Every day that I don't write makes writing again more difficult. I don't because I convince myself what I write next needs to be significant. I don't have anything meaningful to talk about. Why does it need to be meaningful? And meaningful for whom?

The most meaningful thing I do is live my life. Isn't everything happening to me, around me, of the most importance? Why won't, then, #writing about it be meaningful? It is to me and that's all that should matter.

I don't write for readers to find meaning in what I have written. I write to calm myself down. I write to focus.

No surprise then that every time I stop writing, I am more unsettled. The restlessness is not the cause of my block. It's the effect.

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I keep my writing simple while conveying my thoughts. It is the most effective way that I know. I learnt this from all the people I enjoy reading online. But Derek Sivers has been the most significant influence.

There was a time when I liked to ornament my writing with unnecessary words. A lot of context. Too many adjectives. Metaphors.

I don't do that anymore as it is unwarranted for my kind of #writing. I don't want to pen the most beautiful piece of prose. Or be creative with the use and selection of words. I write to convey my ideas and that needs just clarity. Manu says this while sharing why he feels he is not a writer.

What matters here is not the writing, is the communication. Is the exchange of ideas, and the sharing of experiences.

I relate to this thought. As long as what I want to say is unambiguous, and is understood without trouble by the reader, my goal behind why I write is met. The length of the post or my vernacular does not matter.

I want my writing to sound as I do while I speak. And I don't articulate. I talk.

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I came across this brilliant quote from Leslie Lamport — “If you're thinking without writing, you only think you're thinking”. It's simple yet so meaningful.

Writing reinforces my thoughts. It won't be a stretch to say that I understand my thoughts only through #writing. Distil them. Before that, they are just fuzzy noises in my head.

While in school, my teachers would force me to write down what I learned to remember it better. We, students, were made to write chapters multiple times to learn them. But at that time, learning meant remembering things. Not grasping them. I wish someone had told us that writing helped us understand things better. I would have fallen in love with writing a lot earlier.

There's another analogy to Lamport's earlier quote: “If you're thinking about writing, you only think you're writing.”

Though I haven't written much for the past few days, I thought a lot about writing. Every day, I had a new idea to write about. Every day, I gave myself multiple reasons why I shouldn't write about it. Many ended up in drafts. Many had a painful death in my head. It's a terrible place to die for an idea. So I must let them out more often, in whatever ugly shape or form.

I often have such phases when for every inspiration on why I should write, my mind comes up with a hundred distractions about why I shouldn't. The only way I have known not to fall for the lure of distractions is through the routine of fixed time and place for me to write.

If I present myself, the words find a way out. Thinking doesn't do that. Writing does.

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I read a post today that I had written around 15 years ago. Reading my words from yesteryears, especially from my early days of blogging, reminds me every time how fearless I was in expressing what I had in mind. Not everything I wrote made sense. But it wasn't bogged down by a fear of correctness.

Correctness of idea. Of language. Of grammar. Of words.

Is my #writing susceptible to that fear now? I hope not because, to me, it needs to be free-flowing. Sure, I am more alert to the mistakes in my use of the language. Or of words. But that's bound to happen naturally over years of reading and writing.

This reminds me of a nice quote from an Indian actor I respect, Pankaj Tripathi. He was talking about how fame and money have changed the artist in him. An artist, he said, is much more courageous and adventurous when they are new and lack money. Their experience, popularity and earnings make them powerful but timid.

I believe the same applies to one's experience with writing words. What I gained in correctness, I likely lost in courage.

So, which version of the self do I enjoy reading more? I like to believe that my writing has improved over these years. I am no master, but I am not an amateur either. Even though I am not the same fearless blogger from the past, I don't mind this slightly mindful version of myself.

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I have written spontaneously in this space for the last few days. Sure, there's a schedule to it, but no structure. I show up at a fixed time and type away all the thoughts at the top of my mind. Most often, it's a single thought that's clouding my mind. But there are also days when I write about a few thoughts strung together. Then, as I begin writing on a particular day, I have no clue what I will write about, just like today.

I looked at the blinking cursor, and no thought jumped to the fore. Everything was mundane. Not something that I felt strongly enough to put into words.

