I've always found it most amusing that my inspirations for writing can strike at the most inconvenient of times. For example, I'll usually be most inclined about write about something very pressing when I'm down to the wire studying for an exam, about to go to work, or at the gym (and my current state can be described as a combination of all three). I've been off the grid for a while. No blog posts since November isn't something I planned for when I was initially churning out a good volume of content, 1-2 blog posts a month. Writer's block will get the best of you sometimes.
One of the things most people are curious about finding in their lifetime is what their passion is. And to be honest, for a while, that whole concept was lost on me. My life rarely had any consistent notes of achievement or greatness in any sort of field. I participated in everything, excelled at some things, but rarely enjoyed anything. "Follow your passion" was my least favourite sentence because it was prompting me to chase a ghost- how could i follow something I didn't even know existed. There were many things I was interested in when I was growing up, but nothing that seemed to strike a chord when it came to passion. Passion, for me, wasn't something I could construct. It was an inherent, gut-feeling type of deal. It was also something I really had yet to experience, or so I thought.
Looking back at it, writing was something that was always there. In a life that consisted mostly of being dynamic and constantly in motion, writing was my rock. When I was about 5 or 6, I started writing poems. Usually little 3-4 lines, filled with nonsensical babbling and imagery I would add in to make a rhyme scheme work. My kindergarten teacher had gifted me with a little orange notebook for writing my poems in, which is something I still have today- really great reading if you ever need a dose of comedy in your life or just want to revisit poorly drawn elementary school stick figures with triangle-shaped bodies. My mom used to buy a lot of journals (still one of her habits to this day), so naturally it became a habit of mine to steal one or two of them for myself as use them for my own personal musings.
I was around 11 years old when my uncle first introduced me to the concept of a blog so that I could start sharing my writing with others. The blog, entitled "Confessions of a Chocoholic" is filled with some powerful thinkpieces that really reflected the maturity I had at such a young age. My personal favourite is a piece entitled "Hot and Sweaty". It reads:
For more inspirational nuggets such as this one, please visit http://mayaksblog.blogspot.ca/. Note my affinity for pizza at such a young age that has never really lessened over the years...I guess you could say that's my other true passion. Around the same time, I was gifted a journal, and decided to write one entry about my life, every month for as long as I could. I still keep it! One of my favourite things to do when I'm bored is to go back and read my entries from when I was 10 years old and my biggest problem was having a solo in my school's Christmas concert, and now I have to adult and I haven't got the slightest clue how.
I started writing a couple more blogs, one in 2011 and one in 2013. These ones started to move towards a more mature direction. I even had a catchy sign-off phrase, "Stay Contemplative!" that I would use for my later blog. However, both these blogs met their untimely ends and never really had a chance to blossom into the blogs they could have been.
Around the same time, I was introduced to The Book of Awesome, as well as the blog "1000 Awesome Things". I became a huge fan, religiously following the blog and buying ALL the merch. The best part about all this was, even though the author of the blog, Neil Pasricha, was an internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author, he was still a pretty average, down-to-earth guy. So down-to-earth in fact, that he worked at the Walmart Main Office in my hometown. He also worked out at the same gym as me. I finally got the chance to meet him when I was around 16 years old. I told him that I really enjoyed writing but that I also found it hard to start a project and also finish it. His advice to me was that no matter what, I just had to keep going. Through bad days, through sickness and laziness, through days when I had no inspiration or drive to write whatsoever, I had to keep writing.
To be honest, that's what the past few months have been for me. 0 will to keep writing. 0 inspiration whatsoever. I honestly could have stopped this blog and put all of this aside and allow yet another domain to sit and collect dust. But I couldn't do that to myself. Because I truly do believe writing is my passion. In a life that still consists mostly of being dynamic and constantly in motion, writing is still my rock.
I also wouldn't have had the motivation to write this if it weren't for my readers. Back when my last three blogs came to their abrupt ends, no one noticed. No one sounded the alarms. No one was following me or my thoughts. But this time, people did notice. Constant questions of "Are you still writing your blog?" "You haven't stopped writing have you? "When will you publish your next post?". My readers held me accountable. Often times I have engaged them in controversial topics, ones that aren't easy to discuss and hurt to think about. I've engaged debate and discourse. And I can't let all of that come to an end. So to my readers who have been following this blog (as well as all my work) for the past year and a half: thank you.
I apologize for not being more consistent. The truth is, I can't bring myself to write on a given schedule. I know I'm at my best when inspiration strikes (again, usually at a time most inconvenient) and this is the manner in which I will continue to write. My blog post in November was definitely not the last you will see of me.
This August, I was asked to speak to a group of high school students about my blog as part of a program called "Social Movements Through Media". Many of the kids were curious about my writing process, asking if I stuck to any particular schedule. While I could've given the advice that Neil Pasricha gave to me when I was the same age as them, I decided it was probably better to just be honest. "Honestly, I don't really have a schedule. I sort of just write whenever the inspiration hits". Trying to dig a bit deeper, I decided to give them a visual. "It's kind of like surfing. Sometimes you're just floating around waiting for something to happen and it doesn't. But then you hit this big wave of inspiration, and when it comes, you ride it all the way to the end and it's amazing". I cringed at the cheesiness. The students nodded and said "That's going on our quote wall".
In lieu of that metaphor, the last few months have been me, mostly just floating around and waiting for sometime to strike. I woke up early this morning before work and was bored, so I started reading through my old blog posts, and something shifted. November was not the last of me, or this blog. Writing is my passion, and is something I will continue to do for as long as I'm around. I promise I'm not going anywhere.