I am neither a writer nor a poet and have done no formal studies in literature. I write here just like any other ordinary person expressing my feelings around my life. Hence most of my writings tend to be in first person.
I need to say that from time to time, I had adventured into writing, had stopped for a while and then I had restarted. My first experiences with writing come from my school days. I had participated in several story, essay and poem writing competitions. I also had very good encouragement from my teachers. It was also during this time that I came across people who were very good with their words. It seemed to me that words just flow for them when they start writing. And even now, I consider myself nowhere around them. Needless to say, I didn't continue serious writing after a while, keeping aside regular academic assignments.
I love reading. As a researcher, I need to read a lot of scientific papers. So reading is also part of my profession. But I think I loved reading ever since my childhood. I try not to restrict myself to just technical books. My reading list includes books from several domains. As I read the works of different authors from different places, especially novels, I love how, by the power of their writing, they are able to give a glimpse of the society where they are living. With words, they guide the readers to build a mental picture of the place of their characters. Quite often, I wonder whether the author had actually lived or travelled to these places or these places are mere imaginations of a society, the author desires to live in (or perhaps wishes to avoid living in). These works also make me realize that thanks to the efforts and some anecdotes, we know a lot about the history of human beings. Some of their viewpoints are subjective, while others factual and can be verified by other measures. There is no doubt that books play a signifantly great role in human culture.
Once, I overheard a conversation between two people. One was saying to the other about a recent book he was reading on a particular topic. I don't recall whether it was the topic or the author that made the other person say, "Nowadays, everyone is writing a book". I paused for a while and reflected on those words. Is it really true that everybody is writing a book these days? Logically speaking, at the very least taking into account some friends around me, I can assure that the above statement is not correct.
But let's reconsider the above statement once again. Even if we assume that the statement is true, what's really wrong with everybody writing a book. Our future generations will have a great, complete and subjective (possibly even contradictory) account of various events around our lives. People may have an exposition to the writings of other people undergoing similar problems and the actions that they had undertaken to resolve them. They will be sure that they are not the only ones going through a particular problem and there are at least a few others like them, if not many. Also the collective conscience and human culture progress further.
I have had conversations with people from various backgrounds in different places related to many of their seemingly unique issues. Every time, they share their stories, I really pause for a while and ask them why they do not consider writing their experiences. The responses are usually more or less the same. "I don't have time.", "Who's going to read my story?", "It's nothing worthwhile to share", "I will do it one day", "I am not a great writer" etc. to cite a few. I cannot say that I am immune to any of these reasons.
Some years back, I used to write posts on technology and programming related aspects. Then because of the combined pressure of research and work, I stopped for a while. However, my reading habits did not change. I must add that thanks to many other technological and programming blogs as well as forums, I have been able to resolve many of my technical and research problems. And because of these oft-unknown authors, many like me all are able to progress forward.When it comes to writing, I also struggle to overcome the issues of procrastination and self-undermining. But recently, thanks to the evolving story format1, I am able to write more often. I write and then rewrite, and yet never lose my valuable thinking process. My oft-incomplete posts calls me back, "You need to finish my first draft." But I am no longer pressed as before. I am aware that even my incomplete posts are able to recount my half-baked thoughts and unfulfilled dreams. I also attempt to adventure writing about topics that I don't know, something that would require me to do a lot more research on them. I can assure you it is really interesting and challenging, as they say.
I started this particular post talking about my background. I suppose that the words that I use on this site are simple, hoping they are able to narrate my version of the story, a story that will remain untold, if not written down. When I take a look at various historical writings, I wonder how hard it would have been for anyone without sufficient means to express their thoughts centuries back, especially before the age of printing machine. Books were hand-written and were available to a few handful. Now we have got the internet and the connectivity around the world has been improving. We often talk about the information age and the associated abundance of information. We seemingly have an opportunity to express our feelings and share with others and possibly to the future generation the anecdotes of our daily lives and struggles. We may try to undermine our own personal blogs with the words "Oh, it's just yet another blog", but through them, we are not only sharing our experiences with someone among us but also leaving behind a 'legacy' for the future generation.
Consider the history of literature of any language, especially poetry. There are (or were, depending upon to whom you are talking) several strict rules guiding the classical poetry. But as humanity advanced, many more came forward experimenting with new formats. They wrote poems that moved beyond those classical rules and yet those poems are able to transfer the poets' emotions and sentiments. This trend can be seen even in other areas like art where some of the artists of classical paintings took great care in achieving accurate representations of their subjects while many artists of the contemporary age use abstract ideas and leave it to the viewer for any further interpretation. My personal opinion is that this trend in art, writing or any other domain has permitted and encouraged more and more people and not just amateurs to come forward and present their works to a much larger audience to get their feedback and obtain tips for improvement. Hence this site is my personal experiment towards the goal of sharing my experiences through the medium of writing (and sometimes, even art as in this article).