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Ash. Spiritual. Happy in my own way. Writes Random Stuff. Ice Cream. Night owl. Ice Cream, again.

Monday, September 2, 2013

ABC Challenge: The Journey

First of all, I would like to thank Anuradha of Life is beautiful for having suggested me to take up the challenge. The challenge had some rules, which I was not very comfortable with. But I did relax a few of them so that I could take part. One fine day I decided I would take it up.

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Before embarking upon the challenge, I decided it would be wise to list out the possible themes that I would be able to write about. So I opened up a notepad, listed all the letters and then, then everything stopped. My brain wouldn't come up with any suggestions. I was shocked at how things were turning out to be and how I would not be able to take up the challenge. Completing it was way out of question.  I couldn’t come to a conclusion and decided I would probably take one thing at a time and settled with A for Achiever. I wanted to start the Journey on a positive note and so it began.

To make things easier, I decided to include a few pictures (clicked by me) and try out various forms of writing, flash fiction, 55 word story , pointers etc., so that I wouldn’t have to sit every Sunday at 10.30pm wondering what to write about. I told myself I would make sure that the posts were ready a week before they were to be published and planned to publish them every Sunday. Again, even that plan failed because I was back to anxiously staring at my laptop on Sunday nights, wondering what to write.

So, when it was time for B, I choose a photo I had clicked in Kashmir, wrote a few incomplete sentences and published it. Thankfully, there was a contest that was being held and I had something to write, C for contest.  Again for D, I stuck to the photo and published D for Dusk.  After a few days I realized I was just trying to play it safe and not taking the challenge seriously and decided against using photos unless absolutely necessary, even if it meant skipping my deadlines.

So that was when E for echo was written.  For the next letter I was trying to write about how failures should be treated and I wanted to write a short story to illustrate and something really funny happened. So I ditched that write up (it’s in my drafts) and settled with F for Facepalm.  Then came G for Good Samaritans and H for humor without a hassle. The next letter was I. I had many ideas, but none evolved into posts. Thanks to twitter, I heard someone mention about Indian English and lo, there it was I for Inglish (Indian English).

I wanted to write something different for J, but stuck to J for Jealousy due to the lack of time. Up came K, and so did my photos from my recent holiday to Kashmir. I loved writing about life and seized the opportunity to write L for Life. There was something vague about M. I’d already written about Mother and did not know what else to write. Luckily for me, mom reminded me that I had to clean up my bookshelf. What should have taken one hour took almost 3 hours because I decided I would clean the other shelves as well. I was suddenly reminded of Monica (FRIENDS)and that was the post I wrote for M.

I decided I would write N for Name as I had to explain to everyone why I had a two different names, and why people at office choose to expand my initials and christen a different name. So that was easy and done. I stuck to the common themes for the next letters, O for Opinion and P for priorities, since everyone seemed to have one and wanted to let others know what they were. When it was time for Q,  again I had to rack my brains to think of something that would be appropriate, and so I borrowed from my TEDx speech and wrote Q for Quitting.

Again, I stayed clueless about R, googled up a few words and when nothing was satisfactory, I stuck to doing what I was really good at. That is how R for rambling came up. I knew it has to be S for Sunset , and that is the only post I was clear about from the beginning, as I wanted to post a photo that I’d clicked. T went for a toss as I wrote up something, I was not satisfied, cleared the content and then came up with T for Temple Run, the game that I was currently addicted to.

I was absolutely clueless for the next set of challenging letters, U to Z.  Just that day I was having this conversation with a friend about how things should be better,  how people should be better and that is what prompted me to write U for  Utopia, though on a totally different context. I decided to write about V for Vanilla, as I’m a big fan of Ice creams and wrote about the best combinations of Vanilla Ice cream when something happened and I was dying to write about it. I was looking for the right word and then I published it under V for Vanity.

W for Whomping Willow was unanimously chosen by all those idea-cells in my brain as I had to write about this from Harry Potter. Up came the mysterious X and unlike other letters, I wrote up something a week earlier. Just before publishing I felt it was not quite good and deleted the post and wrote about the mystery behind the letter. I was again clueless about Y, I even skipped a deadline and posted something else.  Till date I’m not even sure how I ended up writing Y for Yesterday.

And the last one Z. I wanted this to be a good way to sign off. I was asking for suggestions from almost everyone I know and then a few wonderful people from twitter suggested Z for Zenith, among other suggestions.  So the word was chosen but I did not know what to write. I listed a few points, tried to connect them, but it did not work. Then I realized things would be better if I wrote against the topic and not for topic and the points just came running by. I organized them and there my final post was up.

