Hey, you

Yeah, you! I’m talking to you. The fact that you’re reading this is awesome. And I mean that in the original meaning of the word – inspiring awe, not just something really cool. You’re my target audience. I always say that I write for myself, but the reason that I write on a blog instead of a journal is because I hope that in writing myself, I will somehow be able to touch another human’s life in some way. Even if it’s a slight nudge that doesn’t really affect you, I’ve altered the course of your life in some way.

I don’t know you and we could have very little in common, but that’s the magic of a blog! Writing through an electronic platform allows me to connect with you, whoever you are. That inspires awe for me. If you’ve read any of my old posts, you know that I believe that art, be it writing or painting or photography or music, gives us the power to show off how similar and different we are at the same time. It lets us display ourselves and connect with others in ways we never even could begin to think of before. It lets us inspire others to do the same and find themselves in their own art.

I hope that this inspires you just a little bit. That maybe this will make you want to write a blog post of your own or a poem or take a cool picture or write a song and just draw a cool stick figure dude in your notebook. Because if I could have that impact on someone, if I could be indirectly responsible for the creation of something that’s never existed before in the history of time and space, well, that’s awe-inspiring.

Who I am and Why I’m here

As a part of WordPress’s very own Blogging 101 class, our first task is to write an introductory post. Despite the fact that I’ve been blogging for a while, I feel that it’s important for me to get involved with this class in order to motivate myself to write more and achieve my goal of writing more posts than I did last year. I’ve recently been feeling lost since I haven’t been writing as much as I used to, so hopefully this will help to ground me.

My name is Nikhil Sethi and I’m a first-year CS major at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I love to write, take pictures, read and think. I want to return to blogging instead of just sticking to my journal, since blogs allow me to have a more concrete focus on a specific topic. My journal entries are filled with tons of different ideas, a true contrast to my blog posts which tend to focus on a particular idea I’m grappling with and just wanna write out about.

I will probably just talk about whatever topics enter my life, especially related to the future and life in college, since I’m still getting used to that. I also foresee a great amount of content related to Stoicism and Art, since those are some of my current obsessions right now. I just want to connect with anyone through my work. I have this belief that art has an incredible power to connect people and I’m sure that anyone who has my writing resonate with them can benefit from it and helps to confirm my ideas that writing publicly is worth something. I’ll detail my philosophy about art in another post, but it relates to this idea heavily.

If I continue to blog throughout the year, I hope to continue to progress as a writer and gain a greater readership. I have a few followers on this blog, but I would love to interact with the people who read my posts a little more, since they seem to have something in common with me or have ideas similar to my own.

What do I want to do?

I think the reason that college is really tough for me at times is because I want to have clear priorities and completely dedicate myself to one thing or another. The only problem is that there are too many things that I want to do. In a given day, I’m worrying about school, writing, photography, singing, spirituality, friendships and many more things that I can’t even think of right now. I keep reading articles about self-help in hopes that will give me the answers to all of my questions, but there’s not a single article that will save me, but the underlying message in all of them is to focus one specific thing if you want to get good at it.

The thing is, I can’t drop all of these things. Each things is fairly important, and I don’t want to let it go. I might try to do a timelog this week to see where all of my time goes and really get a better idea of what I can do to improve my general use of time. All I know is that I feel the best when I get a lot done, but when I feel shitty it’s because I can’t get a lot done and that same feeling keeps me from getting things done. It’s a vicious cycle.

I can get through this.

Equilibrium

Over the past few weeks, I’ve felt like I’ve moved to an overall better place mentally. My resting state has less anxiety, less sadness and less frustration. In all honesty, I don’t think I’ve been this good in a long time.

Despite this, I know that this isn’t the best state I can be. My emotions are still incredibly volatile. In the span of a few hours, I can go from feeling like I’m on the top of the world, sauntering along to the drumbeats of a joyous Jack Johnson to feeling anxious and hiding under my covers listening to Drake. Of course, the best part of my new state is that this happens less than before, but I just wish I could minimize it further.

In discussion yesterday with my religious group, we got onto the topic of how it may be better to find an equilibrium, and instead of getting too attached to the highs and lows, to focus on an equilibrium of the two and try to stay balanced. That way, it won’t hurt when we fall as much. I’m torn by this concept.

On one hand, this level of equilibrium in my emotions sounds like it would help me to leave myself and become more associated with a higher power as I detach myself from the world. On the other hand, detachment has always been one of the concepts of spirituality that I’ve struggled with. I’ve been a huge advocate of melancholy and sadness in the past because I fell in love with it and the depth and vibrancy of the emotions, especially when they helped me to connect with art. I don’t know if I can completely abandon that part of me that loves to feel so strongly. If we are meant to detach ourselves from everything, why do strong emotions feel so right? Why does sobbing in my bed over breakup feel so real compared to emotionlessness in the face of a small loss?

Create Something Every Day

For the past few days, I’ve been involved in one of the least entertaining activities in the world, one that never seems to end and consumes your very existence, bringing inconvenience to every facet of your life. Yup, I’m talking about moving. I’m definitely not being melodramatic when I say that moving from an apartment into a new house is one of the most frustrating things to ever happen to me.

In reality, this isn’t that big of a deal, but it has caused me to become extremely restless. It’s not because of the inconvenience of manual labor or sleeping on the floor or having to eat ice cream with a fork since all the spoons are at the house and not the apartment. All of those things are fine and can easily be overcome. What’s been irking me about the whole thing is my difficulty in creating anything. I’ve failed to complete several blog posts due to my brain not working properly, I’ve been unable to continue learning how to draw due tot the lack of tables, I’ve been unable to make my small Flask have any functionality due to my incompetence and, worst of all, I’ve been unable to wear any clothes that weren’t sweatpants and a sweatshirt due to having to move things.

