I love Writing. Its been a habit formed early on in life. I used to keep daily diaries when I was in college and IIT. This continued for some time in the US and later in India, but then as life got busy and more challenging, the diaries took a backseat and then stopped altogether. I didn’t like writing depressing things! Even though the diary habit hasn’t come back altogether, I do occasionally write my thoughts in my notebook (paper and pen, not electronic).
Over the past few years, my note-taking habit has become very good and disciplined. Earlier, I used to write on pads and whatever book/diary I’d get. A few years ago, I got the idea of using 300-page notebooks — this came when I watched a person in a meeting do so. The good thing about using big (in terms of pages) notebooks is that one doesn’t try and economise to conserve pages! I now write (meeting notes, doodling, thinking) 10-15 pages a day. This has been a great asset for my thinking. Even when reading, I make notes of the key points — helps me remember better.
Then, there’s been the public writing. In 1995-96, it was a fortnightly column of 1500 words for Express Computer. I stopped because there wasn’t much new happening then and I found myself repeating myself. In 1997-99, I wrote occasionally for IndiaLine, our own website. Wasn’t very regular. Late 2000, I realised that my thinking had dried up and I wasn’t as much aware of the world of technology as I used to be.
That’s when I took the decision to start a daily Tech column on Tech Samachar. I began by writing the first 3 weeks worth of columns (15 in all, about 400-500 words each). I wasn’t sure how long it would last. Now, more than 18 months later, I am myself surprised! This writing has not only broadened and deepened by writing, but also helped consolidate my thoughts. I write what I think. I write because I now love it. It has made me much more alert, much more thoughtful, and more able to connect things together.
The Weblog is now an extension of this writing. It has now become part of my daily routine. It is also working as an extension of my memory — when I come across something interesting, I post it to the blog.
There is a significant time investment in the writing. Each week’s Tech Talk series of 5 takes me an aggregate of about 3 hours. Each day, I spend about 30-45 mins on the weblog, for a total of about 4 additional hours each week. But I think the time investment is absolutely worth it. This is what gives me the new ideas, it has introduced me to new people and it gives a purpose to my reading. Its also my way of giving a little back to the community of writers (professional and amateur) who have been the inspiration for me.