Thursday, November 29, 2012

Write

NaBloPoMo is almost over. The caption in the logo says Type Your Heart Out and on most days, I did.


And what I want to say to you today is just that: write your heart out.

Writing is not just for professional writers. It is not just for bloggers. Not just for students cranking out a term paper.

Writing is incredibly therapeutic. There is tremendous healing power in letting your emotions flow out through your fingers. Writing clarifies your thoughts and. forces you to weigh the pros and cons of what you are saying. Our minds can be a cacophony of thoughts and writing forces you to organize them. Many of us love to read and we acknowledge that reading brings us knowledge but the funny thing is that writing can be even more illuminating.

When I started this food blog, I intended it only as a place to jot down recipes. I never realized that the blog gave me an excuse and a reason to write and that the writing would become the food and the recipes. It is taking me years to gather up the courage to really write my heart out. Writing (especially under my real name, as I do) makes you feel vulnerable. I'm opening myself up to strangers and their criticism, their judgement. But the rewards of connecting make it worth it; there are always more friends than critics. Because when writing resonates with the reader, the result is just magic. We know this every day when we come upon books, articles and blog posts that touch a chord.

So, really, I urge you to experience the power of writing. Most of us learned to write when we were just 5 or 6 years old, it a fundamental skill but one that most of us don't use when we're older. You can be your own therapist, your own mentor, your own best friend through the simple act of expressing yourself. Writing can be an safe outlet for negative emotions (we all know how good it feels to vent once in a while). It can be helpful when you're trying to find meaning in your life or struggling with a difficult situation. There are thousands of blogs written by people who are going through tough situations- infertility, loss, cancer- that symbolize the therapeutic power of writing.

It does not matter whether you write on a piece of paper and burn it, or write a letter and send it to someone who cares. Whether you write publicly on a blog, or create an anonymous blog, or simply type into a word doc and hit "don't save" when you come to the end. Write in whatever language comes naturally to you. Write without being self-conscious about your grammar or spelling. It does not matter whether your writing is polished. Just don't be a passive reader of other people's writing. Pick up a pen or keyboard and do some writing yourself.

Some suggestions for incorporating writing into your daily life:

Morning Pages. How can something this simple be so powerful? But it is.

Write a long heart-felt e-mail to a friend. I have a few close friends who live far far away but through long long e-mails, we pour our hearts to each other and stay close. Or write a handwritten letter to someone. 

If you read an article or blog post, write a sentence or two and share your thoughts on it. 

Do all of this without expectation. Just for the simple joy of writing. It will change your life in big and small ways. 

45 comments:

  1. Nupur, never left any comment eventhough I regularly visit your blog. You write very well and love your blog. Did you do your Masters/Bachelors in Powai during 2000? Name sounds very familiar. I like your heart felt writing style and also your time management skills.
    -Swathi

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  2. Touche! This post lit a fire in me. I know I've been needing to do exactly this - journal.....write, but have been making all sorts of excuses to myself. This was exactly what I needed to read.
    Thank you for always putting your heart in your blog writing and then sharing it with us all Nupur. I love all your posts - food, recipes, Dales tales, books, life lessons and everything in between.
    Prashanti

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    1. That's just it. This month I've written so much because I forced myself to, by signing up for this NaBloPoMo thing. Otherwise I'm full of excuses too!

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  3. Nupur, love your blog and am a regular visitor. I used to live in STL which I absolutely love and moved to the east coast 10 years back -and that's another connection with you. Thanks for sharing your recipes and other pearls of wisdom with everyone:)
    Totally agree with you that writing is truly therapeutic and we can express so much more via a pen(or keyboard) than verbally!

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    1. YAY for good STL memories :) Yes, writing works much better for me than verbal expression- while talking, I'm usually tripping over my words.

