Geetanjali Mukherjee

Monday, January 3, 2011

Starting Out

It's a new year, and time for fresh starts and new beginnnings, an opportunity to leave the past behind, learn from my mistakes and find fresh pastures. Hi everyone and a happy new year. This is my third blogging attempt over the years, and I sincerely hope that this one will stick. I had written a blog during my college days, but my privileges ran out when I graduated and I had to abandon it. My second attempt was after college, but starting my Masters led me to post about once a year, and invariably, that went nowhere.

The reason I am starting afresh is because I realised in the past few months that whatever else I may do, I am a writer at heart. Perhaps this is a realization I should have arrived at long ago, but I was raised to aspire to a career that had a proven path, that zoomed upward at frequent intervals, not something that caused me to shut myself off in a room and type. I thus pursued other interests, always writing on the side, never believing that meant that I could be an actual writer, like the ones whose books I read. This year my resolution is to move beyond labels, even though society at every turn is desperate to label us, and even blogger wants me to provide labels for this post. Whether I call myself a writer or not is not important, what is important is whether I am writing everyday. For me, the struggle to be able to write freely is not a struggle against society, or my parents, or any one external factor. It is a struggle against my own mind, which tells me that I can only call myself a writer if I have published successfully, and if I have an impressive enough body of work. I reply to my mind, that arbiter of whether I have permission to write, what Julia Cameron calls the Censor. 'But I have published'. 'Yes, but how successful was it?', replies my Censor?

In the face of such negativity I often crumble, but that is the struggle. To keep writing no matter what. And this does not apply simply to writing. In any endeavour, naysayers will tell you that you can or cannot do something. The challenge is to persevere, and simply prove them wrong. So this year, my resolution is to keep challenge the naysayer in my head, and post about my triumphs and failures in this blog. So watch this space! And tell me about your naysayers, who or what holds you back.
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