Saturday, December 17, 2011

200

Everything begins with an idea or a powerful suggestion. The invitation to co-author on Archaeopteryx87 came in the same way, when I visited Vyaas after the conclusion of our mutual weekend tuition classes. We made a pact: I would introduce a light, playful facet to the blog and occasionally post a rant or two about things that grind my gears, while Vyaas would handle everything from the origins of the Universe, the seemingly strange phenomenon of  quantum mechanics and the rare introspection on social issues. In other words, we would be two opposing entities in terms of concept and thereby bring to the blog a fresh perspective and continually inspire the other to keep the effort going. Now trust me, co-authoring is not as easy as you think it is. You are given a chance to collaborate and by that, you can make or break the blogger’s reputation and risk undermining his/her writing trend. You have to be careful about the topics that you post about. Politics, religion and essays about sexuality are taboo but can be accommodated if they are well thought out and well argued. But as constraining on creative and writing freedom as this may seem, it gives you a chance to share the blogging responsibility and explore ideas and areas never ventured into.
Sometimes Fate (visualized the same way as the Eternal Footman, only with additional malice and contempt for human existence) tosses you an inspirational bone. Somewhere into the third year of my undergraduate degree, I happened to subscribe to Ashwin Bala’s “The Untitled Stories”. A fellow classmate in the Chemical Engineering Department, Ashwin wrote poignant (and sometimes so maddeningly cryptic that its meaning had to be teasingly extracted after multiple readings) pieces of flash fiction, that it inspired me to follow suit. Since then I’ve written a handful of flash fiction pieces that have received praise from close friends and family. Then one fine day, I stumbled upon Metazen- an online magazine that published short fiction and poetry by imminent and upcoming authors. The storytelling style was convoluted and the ending was unpredictable. Some of the stories followed me for days. This inspired me to write better, improve my vocabulary and try brave new styles. I have been turned down several times, but an encouraging e-mail from their editor has kept me going. However, I did manage to have a minor victory or two: a piece has been published each on Wufniks, Nanoism and most recently on Dfuse. Blogging also brought me an opportunity to see my work in print and I thank the publishing companies for their kind consideration. 
But that is where we part way with the other bloggers. I note that some bloggers are slaves to page views and search engine hits. They abandon a constrained writing style or ideology and write about everything under the sun with the intent to crawl up the Google search list’s top pages . Current news, polemic about politics and the acting world form the primary fodder for these individuals and they target the readers who share the same opinion regarding the above. They advertise tirelessly; filling up social networks and micro blogging services with their Bit.ly links. They goad you  to read and to re-tweet their posts. Perhaps this is a way to boost readership,but I’d rather my blog be spread through word of mouth and be pleasantly stumbled upon rather than tripping up people. Then there is an obsession with website ranks. People flaunt their Indiblogger and BlogAdda scores like they’ve aced the Board exams. They fail to read and understand the writing on the wall: your blog can be quite awful and still score an 80+ because we aren’t allowed a glimpse into the inner workings of the ranking system. So while it’s indicative of your writing prowess, it shouldn’t be hailed as the golden standard of judging writing skills.  The simple reason I write is because it’s liberating; it serves as an outlet for words and ideas. While it’s definitely a human need for people to want others to read and comment on their work, that shouldn’t shape the way you write or the reason why you write what you do.
We’ve had just under 21,000 views from our inception and just 21 or so subscribers to our blog feed. This achievement is paling in comparison to the views that other bloggers receive, but we like to write and allow readers to find us instead of the other way around.
Thanks for reading our 200th post.

No comments: