Becoming a writer..

At the age of 10, my uncle and aunt gifted me a notebook. It was spiral bound, semi-hard bound and had a couple of stickers with quotes from famous authors about the art of writing on it. On the first page was a little note from my uncle and aunt talking about how they thought I would someday make a great writer. Along with that they had given me ten ideas to write a story on. The book instantly became a source of wonder for me. I wouldn't ever care sharpening my pencil in class for anything, but when I would open this notebook and look at the ten ideas, I would be instantly gushing with excitement and tirelessly begin to sharpen a couple of pencils and embark upon a story. Some of my classics included, 'The autobiography of a 50 ps coin', critics (my aunt, mom and sister) rated it as an important 20th century piece of literature. There was the rather mature story of an American pilot caught behind enemy lines and sympathising with the people of Iraq to one day fly for the Iraqi Air Force. This one scared the critics a bit, but much praise was heaped upon my little mind. All in all the notebook was a great success because in me it kindled a sense of pride, to write and express myself and for it to count.
A few years later as I would dip my Chinese pen in a bottle of ink before an English exam, I would lick my lips at the prospect of an English essay. It was always the most special moment of all my exams. And whenever the faculty thought it was good enough to be read out in class, I would know that that little notebook back then had done its magic. It had created a writer. It seemed like I was destined for only one thing in life. The critics, (a few more English teachers and friends got added to the list) agreed wholeheartedly.
As the years went by, my writing always found a way to find itself on some paper, a document on MS Word or on some blackboard in an empty classroom. I began blogging when I was 18, on this very blog and then moved on to another two blogs. Throughout this journey, I started and stopped many ideas for a novel, changed many laptops, shifted back to writing in a spiral bound notebook, wrote exclusively on a white-board in my hostel room. Well, to say the least, I tried everything. And I don't even know why. Writing has always been a great release for me, it's how I feel after a long run. There is this pleasure in the pain and exhaustion you feel after and also a pleasure in the pain and exhaustion during. But after I get back from that run, settle down, take a couple of sips of water and untie my laces, I'm just back where I started. Going for that run didn't mean I was getting anywhere specific, I wasn't changing anything forever. It was just an incremental change to my current state of being which in the larger scheme of things is too minuscule to count for anything. If my Running App tells me I have completed 50 miles a month, those 50 miles haven't taken me 50 miles away from where I am. In the same way with close to 100 blog posts over the last few years, I haven't really moved anywhere, I haven't gotten to any place new. Now how does that make 10 year old me feel about all that effort put in creating a compelling story about a 50 ps coin?
Well, I guess the answer lies in this little moment right now. Yes, this very moment, these very words I am typing. How right now my eyes are wide open, my heart is beating a little faster than usual. Just a slight bit faster. About how every worry in the world seems to have been buried somewhere, somewhere I won't be able to even search till i'm done with this post. It is in those few seconds when I will post this and I will see that moving circle of Google Chrome loading my blog post, and then seeing it live on my blog. The joy isn't in ten thousand people reading it (how I would love that) but in ten people reading it and with two coming back relating with that feeling or asking me why I don't feel differently. The adrenaline is in that sleep induced moment at 5 AM when I wake up to see a few messages on my phone of people who loved the post, who want to understand more. Nothing wakes me up like that, nothing, and I mean nothing compares. And then the heart slows down, the racing stops and I read it again. I scroll through it slowly and I begin to relive the exact stream of thoughts that went through my mind while I wrote it, the other ideas that were swirling while I was checking it for grammar. All those thoughts, that heartbeat, the wide eyes, the excitement to see someone's comment, the messages early in the mornings, the Likes on my Facebook page and that one off person who decides to follow my blog just because this one post inspired them or lit up their day..
That is why I wrote that story back then, the story of the 50 ps coin. That was all I wanted and felt back then. That is all it takes to become a writer.
I'm going to love reading this tomorrow morning.