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  4. You are the best:)

    Vini

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    1. The best at coaxing people to write? :D

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  5. I love this post. It is so straight from the heart and something I land up doing very very often. I am not too good at expressing what I feel when I speak to someone. Its so much better when I write it all out. Its like a huge burden is lifted off. Half the stuff I have written never reach the person they are intended to reach, but it makes me feel good and its out of my system which really really helps. Its been awesome reading your posts through this month. Please post regularly even after this month is over. Please.

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    1. I'm going to try my BEST to post regularly. Writing is so rewarding that I would be a fool not to make time. Getting it out of your system is exactly right- otherwise I find that thoughts literally fester in my mind sometimes.

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  6. Wow that is one inspiring post, Nupur. It resonates at so many levels.
    I 'get' me only when I write. But I dont and get lost. Going to give another shot at Morning Pages.

    Ancy

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    1. I loved writing morning pages. These days my baby is up at the crack of dawn and I have to give her all my attention so it has become difficult. Very good point- I also find that I really understand myself only when I sit down and write.

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  7. What a lovely post Nupur...You said a very important thing, writing and thoughts should resonate with the reader,,should touch a chord...and its then immaterial if your spelling and grammar isnt perfect,,as long as it pours from the recesses of the heart!!! I must confess I am more of a reader than a writer and honestly I dont know where and what to write...But ur insights are helpful and i will see what i should be doing..keep writing for your words certainly heal and are powerful...
    love, raakhee

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    1. Do write, Raakhee- get a little notebook or something or use your computer, but just write whatever moves you. Being a reader is wonderful but writing will enhance your life in a very different way. Hugs to you!

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  8. Yes Nupur, you are very much right, thats why when i go thro blogs, i always stop to appreciate, what i ve felt. I remember at school, when we were supposed to maintain pin drop silence, we communicated, by wrting to the next bench friend. Also in the nineties, how many long letters i would have written to friends and my husband(fianceethen) . Even now when iam upset with him ,, i do write a strong mail and lo, the BB displays it immediately. I cannot express, how happy this write up of yours has made me. Love you.

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    1. I know- in school writing was strictly for passing exams and even essays needed to fit into a certain format. That's no way to encourage kids to be creative. I'm so glad writing brings you joy now!

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  9. Hey Nupur,
    I've loved all your posts so far and I agree that writing is therapeutic too. I write something to myself (as an email) now and then. Helps me voice my concern without worrying family and friends, I'm sad November is coming to an end, and with it the NaBloPoMo. I have one request, if you don't have a topic for the last posts already - could you please write about gifts of food that you can make up for people, preferably ones that travel and keep well? Turns out my family has enough shoes, hand bags, make-up, watches, wallets, perfumes and liquor to last them a life time so I was thinking of home-made food items as presents. Any ideas/pointers that you might have would be most helpful.
    Glad to know that Dale is back on his feet and I hope that he has many good days ahead.

    Thanks a bunch and a big hug, Shoots :)

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    1. Hi Shoots! I love love love giving homemade food gifts and will certainly write a little post on that next week. Stay tuned!

      I know what you mean about expressing your concern but not necessarily writing to family/friends. Sometimes you don't want sympathy or advice but just to get it out of your system. But you know you can e-mail me anything anytime, right?

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  10. I didn't get to your blog for some time since they were no updates and I figured you were busy with the move. Then I decided to check last week - and got an unexpected treat - almost 30 new posts and all of them well-written.

    Thanks for the lovely read and lots of good vibes to Dale.

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    1. Thanks for coming back to read :) I hope to blog more regularly from now on, not daily but at least weekly.

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  11. Thanks for an inspiring post Nupur. This has been on my mind lately and you've nudged me to begin.

    Have a great weekend! I've enjoyed your NaBloPoMo stint a lot. Do keep writing.

    -Anu

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  12. Well said, Nupur. I agree 100%. Writing gives inner joy and has made me a better person. Thanks for sharing your writing with us.

