I just joined a thirty-day blogging course offered by WordPress, with the idea to learn something new about blogging. I started back in January, 2010, not knowing much. I thought I would post non-personal observations about, say, food, gardening, and books. the first posts were erratic, but I have since settled into a twice-monthly format. The blog has become more personal, to the extent a friend once asked me about an event, but commented she would probably read about here. Of course this gave me pause. Do I blog instead of calling, instead of writing a letter? Is a blog really an essay or a year round holiday letter? And should I not be seeking to publish this stuff, if any of it is interesting? Isn’t that what I do–write professionally?
I am an Indian immigrant who learned English in kindergarten in St. Louis, and took to writing because I liked listening to and telling stories. My grade school teachers encourage me, even if I took things literally ( asked to write another story “just like this” In second grade, I went home, and copied my story in neater script.) My sixth grade teacher gave me discipline with deadlines, as she required a story every week. I knew I wanted to major in English Literature in high school, dropped Drivers Ed in favor of Mythology. At Vassar, after an intriguing year in India studying Fine Arts, I went back to English Lit. A teacher at entered my work for a selective course in Narrative Writing, and I realized The New Yorker not only published reviews by Pauline Kael but also short stories. I started my first novel in graduate school, and finished it three years later in Provincetown. I did not learn to drive until I was thirty, but I had a publishing contract at twenty-seven.
Okay, that does make me proud, even if I dropped the ball on a promising career, and did not publish again until seven years had passed. Another sixteen years would pass before my latest. So what do I see ahead of me? More teaching, more writing. Maybe a lessening of procrastination and doubt. Maybe less silent comparison to this writer or that writer. In my personal life, I have remained single for a long time, and I suspect that status will continue, though I have become a pet guardian. I will continue to make food, try to return to yoga, eat more vegetables. I would like to make soup. Eat more pickled things. (Here is Mark Bittman on the subject of eating healthier.)
I hope I continue to have good people in my life.