I haven’t written anything new in the last month and a half, partly because I was writing for the two organizations that I am a part of: college and The Varsity. Essays and mid-terms have taken up much of my time; when those don’t occupy my attention the rest of my life does. The story that I have been working on for The Varsity is intended for this year’s winter magazine and explore censorship in Canada. I do hope that those who follow this blog (thank you!) and others who stumble across it will glance at it when I post the link.
I had some time to reflect on what (and how) I write and I realized a few things:
- This blog has a grand total of….. 8 followers. One of them is my father and he is biologically obligated to read the stuff I write – starting with my discovery of the magical alphabet.
- Writing needs to be personal; we should do it for ourselves and derive inspiration from things around us. It does not need to be, and should not be, about the emotional value of one’s wedding sari or the time the goldfish died. Nobody cares.
- Being funny is hard and exhausting. Writing funny is even worse
- Self-promotion can occasionally seem desperate. After discovering 8 followers, I know it is. I’m fairly certain that the bundled-up, tired looking person sitting across me on the TTC did not care about the twenty posts I wrote, but they’re Canadian so they feigned interest anyway.
- But we (read: I) still do it because good (read: fairly remunerated) journalism is nearly extinct. Responsible journalism seems to be dying too, but that unfortunate story needs to be told elsewhere.
- Everybody cannot write; I work as an editor at a newspaper so I know.
- Caring about what others think, kills a writer; in the Age of the Troll this is no joke. But we still do, because nobody likes to be told that their work is shit.
- The more politically aware you become, the harder it is to be (and write) humour because what if that joke was inappropriate/ racist/ sexist/ not-applicable-to-the-entire-targeted-group.
- Fact checking is essential, unless you enjoy looking like a fool. Reading a book about grammar is wise, but most people aren’t. Editing is important and a good editor is priceless.
- Knowledge of social media is a must for every serious 21st century writer.
- Every time you share a blog post on social media, your heart beats a little faster and your brain screams out in defiance at the inevitable commentary. Every. Single. Time