It made me realize how difficult it is to be spontaneous while #writing. I had once noted in my diary that spontaneity in writing is priceless. It is. But it is not natural to me. The train of thought that passes by as I try to stitch the words together makes the job tad more complicated. Before I am through with an idea, my mind is already wandering to the other, more alluring one. I, then, write about neither.

Over the years, I have turned into a planned writer. I usually have a skeleton clear in my mind about what and how I want to say. The planning at times makes me numb.

That wasn't the case when I began writing and publishing on my blog. I was an instinctive writer then — when an instinct hit me, I got rolling. I wrote till the time permitted, and the thoughts flew everywhere. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to comment on. Precisely what and how were determined as I typed along.

The posts I wrote then sure weren't the best of my works.

Yet I want to find that writer within me again. He was fun. Next, lend him my experience from writing over these years. He will bring the ideas, and I will bring in the sanity. My anticipation for this space is to be that playground.

I hence append the note I had made. Spontaneity in writing is priceless. Just be prepared.

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It was a wonderful morning today — I spent time reading and #writing a lot. Nothing public. I made a journal entry in Day One after almost a month. And read a few posts from the read-later backlog. As I browse social timelines daily, I come across many excellent articles that I push to be read later. The list, though, continues to pile up. In my read-later queue are articles going back years which I know I would never reach. But they stay there, forgotten.

I do not like this and wish I would improve on both — make private journaling and reading from my feeds & queues more regular. However, I recently found brilliant services for this.

Given my love for Day One, I was psyched to read the recent update of it being available on the web. It makes the service even more accessible. I made today's entry from the web interface itself, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how clean the experience was. With the feature still in Beta, though, the developers have warned of the possibility of losing the data. That's not something I would like; hence I logged off immediately. But I do see the potential.

I am enjoying using Readwise Reader (also in Beta) as my read-it-later service. It has everything I want – support for subscribing to RSS feeds and newsletters. However, the most significant benefit is its integration with Readwise (duh, of course). So my highlights from the articles are regularly presented along with those from the books on Kindle. I love the experience Reader provides and wish to use it more.

I find it funny, though, that it is not my smartphone that I enjoy doing either of these tasks. Instead, the smartphone continues to be a distraction, something to be kept feet away from myself while reading or writing. That is all.

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It's only been two weeks since I have written a post every night, and I already feel off if I do not sit down to write as the people around me sleep. This has been a nice routine. I feel relieved that I publish something every day. I was very close today to skipping writing. A brief moment ago, I was extremely sleepy. Then I needed to record one observation.

Even while doing nothing, walking around the house is enough to freshen me up. Putting me back in the mood to get back to the routine. And once I am in the zone, sleep doesn't disturb me. It's only a brief moment of weariness that I need to fend off typically. That I need to overcome it to sit down at my regular place.

And then the words start flowing.

What also helps is I have marked a corner as my #writing place. Every day, at a fixed time, I sit down and start typing on a blank page. Today, I tried writing at a place which wasn't my regular corner. I failed. I was distracted by sounds. Or the lack of regular sounds in my corner.

The moment I returned to the writing place, the process became easier.

Being productive writing only at a particular place/time or in a particular environment isn't sustainable. But it's a hack that works for me and might help pull me out of the writing slump.

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. ― Stephen King

I am done waiting.

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One of my routines for the past week is spending a good couple of hours on my laptop reading and writing stuff before I go to bed. This all started with my change in daily routine, where I begin the day late and stretch it late. Mornings never allowed me a good couple of hours for anything. At night, I feel in control.

Knowing that I will spend time writing during the night, a task right at the end of the day also frees me from feeling burdened in the morning. Otherwise, I felt I had to get words in before the grind began, or I would ruin my chance.

Sure, #writing to a writer shouldn't feel like a burden. But with my recent slump, the only way I knew was to push myself to get at least 100 words in every day. On anything and everything. I have been doing that for the last few days, mainly looking inwards. In a way, these are all my journal posts.

My growing liking for the write.as platform was timely too. I haven't announced this blog's feed to other known places. I don't share these posts at all. No crossposting either. These thoughts aren't open to comments in any way.

Would you write more (+freely) if you know no one is reading?

I had quipped recently. If these past couple of weeks are anything to go by, it's true for me, at least.

Will I never publicise this feed? Or share any of these posts? No idea. But if I do or someone stumbles across this place and follows the feed, I am happy to gain a reader organically. After all, who doesn't like his words being read?

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