My mind is so used to doing anything productive that going several days without doing anything that really uses my brain has left me feeling terrible about myself. Sure, moving boxes and carrying heavy stuff is productive in a way, but it fails to satisfy me in any way. Because of the mental unrest, I’ve been feeling terrible about myself and just have struggled to stay positive in the recent days. I had never realized how much creating things, be it CS homework or blog posts, has such a positive impact on my life and the lack of it can have such a negative impact. When I read this article about the health benefits of art, it all made sense.

As the year comes to a close, I’ve decided that one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to try to create something every day. I don’t mean I need to write a 500 word blog post or draw an amazing portrait or design something really cool. No, that’s nearly impossible. At the very least, I want to be make anything that leaves a unique impact on the world, however small. This could be a small drawing of a potato on the side of my homework if I’m feeling lame or an awesome photo or even just a bombass photo.

I needed to write this post in order to create something after all of these days. Now, it also serves to keep me accountable in terms of what I want to do in the future. It’s a New Year’s Resolution, so therefore the odds are already against me, but even the intention to create more is better than what I’m doing right now.

Done but not Done.

It’s been nearly a week since I finished my daily writing goal of 100 days that wasn’t really daily and you can look at all of those posts to see what it was all about. In the last couple of days, I’ve been contemplating what to do next. I want to continue writing with a level of regularity, but I doubt I can sustain daily writing in the same form that I was doing with #the100DayProject.

Beyond the difficulty of sustainability, writing daily doesn’t net the best content consistently. Recently, I’ve been trying to comb through everything I wrote through the course of the project and see what some of my best work was. Unfortunately, I found myself thinking that a lot of the work could’ve been significantly better. The time constraint often made me finish a post for the sake of finishing it, leading to less than high quality content. More time would have undoubtedly improved my writing and netted articles that I would be proud of, rather than just saying that it happened. Of course, it’s not like I didn’t write anything that I actually liked. I know for a fact that Chicago Thursday was one of the best pieces of storytelling that I’ve written. However, I just wish that I had written more than just a handful of quality pieces among a sea of mediocrity.

Of course, this is an expectation that isn’t really founded, but I think can be remedied as I improve. My current photography strategy can be compared to my writing strategy from the project. I would write a mass quantity of posts, but they weren’t necessarily good. The removal of the editing step led to the lack of consistent quality among the posts. Of course, if I edited my writing as much I edited my photos, I would be left with maybe 4 to 5 posts from the entire project, after hours upon hours of work.

Just like my photo strategy though, my writing strategy could go for a change. Since I won’t be bound by any difficult self-imposed writing deadline of a day, I will be able to put in a lot more effort into each post, hopefully increasing the quality of each while using a similar level of energy that my previous writing strategy did.

In order to improve the quality, I thought about what went into my best pieces. The main ones that I considered were Chicago Thursday, Why I Love Clothes, Kendrick as Joyce, and “Death in Dignity.”

They were pretty much all over 400 words. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but when a lot of my posts (especially the bad ones) were defined as finished as soon as I hit 270, it’s fairly important. Despite the fact that the length generally led to a better piece, I don’t want to push myself to write when I don’t want to. With those high quality posts, I never paid attention to the word count until I felt like I was finished and found myself astounded by how much I had written so quickly. Certain topics made it easier for me to do this, like music or clothes or experiences, but I hope to be able to learn how to get into that flow regardless of the topic. I know that with enough research, I can gain an immense interest into nearly any topic, so that may become a part of my writing process.

The future of this blog holds longer form pieces that may be reposted to Medium. I own several Moleskine notebooks that may be bequeathed some of the more personal, reflective type of content that was found here before. As I move on to the next chapter of my life, I know reflecting on my life will be vital for my success and believe that it’s a lot easier for me to re-read a notebook than it is my own blog. The malleability of blogs make me likely to start editing it rather than really focusing on the content. The ink in notebook can’t be changed.

Day 100: Done.

I can’t believe it. This is it. After 100 days, I’ve written 100 posts on this blog. This isn’t exactly how Elle Luna or I envisioned it, but that’s okay. Things never turn out the way that they’re expected to. What matters is the fact that I’ve written a hell of a lot of content in the last hundred days. When I began this project, I was bored on a Saturday night and decided to write my first post and synthesize my personal beliefs with a pretty book I read. The next week, I found myself with a ton of homework and was considering giving up, less than a week after I had started.

That action would’ve been super typical of me. I was really used to starting things and giving up on them soon after. However, by giving myself the lax rules of being able to catch up if I missed a day was extremely important. I’ve continued to use that rule a lot, especially today with these 8 posts, but the rule has helped me to stick to this project more than anything else. If I ever felt like I failed for not writing one day, I doubt I would’ve come near to Day 10, let alone 100. It’s been incredible writing so much and seeing my posts get likes and my blog get follows from strangers. It serves as a great ego boost to receive likes, because I know at least one person has read what I’ve said. I want to say thank you to everyone that liked or followed or commented or reblogged any of my posts just because of how much it means to me.

I don’t know what the next steps are for my writing “career” but I do think this was an important part of it. I know I want to continue writing in any way possible, be it in my blog, or pieces on Medium, or maybe for my collegiate newspaper if possible. Whatever path I take, I want to become a better writer and continue to get better. I’m going to keep writing as much as possible and start reading as much as possible to do so. Writing may not be my intended career path, but it continues to be one of the most important things to me.

For now, I’m just happy to be done.