It was only after someone pointed out that I realized, I had in fact written inadvertently about my entire journey through this challenge. When I read it again, it seemed as though I’d written the post with the series in mind, when in reality I was thinking of something else.

Finally. Finally, done with the challenge. I did not know it would be this challenging. I knew I wouldn’t give up and I knew I shouldn’t give up and that was probably the only thing that kept me going.

As Paulo Coelho said in The Alchemist ,'And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it', I felt the same way too. When ideas came from unexpected sources and situations.

To be continued. 


24 comments:

  1. Nice description of how you came up with words for every alphabet. It was a challenge and really happy that you completed the same! :) Congrats again Ashwini..

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    1. Thank you Binu :-). That's the arduous journey for the world to see. You have no idea how relieved I am to have finished it. Thanks a lot for all your encouragement :-)

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  2. Great work. The way you combine philosophy with writing is very good. Next time, take up a time-bound challenge - #ABC challenge to be completed within 26 consecutive days, for example :P

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Thank you so much :-). I guess that is the only thing I can write about and hence it comes naturally to me. Another challenge? Are you kidding me? :-P. Thanks for all the encouragement!

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  3. Hey Ashwini..that was a wonderful roundup. I missed few of your posts in this series...But reading this informed me of what you have written :) Good one. Congrats on finishing the series..

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    1. Thank you so much :-) Please read them if you find time.

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  4. For me the inspiration came from Shilpa Garg, who took up the A to z challenge. However, the idea of writing something everyday on each letter was not my cup of tea. I need time to think and then only write, for I don't like the tension of writing anything everyday. Writing to me must come freely, not a forced one, a kind of everyday deadline. I know people had done that successfully, and I admire them, for these people thrive on challenges and they prove that they are up to it. There was a lady who had started writing a story,(not a different story, everyday, but a single long story which continued with each alphabet, she somehow finished with the z).
    I chose to update once a week.
    Somehow I don't like these everyday writing something kind of challenges. Also I don't want to force my followers to come and visit my blog everyday and post comments on my blog everyday. People are busy, they have other things to. Well this is just my opinion.
    Congratulations once again to you!

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    1. Thank you Rama ji!

      I agree with you on certain points. Yes, some people can do it and have also done it, but somehow writing a post a day or once in 2 days and making it mandatory will not work for me, given that I'm awake just for 3 hours when I'm at home. And sometime I realized that the best writing comes when you allow the thoughts to rest and gradually shape into an idea rather than focusing on deadlines.

      This was fun for me because I probably broke every single rule associated with it, just because I did not want to give excuses for not taking it up. No one is perfect and no one is here to judge us, so I took my own sweet time, about 8 months to cover all the alphabets, as and when I could. That is where the fun was, for me :-)

      Thanks for all the support.

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  5. I have been following the post of ABC challenge since a while ..read it all till the end. and trust me it couldn't even in my imagination had thought that u must have been writing them like it. at times I just assumed that may b you first decided the alphabets then the words and atleast made short notes before writing it majorly 'coz your posts had Continuation of a kind.
    anyways. glad to know how u penned down those words and I must say u have done great. loved reading every post of urs..:)

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    1. Thank you so much Jemina :-). Well I planned to do that Initially but somehow things did not go as per the plan and I had to take on the challenges as they came. Glad to know you liked it. Thanks for the encouragement :-)

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  6. Hey Ash. Well done, and big congratulations girl! You are such a determined person, and kudos for all that effort!

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    1. Anu! Thank You!

      Thank you for suggesting me to take this up in the first place. Thank you for completing the challenge and being an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for everything :-)

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  7. A lovely series and a lot of hard work, Ashwini:)

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    1. Thank you Sir :-). Thanks for the encouragement :-)

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  8. Congrats Ashwini for completing the challenge.

    The topics were well chosen and written. It clearly exhibits that you enjoyed the challenge and your journey from A to Z, and reached your destination graciously and gloriously. I have been reading all the posts from A to Z.

    Well written - which reflects the clarity of your thoughts.

    Keep writing.

    Proud of you, Darling

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  9. Nice post, great blog, following :)

    Good Luck :)

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  10. Clap,clap,clap
    You deserve more for your indefatigable spirit and the great job done!!!

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    1. Thank you so much KP Sir :-). Thanks for all the support!

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  11. That's quite a story. Well it was a difficult challenge, I don't even have the courage of attempting it. Good that you discovered various styles and yourself through it. :)

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    1. Thank you Saru :-), Standing here even I'm surprised I came this far! Thanks for all the encouragement :-)

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