proof to let you know that what I was talking about my writing years was all true. It gave me so much freedom to be what I wanted to be. I lived in fiction, I weaved stories, I was playing with sentences, I was experimenting with rhymes, oh whatnot. I loved writing. It was the one thing I regret not doing anymore.

If you ask me why I stopped writing if I loved it so much then I have no concrete reason. Every reason feels like an excuse. But, this post which I wrote back in 2011 has a little truth to it. I’m not great at expressing myself when I’m happy. I simply stay quiet and enjoy the moment. As I grew, people started saying that being an open book isn’t good. I shouldn’t be sharing feelings that I was sharing. Although I did not listen to them initially, they got me eventually. I stopped writing. I stopped expressing myself through writing. At least, I did not put everything in public. I did not share. I did not let the world know that I write. I let myself forget the one thing which brought me joy.

When I reached an age where I’m more independent in my thoughts, I started exploring other hobbies as well. Painting. Binge-watching Hollywood movies, exotic ones even. Book scraping. Bullet journaling. Tried to learn music by playing a keyboard. Reading and hoarding 100s of books. Dancing alone, locked in my room. You see, as I grew, I started exploring more and more mediums to express myself. Also, I don’t consider scrolling through Facebook feed or Twitter timeline as a hobby although I did do all of that and still do. There never was a year without me doing something besides learning.

This year, I finally found my way back to explore old and new hobbies. I started curating a Newsletter called The Curious Bunch and blogging (as you can see here now). I initially created Learn With Vidya to explore my interest in Data Science and AI. I did write a few articles around it. I tried to dedicate some time in the evenings to research and come up with new articles under those categories. But I quickly realized I cannot be confined within 2 or 3 topics. My interests vary. Research and writing are two things I cannot confine myself with just a few handful of topics. If given enough time, I want to explore the depth and breadth of any topic, any category. I’ve recently come across this tweet by Jordon

and I’m obsessed with this idea the same as him! I couldn’t contain myself when I found another person who resonates with my thoughts. It gave me so much confidence to go forward and just explore the wilderness which is out there. Right now, I’m brainstorming 3 topics. Writing, Life stories (like how I rambled about hobbies), and NoCode tools.

I’d like to see myself as a writer someday, I know, too big of an ambition, but you know a girl can have silly dreams as well. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ So, I’d like to continue writing, a blog post a week so that I don’t give up on this again. This is my primary medium to express myself without limiting myself. I may write fiction, share some stories from my life, or my moods, oh I don’t know, everything I want to put down on a paper and is decent enough to share with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve recently discovered NoCode on Twitter and I consider myself lucky to participate in a community and make friends along the way through that community. In short, NoCode tools enable you to do things that are traditionally done by someone who knows how to code. Like making beautiful websites or landing pages. You might think only a person with deep knowledge and years of experience in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript would be able to create a responsive website. But, I already proved you wrong by building a landing page for my newsletter The Curious Bunch with a NoCode tool called Carrd*. Why don’t you give it a try? If you are interested in creating Web Apps, Websites, Blogs, Mobile Apps, all without writing a single line of code, join me on Twitter or simply search for #NoCode hashtag there. You’ll find a ton of posts and a community around NoCode. I’ll be introducing you to communities that you can be part of, tools you can explore to achieve specific tasks, apps you can build with NoCode in the future posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoyed this little piece from me today. This is me, re-starting writing and blogging. See you sooner than you think!

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5 thoughts on “Why did I stop writing?

  1. Hey Vidya, this is a wonderful post. I read it from start to end without stopping. Thank you for being so honest and sharing all this. It relates to me so much, especially the part about trying out different hobbies before discovering writing.

    Keep sharing. Your writing is very relatable. ๐Ÿฅฐ

  2. Hi! I felt like I was reading my own story lol. I used to read and write a lot but after high school I stopped reading and writing. My parents didn’t support all of this during my school days just like yours. I used to be an emotional mess during my school days which made me more expressive in my writing. Now that I have surpassed my teens and have attained emotional and mental stability, I don’t feel like expressing myself much and words don’t flow through me like they used to. I started women centric blog during lockdown but it didn’t work because I had hard time expressing myself, also I had no means of sharing it as I only use whatsapp for socializing. I wish I could get back at writing but blogging feels such a struggle like first you have to create content and then you have to work on gaining audience. I moved on to other stuff. However, writing is something I can’t seem to get over because I started writing when I was 6 and it was the only thing that made me feel good when nothing felt good in life.
    All the best!

    1. Hey Lakshita!

      You speak my words! I cannot believe how similar we are ๐Ÿ™‚

      Here’s some unsolicited advice though. Hopefully, it helps you with your writing.

      I’ve been feeling the same about writing for a year now. I didn’t socialize much on social media..I shut myself from every social media but I wanted to change few things in my life and so I restarted my Twitter again. Although I didnt plan to write when I started twitter, looking at everyone who’s expressing their thoughts and helping others through their creations, I slowly got this urge to write once again.

      I know if I didn’t write regularly I’d lose the habit and go back to not writing. That’s why I came up with this “tiny thoughts” category where I write at least thrice in a week. Mostly talking about what I felt while writing my Morning Pages.

      I think writing Morning Pages will help anyone who wants to express themselves tremendously. You just dump whatever thoughts you have on 3 pages, no rules, nothing. Just simply write what comes to your mind.

      This kind of writing is not for any audience. This is for yourself to help you express your feelings. They need not help anyone, they need not be relatable to anyone. But hey, if they turned out to be relatable to others, like it did here with you, then its just a happy coincidence and something which might help you keep writing and put your work in public.

      When we are starting a habit like writing, I don’t think we should expect any kind of perfectionism. I’ve written this blog with such difficulty! Its like I forgot how to put 2 sentences together. But somehow I kept at it and finally I was able to gain that courage to post it.

      The good thing about blog is we can go back and edit it if we do feel so ๐Ÿ™‚

      I highly encourage you to start writing a blog and share with the ones who you’d like to read your blog. Also, please do share it with me on my twitter @learnwithvidya if you feel comfortable enough ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m always up for reading your blog.

      Write for yourself first, we’ll see about others later. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Thanks! That’s so sweet of you. I recently decided to use prompts to write something daily, will try your method too. Also thinking of reviving my blog, let’s see. Hope to stay in touch with you as now we’re in same batch of IITM. Also thanks for sharing your notion notes, really helped me during revision and setting up my own notion. Since I’m not active on social media, my mail is lakshita1408@gmail.com and my blog is theladygaze.com ๐Ÿ™‚

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