None of us know for sure what the future holds. We make guesses to shape the best possible approximations of what we think our future will be. Take me, for example. Last night, I continuously tossed and turned in the bed – as the day of my big move nears, I can feel its effect already. For the uninitiated, I am going to be in a completely different part of the country come next week, starting my first ‘real’ job, away from the warmth and protection of home. Needless to say, I am a nervous wreck at this point. Anyway, last night, while fighting insomnia, I formed last-minute plans for the things that I had been putting off for sometime: visiting the bank, going to the telephone office for porting my cellphone number to a different operator.
This morning I woke up and mother informed me that today is a national holiday. Of course, it is! Our father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Gandhiji, was born today (And so was my mother! Happy birthday, Mom!). How could I forget about the national holiday? National holiday means both the offices I mentioned above will remain closed for today. This sent me into a panic mode. The things I mentioned above really need to be done, but tomorrow, Saturday, is a half day and I am so not sure if everything will go as per my plans. What if the bank manager decides not to come tomorrow?
You see? You make plans and then future screws them and has a good laugh at your expense. I could go on to give far more scary examples, but this is the last day of Writing 101, so I should aim to sound hopeful.
I won’t start by saying ‘5, 10, 20 years from now,’ because I live in a perpetual worry that I might not live to see another day (I am grateful for every single day I breathe in Earth’s atmosphere, no matter how polluted it is). My plans are fairly short-term as far as writing goals are concerned.
Writing 101 has taught me a few crucial things:
- If I force myself to respond to prompts, I churn out things which I didn’t even imagine myself to be capable of doing.
- Second point is somewhat related to the first point: I am what they say, an ‘organic’ writer. I do not plan, I definitely do not plot. I sit down before the blank MS Word page and let whatever story come to my fingertips. So much so that I have never really written stories off prompts for practice. But now that I have surprised myself with what I could do in response to prompts, I must do it again! Everyday!
- I can play with word count anytime I want. Even though, with the new job I may hardly find time to write longer pieces, I can surely write some six-word stories or hundred word stories while watching people eat at the office cafeteria! Remember the W101 task about writing in a cafe?
- Thanks to W101, I experimented with writing serialized stories on the blog for the first time. The story in point, Not Today, was published over three days. Each day as the story unfolded, I received feedback from the readers saying they enjoyed how the story built up that far. That excited me to write the next part. That also made me nervous, because I worried I might disappoint the readers with the next piece – which motivated me to think harder, try harder. For the first time in my life, I tried to make a conscious effort to plan things! Yay to that!
Armed with all these lessons, my aim in the immediate future is to write everyday. Even if it’s not a fully formed story, then maybe a character sketch or a vignette. But write I must, and everyday. This is important to me at this moment because I am unsure of how much the move will cripple me emotionally and how much time I have to devote to writing once work starts.
I have really enjoyed this 20 days of rigorous writing cum blogging. A big hug to all my fellow W101ers and the readers who visited my blog and inspired me to write more with their feedback. I hope you’ll come back from time to time and inspire me in the same way as you have done so far. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Copyright © 2015 Arpita Pramanick
How about you? How have you planned your future? Does the uncertainty of the future restrict you from making plans? Please join in the conversation and share your thoughts with me! As they say, blogging is all about connecting! So let’s connect.