It’s difficult to gauge the impact people have had on you. This blog was much livelier at one point of time. Why so? I think it’s an easy answer to give. At the time I was surrounded by individuals who drove me to think and write about things. When they moved on a lot of that motivation and flow went along with them. Now I’m trying to teach myself to understand and work with the void. Before the reader can exist, I think I have to learn to write for myself.
At one point when this blog just existed, I did write with a lot more freedom. It’s a whole lot easier that way. Somehow that conversation doesn’t seem to exist any longer. Like a flickering light bulb it brightens and then dims unpredictably. That training to just come here and write seems to have vanished. That training to focus for extended periods of time in writing seems to have gone.
I’d spent a great number of years writing here for the web. At the time blogging was still a pretty new concept. Nobody really read my blog, but then again anybody could read it. I didn’t really understand the idea so well. I started the blog as something I thought would just stick with me and it did.
A colleague who first found my blog remarked that I was writing ‘so that I would remember my experiences when I’m older’. That was prescient. In a way what we write will live on even beyond us.
I wrote through my first job, I wrote through my post-graduate years and then later I wrote some more. Altogether 6 years worth of writing existed. I compiled it all together on this place when I decided to move to India.
Back home, I’d begun working with a colleague closely. Let’s call them Tom. I recall we got together and reviewed my blog going through each post. I remember it being in a professional context, but my writing was personal. The review may have had something to do with the fact that the blog was very visible when someone searched for me. I’m certain that colleague got the idea of why something like that needed to exist. On the other hand, the implications were awkward to spell out. Should we hide some of the posts? I was uncomfortable with the idea that every word that I’d put up here was being scrutinized.
I respect those who can write about their work in a commanding and engaging manner. If you’ve been able to get to that point, it couldn’t have been easy. Writing about someone can help boost them, or it can hurt them irrevocably. I’ve been at both ends, as the writer and as the written. It can also be beneficial. Imagine a single founder plugging away their experiences on a blog. An outlet for the frustrations they’re grappling with. Here the line between personal and professional doesn’t exist any longer.
Later Tom and I moved apart. I like to think he took something from here. He began to write for himself at a very different level, mastering the medium. I loosely stayed in touch with him and his writing. The void rolled in as time went on.
This afternoon, I was with my toddler when I received a text ‘Did I know the news about Tom?’ I did not. I hadn’t spoken to him in a while. I learned through friends that he had passed away in a freak accident. The unpredictable nature of life had hit hard. Remember that void I spoke about earlier? I felt it right there. There was nothing else to go by. I found some time for myself and I looked up their blog. I started to go over Tom’s writing. In an abstract way, he was there for that little bit, narrating his experiences.