This rarely happens. All conditions never really meet. When I ask a question that seems important to me, all conditions must meet before I share somewhere:
. I get an answer
. The answer clicks with me
It sounds interesting and I remember the details
. I know of an audience to share with
I really feel like sharing it
Background: Today, I asked Ashish (my ‘equally good’ half) a question about something ‘obviously simple’ to which he gave a vague incoherent reply. I began probing but quickly changed the subject to “you never brought me to this frozen yogurt place”. I realised it was not going to go anywhere. I learnt to do the hard way, after banging my head several times. A while later:
Ash: How did your Dad handle all of the zillion questions you asked? You know that you do ask a LOT of questions, don’t you? Very probing questions (with a perplexed expression his face)!
Me: Simple strategy- he never answered for the most part…ignored them, played something, walked away, ridiculed me for not knowing already, directed me to the news channels or some boring unrelated source…lots of ways to kill someone’s curiosity. He knew the answers but won’t give them to me. I just stopped asking him anything; was on my own (in retrospect this was the best part, I’d say). My mom faced a lot of questions too…about how she does her everyday cooking or her beliefs about stuff. No answers there either! Sometimes, she used to get frustrated and ask me to get out or just give a slap. The lack of experimentation or exploration in her most familiar world was so shocking for me that it made me wonder a lot about how we function without questioning the fundamentals. In varying degrees but all of us do that all the time!
Anyway. Moving on, The good part: I never stopped questioning. The bad part: Ashish is stuck with me. He does not have the liberty to ignore or forget. But that does not mean I get my answer; I normally do not get past the second stage itself, and sometimes get stuck at the first too. (Ya, Ya, go ahead and feel sorry for Ashish now). It means a lot when I do get an answer the easy way…an answer that I ‘like’. So, that’s Ashish and Me on one Sunday Morning:
Me: What would be your first reaction if I asked you to write a 500 word blog entry?
Ash: On what subject?
Me: Anything: interesting, insightful, funny, intriguing for you…broad scope.
Ash: OK. Writing does not come naturally to me. So, I won’t jump at it! It’s a challenge. I have tried writing a blog before but have failed to do so because I could not express that well. That said, writing is very important as that is a powerful way to reflect and learn what you know.
Me: Yes, I agree. Normally our thoughts are all muddled up. We talk a lot and make sense there but writing does something different. It forces us to be more coherent, more organised and see the gaps in our thoughts more clearly. Makes room for new better learning.
Ash: Ya. That’s right. You write well. It’s inspiring.
Me: Really? I don’t think so. Who does it inspire? (haha!). Truth be told, I have evolved in writing only through practice and reflections. For me, it is a very handy tool which connects me with people and allows me to express my thoughts in general. I am nowhere close to perfect but I manage to get things done. But I can’t just write unless I am ready for it. I may have a block for a long time but I won’t give up thinking at the back of my mind, taking some notes and all. And then suddenly I will be charged for writing one day and I’d have to write that very moment.
Ash: Yes, that’s normal. Even the professional writers do it this way. Everyone should write. Everyone is already a writer because they write something.
Me: I did a short writing composition course once and that is what the teacher also said …”everyone is already a writer“. She was right! ‘Waiting’ to get good or perfect at writing won’t help. What is a ‘perfect writer’ anyway? It’s an art; practice only makes better.
——————–End of Dialogue—————-
Finally: Writing automatically organises and assimilates information, clarifies, helps us reflect and learn. Writing is not about perfection or about sharing. Expressing frees up brain space to make new, improved connections. In a way, it also teaches learning from failures 🙂 … we know how important that lesson is! There is a reason why kids are encouraged to write/express from early on. I will be sharing funny writings of a 7-year-old that never fail to crack me up. He is very smart and very expressive! It’s never ever too late to start. Shoddy, horrible, shameful…who decides and how does it matter?
In essence: “Don’t make perfect the enemy of good“. Someone said it.
Read, reflect and do what’s right. (Write!!! Obviously)