chetan shenoy

Day 5 – Keep at It

15 Nov 2021

This is day 5 of my effort to write (almost) everyday for the next 30 days.

Writing everyday is harder than I expected. It's even tougher when life throws a curveball. My infant daughter had her first cold this weekend. I don't get sick often but when I do, I'm wiped out. I can only imagine it's worse for babies with a still-developing immune system. But I digress. I still missed three days worth of writing.

I'm pushing myself to continue. The benefit to my writing journey is that I have not held myself to any standard. As long as I'm writing, it counts. It's like working out. Some days at the gym are better than others. Missing a day isn't great but it doesn't cancel out the work put in beforehand. The key is to continue with it. I need to build that writing muscle.

There's something about forcing myself to write everyday. I'm flushing my busy mind. Thoughts that I have throughout the day pop up and re-introduce themselves to me. In some ways, a weight is lifted off of me.

Over a decade ago, I spent a year abroad as part of a volunteer program like the Peace Corps. It was rough. I was in the middle of a tiny village in India that had little access to electricity and no running water. I thought I made a huge mistake in the beginning. It was also monsoon season when I arrived. No electricity and constant rain in an unfamiliar place made me feel alone. Writing was the only thing I could do so I wrote in my journal every day.

Soon after developing the new habit, I bought a pocket notebook and small pen. As I started to interact with my community, I would take notes and jot down other thoughts. At the end of every day, my mind wouldn't be racing with thoughts. My mind was clear. In retrospect, I attribute overcoming the year to my note-taking habit.

Since then, I've noticed my mind racing when I've dropped the habit. It's like clockwork. But now, building the writing habit is harder and takes longer for the effects to compound. My mind is still foggy while I write this. So many thoughts I have are stuck there. It means I need to keep at it.