Day 106: Satisfaction

I don’t know if its a consequence of the extensive discussions I had with N over the weekend, about productivity, self-improvement and mindfully working to get better at the things we want to do better, or if this was a long time coming, and the weekend just triggered a bubbling-over of energies. After weeks of struggling with procrastination, to the point of wondering if I have a condition because it was seriously debilitating me and getting in the way of normal functioning, I have had such an excellent week.

I managed to get on top of my pending assignment-related work.

I sorted out pending invoices and now have a clear sense of where I stand with outstanding payments.

I finished all my assignments for the week well within the deadlines.

I got through all 24 open tabs on my browser, reading what I wanted to and shutting the rest down.

And then, I shut my laptop down. Four days in a row.

I don’t know when that happened last.

I feel rather pleased. But not just because my to-do list got ticked off. But because I had two fun pieces go live this week. And that can only be good.

First, this interview with Sarah Todd who went from being a model to Masterchef Australia top-contender (season 6, for those of you who watch, and remember), to opening a fine dining restaurant in Goa, to now launching a cookbook. I’ve always enjoyed chatting with Sarah, for her freshness and complete openness to meet with anyone and engage with them. I really had fun writing interviewing her for this one. It was my first for The Hindu, something I was looking to tick off this year.

It was a good way to begin the week. Then I had this very fruitful four days, feeling very accomplished and satisfied with my work. And the week ended with my first personal essay going live. The one I talked about here (when I said I am working on being brave and going on there a little?).

Well it went up here, today, about a topic so close to my heart — being childfree and being happy and fulfilled. And the rest of my day was pretty much just shot, dealing with responses and notifications and mentions. I didn’t get much work done today, but I’m not complaining. It was the culmination of a project that did many things for me.

It exposed me to a new format that I have stupidly ignored for so many years now. Considering I’ve been blogging for nearly ten years, it’s a shame I didn’t see the personal essay as a legit writing style. I have always thought of my rambles here as strictly “non work” and I had a wake up call early this year.

It taught me a thing or two about finding different ways to say the same thing. That the first attempt is not necessarily the best attempt and that sometimes you have to dig deeper and find a way to really communicate what you’re saying rather than just state it.

That it is possible to reach that sweet utopic spot — the meeting place of creative satisfaction, a healthy deserved earning, and the process of writing itself, minus the frills we have come to believe are essential in navigating this monstrous writing business.

But most of all it made me realise how I’ve been looking high and low for outlets to publish my work, struggled against the grain of what is becoming “food writing” and felt frustrated at being boxed in, while all along I have been sitting on this minefield of fodder. So deep is my conditioning, my rigid, fixed, unchanging idea of work, that this experience has undone some of those tightly held ties. Relaxed some notions, and shown me a whole world waiting to be explored.

And really, that is the single most, biggest satisfaction I have from the week gone by. It’s not in the work itself, it’s not in the knocking off of the to-do list in military fashion, it’s not even so much in the paycheck (although that is a sweet deal) but in the discovery of a whole new outlet of expression.

And it was just nice to be able to see two pieces in one week that didn’t involve a) making a listicle and b) the forced mention Goan food.

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5 Replies to “Day 106: Satisfaction”

  1. Always love reading your blog. It’s honest, blunt and refreshing.
    And kudos to you for writing the ‘no-kids’ article. Sailing in the same boat, it was quite assuring to know that there are others who feel the same way. Takes away a lot of guilt out of you.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. I am not a professional writer. Literature is not even my domain of work. And yet I have felt so very many times that the stuff I put up on my blog can easily be made into personal essays that have enough staying power for its target audience. Again, like you I have never pursued it because who should I even begin to pursue it with?
    I am very glad to find at least someone else like me who has discovered this veritable minefield of fodder. And really what better post to start it with than the no-kids-and-still-happy one. That post of yours is tagged as ‘For my strength’ in my feedly bar. :)

  3. I loved your second piece and can totally understand and relate with your views and I am a mother :). I was called weak for a number of years before having my child and now the same skinny body is called slim and fit after i have had a child.
    I don’t understand why people can’t mind their own business and let others be and enjoy their life the way they want to, why the need to point to others to conform to your views, why only your idea of happy is the right way to be happy. Having a discussion about it if you find some merit in it is great if the other person is also interested in the discussion, but showing disapproval or slyly trying to put someone in a spot is downright rude. I don’t understand how our supposedly elders get away with such rudeness and don’t even realize the respect that they lose. I have known some youngsters carry such views, but the elderly population trying to push down their ideas and lifestyle choices far outnumber them any day.
    Your article was very well written and much needed, we need more such articles/discussions and we need them on bigger platforms.

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