You're not alone.

Day 17 of my 100-day writing project.

You're not alone.
Photo by Philipp Pilz / Unsplash

A fortnight ago, I announced my 100-day writing project. It's been seventeen days since then. I also spoke about being silent and leaving Instagram to make space for more words and more peace. It was thus a surprise and a reassurance to hold my ground when I saw Michaela Coel's Emmy acceptance speech addressed to writers in a writer friend's WhatsApp story. Michaela Coel spoke about embracing the silence, disappearing, and seeing what tumbles out. I felt heard and seen. If you're interested, you can watch her speech here. Here's the image.

"In a world that entices us to browse the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves, and to, in turn, feel the need to be constantly visible — for visibility, these day, seems to somehow equates to success, do not be afraid to disappear. From it, from us, for a while. And see what comes to you in the silence”.

You know what will happen when you disappear?

The world will turn its back on you and forget that you existed.

And, you'll be OK with it.

Not chattering on social media will turn you vigilant. It'll make you pause and evaluate if you want to say the thing you're about to. It clears your head, removes preconceived ideas about someone's choices or the opportunities they have. You evaluate your relationships in new light. It builds trust. Most importantly, it gives you more time.

It's good, because this builds us up to become better people— to be sensitive, to hold space for other people, to be kind to everyone else's experiences and traumas. When I say 'hold space' I don't mean you've got to drop everything you're doing to be there for someone all the time. When someone reaches out, simply listen without judging. Absorb what they're saying without giving your advice.

The most vulnerable conversations happen outside of filtered reels and picturesque backgrounds —on phone calls, texts and voice notes that go on for hours. In one such conversation, a writer friend told me how they felt about the questions I raised around writing and publicising one's work, and shared their feedback about my work. That conversation has been one of the biggest driving factors to keep going. Thanks, O. It truly meant a lot. I also look forward to reading your work.

For everyone else who's asking me how my writing is going, it's been brilliant. And no, I won't ghost you for asking me this question this time around. I've got 83 days to go. This was why, when I read Sari Botton's new interview series How's the writing going? on Catapult, it cracked me open and beckoned me to view myself from another dimension. Sari asked her interviewee a question that made me think.

Sari Botton: It’s always amazing to me how much attendant neurotic bullshit there is around writing. And also the mind games we need to play with ourselves to counteract all of that. I’ve tweeted a couple of times asking literary and media Twitter whether there’s a special kind of therapist for writers who just deals with this writing-related angst. I want to know: Does such a person exist?

Special kind of therapist for writing-related angst! I'd never considered or thought about working with a 'therapist for writers' until that point. It's a marvellous idea. Therapists, we need more of you to help with our writing-related worries.

I also watched Netflix's interview of actor Vijay Sethupathi. Although it was aimed as a promotion for his film Tughlaq Darbar, the actor's nuggets of wisdom about his craft, his grounded approach to life and the people in it reassured me. The video is in Tamil with subtitles in English. The world needs such gems.

In all, I've felt less alone despite not being connected with anyone. Should I assume that writing has helped me? Perhaps. But the pressure of not being present has made me happy — kept me busy.

The best thing about life is that some of the best moments are yet to be lived. I'm super thankful for that because I can laugh at myself and teach myself newer things

Speaking of learning new things, the last 16 days have taught me the power of consistency. I've grown resilient. It's tough to write every single day, but I'm doing it and I'm bloody proud of it all.

Swathi is writing a blog post everyday for 100 days
Dear supporter! 👋 Thanks for stopping by. I’m Swathi, a writer, reader and a language nerd. I write about all things life, tech, reading and writing. As someone...