Heeding some advice I have received, I will desist from my usual, heavy, pessimistic stuff today! Also, it's rather late and I am rather tired and so something lighter will have to do (using rather twice in the same sentence is an indication of my state of mind!). I have been thinking of writing the story of a blog post for some time now, so here goes! It is, surprisingly, not so straightforward as it seems. The first problem is the eternal question - what should I write about?!! Surprising as it may sound, thinking of something at least somewhat original every few days is not exactly a piece of cake. I seriously applaud the daily bloggers who manage to maintain the standard as well as focus of their blogs. As you can see, mine ranges far and wide!! Mainly because I just start writing on the first thing that pops into my head and keep going from there (before any of you alert readers think I am contradicting myself, this post is an exception!!). I remember thinking when I began writing that I would never run out as there was so much in the universe to write about, now I am wondering where it has all disappeared!
Once the topic has taken shape in the mind, moving it onto the screen is the next step. This is easier said than done as there are many hurdles that contrive to obstruct smooth progress of the idea from brain to bytes. The first is the cold. Blogging in Shillong in the winter is not a very pleasant thing. As, in order to do it, one has to get out from under the covers. Here I must make a rather shamefaced confession. Our normal routine after coming back from work (whatever the time is) is to change as quickly as possible and then dive under the blankets in the bedroom. The house is really too cold to do anything else. Once under, it just seems wrong to get out into the cold again. The only reason to leave after that is to get dinner (which we have found is tastiest when eaten in bed!!). The unfortunate person whose turn it is to get it, invariably postpones this terrible event for as long as possible, leading to situations when the fear of the cold manages to overcome the pangs of hunger and we 'fast' for the night! And to make matters more interesting, our microwave has decided to give up the ghost meaning that food from the fridge can never be part of our evening menu! The end result of our routine is that our bed has come to represent a warm island in the sea of cold around us. As a result of which we have adjusted most of our activities of daily living to revolve around the bed! There are 2 bedside tables overflowing with books, medicines, snacks, empty plates and an assortment of other things whose purpose I am yet to fathom.
But I digress. When the cold set in, I realised that getting out from under the covers to blog was not compatible with a happy life and so we now have a chair next to the bed which holds the computer. Which has made things easier. But on the coldest days, it is still difficult to begin to write as this eventually involves raising at least the upper half of your body out of the blankets. And as I mentioned this is not exactly compatible with a happy life!
The next step of the blog post writing is the mood adjustment. Often a post will be halfway through before I realise that my mood is not conducive to writing on the particular topic. Many are the times I have read what I have written, wondered who would ever consider even glancing through such unmitigated nonsense and in a fit of fury delete the whole thing. (This is in grave danger of happening to this post as well!!) And if the thoughts stop flowing, it's time to quit. For once I am stuck, however long I ruminate and cogitate, it is unlikely I will ever be able to continue - such are the vagaries of my mind. Many are the unfinished posts languishing in the 'post graveyard' that is my dashboard.
Once the cold has been taken care of and the mind freed of encumberances, the next obstacle to successful blog writing emerges. Web distractions. Mail before posts is a prioritisation I have maintained ever since I started, mainly to see which posts (if any) have comments!! And being a regular reader of a few other blogs, there is always the temptation to have a quick look and see what's going on out there. Of course, it's never a quick look! And as happened today, a perfectly good idea for a post will have to be postponed in favour of some pure gas like this, due to the lateness of the hour caused by unmonitored browsing.
The next step is usually the easiest - typing out the post. This does not take too long. But as soon as the typing is over comes the inevitable feeling of inadequacy. This can't be good enough.... Who'd want to read this..... It is then that I turn in desperation to my wife, who by now is always fast asleep (blest as we are with two exactly opposite routines - she is ready for bed just when I enter my most productive hours!). Waking her from sleep sounds cruel, but at that point of time, is a total necessity. I could not dream of publishing the post without her approval. And neither will my intense nature allow me to postpone publishing till the morrow. So with tender endearments I proceed to arouse the sleeping beauty. It is a measure of my sweetheart's immense patience and forbearance and (hopefully) her love for me that I have been allowed to continue this routine for nearly 6 months without being thrown out of house and home!!
Once approval is granted (though sometimes she cannot even remember the topic in the morning!) comes the struggle to publish. Being blessed with a homozygous dominant perfection gene, the number of revisions for each post can range from 2 to 22 or even more depending on the lateness of the hour. With each proof reading new errors crop up and I feel unfulfilled until I have everything down to a T. It is usually during this time that the internet plays up as well and makes publishing a long, drawn-out and irritating affair. I have sometimes had to postpone publishing a post to the morrow for fear that in my tiredness and irritability at the unhelpful and unkind internet, I will waste a good topic with some bad writing or editing.
But finally, the post is done. It goes up on the page and the wait begins for a comment. But, as most of you bloggers out there know, the accomplishment of having finished the post overrides all the prior inconveniences. And the feeling of creating something original and interesting so inspires, that I actually start the whole process again the next day!
UPDATE: Thanks to the anonymous reader who pointed out the (now corrected) typo - it was an hilarious coincidence, I agree!
UPDATE2: The reader is now identified - it's Black Mamba!!