Rich in Dreams (and nothing else)
Have you ever felt a sort of last-minute resistance, the kind that crops up just when you finally decide to try something new? The kind that makes you question whether you will really enjoy that new restaurant as much as you expect to, or what if you are really bad at your new chosen hobby? The last one minute before you book your ticket for your first solo trip – that’s when you might feel like it’s all a bad idea.
Writing has been the one thing which I have often politely refused to accept as “something that I do”. “I’m just not a writer”, I’d say. But also, for the longest time, I have been admiring some fantastic travel bloggers for the content that they share, their ability to put into words not just their own thoughts but often also mine, and the opportunities for vicarious travelling that their content offers to many others like us. I call myself a communication designer, yet I refuse to write all that much. For the past 3 years, after every journey to a place – new or old, I have been telling myself – “I am definitely going to write a little about this”, “I am going to sketch out this memory”, “I am going to create that photo-essay”.
When? “I don’t know, I have some projects to finish right now. Maybe, after that” Maybe. After. Never.
It just never happened! I just could not find the "right" time to write or draw that "perfect" piece.
So yesterday, I decided to assign a 100-day writing challenge to myself. It felt right. I already had the content in mind and I was quick to take notes, write and refine my first blog post into shape. The next step, creating a cover image and posting it online, happened through simple muscle memory, with barely any thinking involved. I shared the link with some friends through messages and, as lovely as my tribe is, they were super supportive. So far, so good.
Yes! I did it! I actually wrote a complete blog post! Yay, me!
Then, I shared it with the world, on my instagram feed. Oops. The monster was awake. This monster, which would normally not allow me to even start writing, had been lazy this time around and given me the time to complete my writing. Now, it showed up with a new set of scares for me. Let’s just name this monster for what it is – Fear, with a capital ‘F’.
What if you’ve just written a bunch of bull-crap? You should not be putting out bad content. Who are you to think that you can be travel blogging? Don’t get ahead of yourself. Does anybody give a rat’s ass about what you’re writing? You’re not changing anybody’s life by doing this. Who is paying you for doing this, missy? In your profession, time is money. It’s better to look for another project and do that instead of whiling away your time at the keyboard. Do you really think you’ll manage a 100 days? That’s a lot of writing, you know.
This is what Fear kept telling me the entire evening yesterday. I don’t know if many people read that post, except for the few friends who actually told me that they did. I also do not know if many people are going to be reading this post. However, what I do know, and what I keep reminding myself, is that I started this travel journal for myself, and sharing it with the world is an additional step, not the core intent.
I am starting this journal because I can no longer imagine not doing it.
Writing a #100DayTravelJournal is, at the end of the day, like the start of any other journey to a new place. Before we start off, we get to know of places that we have seen people visit, but never experienced for ourselves. Perhaps it calls out to us and then, we want to feel it for ourselves. And when we finally do, regardless of who inspired us, who made our travel plans or gave us suggestions, our own experience will ultimately be a personal one. Like a snowflake, even if it looks like the others one the surface, it will be truly unique because of Us, the ones who undertake the journey. The thousand moments of doubt will come and go. But the fear of a new journey must not, simply can not, prevent the journey itself from happening.
As I wrestled with these thoughts for a couple of hours, a line by Julia Cameron, from her book The Artist’s Way, came back to me:
“We all start out the same way – rich in dreams and nothing else.”
Whether our journey is 10 days long or over a 100, our dream is the most potent fuel we have to keep going. Book that one-way ticket now, sign up for the pottery class, start cooking all your meals your way, see you on the other side.