Monday, May 9, 2016

Reflection post

Have you looked at your reflection is a lake or a river or a shiny steel plate recently? Unlike mirrors, rivers and steel plates often distort the image. One minute it's perfect and the next, it's a blur. Reflections throw back images of what could have been, what is and hopeful glimpses of what lies ahead. Ripply watery images are my favourite---they are abstract, transient and soft like Monet's water lilies.

And then there are images one sees with closed eyes; the introspective kind.

Sitting down to write, after almost a week, I look back at April. It whizzed by like a fast car chase and left me hankering for more. But, it showed me things, some I liked and others I didn't and some I wasn't ready for.

Z followed the rest of the letters of the alphabet with an urgency and an obsession that surprised me and exhilarated me.

Plans, as usual, were made. Big, lofty plans to write first drafts for all 26 letters (before the challenge started) had been made way back in February. Plank by plank, the plans unhinged, caving in to my Netflix addiction, leaving me cold--out in the open. Unprepared and overwhelmed, I wondered why I'd bothered to enter. The penultimate day of March knocked me back to my senses and a list emerged on my lined notepad: letters on the left, ideas on the right. I would jot down ideas in purple, pink and pencil. Then on the day, I'd sit and think and start writing. Ten minutes or two hours later, the topic for the post would rise to the surface, gasping for air, before plunging back into the delicious deep waters of creative writing and take me with it. I LOVED it.

The first post, A, was ready on time. It was a good start. B came blundering on to the screen. I was on my way. I fell in love. No, actually I fell into a self-centered-obsession: obsessed with thinking about what to write, how to start, then to sit and write, to post, to share, to comment, to read other blogs, to read comments and so on. I lived in my selfish blogging bubble for the thirty days of April.

Looking at my reflection in the torrent of this challenge, I see the good and the not so good:

First the good: 
  1. Finding other blogs and bloggers: discovering recipes, music, books, stories and salivating over photos clicked by talented clickers was the absolute highlight of April 2016. 
  2. Reading comments left by other visitors and replying and writing comments on other blogs and making connections.
  3. Writing, writing, writing.
  4. Thinking, musing, mulling, behaving a tad like Vincent Van Gogh--obsessed and unable to think of anything other than the blog posts.
The not so good:
  1. Follows from point #4 above. This obsession took me away from cooking decent meals, keeping a tidy house and a lot of other mundane activities. I'm not the one who's complaining:)
  2. Realising that when it comes to writing/blogging, I turn into a selfish person. I may have started the challenge with noble intentions, such as visiting other blogs and commenting selflessly, irrespective of who visited me. But it didn't last long. As the month progressed, I found myself visiting the blogs that had paid me a visit, too, and shying away from the ones that didn't bother to reciprocate. Maybe, it was the time constraint or maybe, I'm ruthless, after all. 
Comments from fellow bloggers and readers are like beacons. They guide the blogger through the choppy waters of her doubts and dithering and deposit her safely to the shore of her next post. 

It feels good to know that your words have been read, that they've found a reader and that they're not evaporating into ether. It's only human, I guess.
So following on from the point above, I'd like to say a big 
Thank YOU
to all those who paid me a visit, read the posts and left a comment.
Thank YOU
to all those who visited but didn't leave any comments. I'd love to hear from you, though.
Thank YOU to the team at A to Z 
my fellow bloggers for an awesome April.
On the whole, I'd LOVE to do it all over again next year. Couple of 'A to Z' lists (with gaps) have sprung up on my notepad. I might even pick out a theme next year, let's see.

And I'd urge you (dear reader who is also a blogger) to participate next year. It's like going down a slide--it may be sticky to start with, but the thrill gains momentum and then when you land on your bottom on the ground, you look over your shoulder, heart still beating fast with excitement, and think to yourself, 'I did that!'

I entered the challenge as a blogger, but came out the other end feeling like a writer. It feels tremendous.

I didn't know I could write on such short notice and so regularly. I haven't since the 30th of April, but I know I can.


  1. Hello Arti!

    Congratulations on completing the A to Z Challenge! I can completely understand the desire to slow down after such a huge event, but don't be gone too long - you don't want to lose that momentum you've built up. Plus, we'll miss you.

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    1. Awww, thank you Mary. That is the sweetest thing I've read in a comment:)
      I will be back as soon as the new place is functional; I'm obsessing over greys and blues and seashore shades to put on the walls these days.

  2. Wonderful that you enjoyed the AZ-- thanks for finding me. I'm glad, because it led me to this beautiful blog.

    Happy blogging!


  3. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog even if it was after the A-Z. Now we have met! I had so much fun doing the odd deaths thing. My mind works like that. The odd things in life seem to interest me most.

    Hope to see you again!

    1. Hey Teresa. I'm glad we met, too. And I find odd things most interesting.

  4. What a fab reflection post, it sounds like this challenge was really fun for you :) I love the challenge and I do try and visit everyone, unfortunately I fell a little short!

    1. Cheers Debbie. Your flash fictions pieces had me hooked. I loved them. I'm in awe of people who can say so much with such few words.
      You've inspired me to give it a go-- let's see.

  5. What a beautiful picture. I like a rippling water reflection as well. It seems peaceful somehow.

  6. There's nothing wrong with not following those who don't reciprocate. VERY smart move. Some people click over and it just isn't their thing. That's fine! I read as many as I could but I definitely focused on returning those who commented mine first, then went out to find new ones. If they didn't visit, my little routine would ensure I wouldn't read theirs again.

    1. Hi Stephanie.Thanks for visiting and commenting. I moved house a week ago, and it's crazy busy right now, but will pop over and check your blog out soon. I like that you call it a 'VERY' smart move:)

  7. Dearest Arti - I have been wanting for WEEKS now to sit myself down and read your entire posts from A to Z... but alas, it hasn't yet happened. I wanted to at least touch base tonight and let you know that I WILL be catching up with you soon, and just by the bit of scrolling i've done here the past few minutes, it looks like I'm in for a treat. I'm happy it's Friday tomorrow & that I have the weekend to myself. You are SO brave to have taken on this monthly writing challenge, and i love what you said about going in feeling like a blogger & coming out feeling like a writer. That in itself makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it? I also love what you said about blogging/writing making you selfish. I'm with you on that one. And perfectly ok with being selfish. :) Can't wait to absorb all this beauty of yours on the weekend. xx

  8. Hi Pauline. Thanks for visiting:) I've been busy; moving to a new house, packing, unpacking, painting, sorting-- all very, very exhausting, but rewarding, too.
    You must be thrilled it is June:) Your work days are over, right?
    I'm off on a trek soon, so I will be off blogging for a bit(no internet in the mountains:. Hope to catch up with you soon. Enjoy your summer. xx

  9. Hi Arti, visiting your blog after a while. Loved reading 'reflections'. It takes a lot of honesty and courage to take up a blogging challenge of this kind and then to sit down and analyse the whole whirlwind event from different aspects. Congrats again! And keep writing.....

    1. Thank you Ruchita. It's been more than two months of travelling and no writing, I guess it's time to reconnect with my keyboard:) xx

  10. Hi Arti, visiting your blog after a while. Loved reading 'reflections'. It takes a lot of honesty and courage to take up a blogging challenge of this kind and then to sit down and analyse the whole whirlwind event from different aspects. Congrats again! And keep writing.....


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