    -Suparna

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  13. You captured it, all of it, the essence of why one must write. Beautifully expressed and written!

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    1. Thanks Sharmila. Have you grappled with Writer's block this month as much as I have, I wonder?

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  14. Another lovely post,Nupur!

    I usually find writing a bit tedious but now you've given me some food for thought..as for reading I do pick up few reads here and there but don't get to it as often as I would like too.

    I regularly enjoy reading your posts though and really admire your style of writing..Have you ever considered writing professionally..like columns, essays, short stories, books may be? ..You MUST give it it a try..you r sooo good!

    On a last note..pls pls pls continue to post daily even after the NaBloPoMo is over...we miss it on days you don't:(

    -Saylee

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    1. You're very sweet to say that, but there are incredibly gifted writers out there. I'm happy to say a few words in this little space and keep it that way! Posting daily is a HUGE commitment, try doing that for a few days and you'll see what I mean. Can't keep that up long term but I'll definitely post more regularly.

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  15. I totally agree that writing is therapeutic. At one point, I had friends whom I used to share my thoughts with regularly. These days, I often find many thoughts going on in my mind repeatedly day after day because I am not sharing them. Writing would be a good way to recalibrate the mind.

    I also wanted to say that I follow your blog regularly and love it. Through your blog, I was introduced to other cooking blogs and the zen habits blog which have and are still impacting my life in a positive way. I hope you keep writing like you do.

    Thanks.

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    1. That's exactly what happens to me too: the same thought loops around in my mind and becomes a distraction until I get it out somehow, usually by writing it out. Thanks for reading along!

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  16. This is so true. Writing whether it's about food or anything else is relaxing and it even gives you a sense of accomplishment. Thanks for sharing, well done.

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    1. Yes, writing gives an immense feeling of accomplishment because the written word is permanent or can be, anyway.

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  17. This time it's 'Hat ke' post Nupur. Writing is one of the hobby I love. But, I get writing block from time to time even if I've tons of ideas, life stories, thoughts and feelings to talk with world. We should learn about it from you! Thanks for encouraging us :-)

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    1. Yeah, NaBloPoMo is an excuse to post all sorts of things completely unrelated to food. Fighting the writing block is so worth it, to put your creativity out there.

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  18. Nupur,
    You are a really good writer. The flow, words, everything is so nice, touches reader's heart. Please think of publishing book of food memoirs/ travelogs so elderly readers who are not actively connected can also read your writing. Personally I feel books give close-bond feeling :).

    This whole month had been amazing. Kept reading all your posts and it was a delight.

    Keep writing!

    Thanks,
    Swarupa

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    1. OMG there are lots and lots of wonderful books out there and I wouldn't dream of putting my writing into that category. Thanks for reading along, and for your kind words!

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  19. Hi, I have been religiously following your blog since long and though posted the comments some long time back, somehow it was not goingthrough at all... You write very well and I just feel so relaxed and light hearted going through your posts..
    This write up of yours made me write again today and I was pondering through the same thoughts about writing something that comes to my mind, probably starting a blog to put up my ideas...but as you have mentioned, the same things cross my mind...It is very difficult to open up ourselves in front of strangers..but the results are mostly rewarding only..
    Thanks for the nice encouraging words you put in your posts...it truely inspires to a lot like me..keep the words flowing to reach the other's heart.
    -MeenaShankar

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    1. Meena- once you open up just a little and start writing out what you think, you might feel the floodgates open. Please give it a try!

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  20. What a wise advice Nupur! My dad always emphasized on the importance of writing saying - The man may die, the written word lives! With your posts we got to meet a smart, intelligent, compassionate, and sensitive person. Thank you!

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    1. So true- we're still reading and learning from books written centuries ago. Thank you for your kind words- I am not more intelligent or compassionate than anyone else but reading and writing helps me to grow.

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  21. Thankyou Nupur for this article. You are right. It is indeed therapeutic . I totally agree.

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