03 June 2017

Shortcut To Happiness

No, this post is not a sermon on how to find happiness in your life. I am the last person to have any kind of clarity on the topic. The whole "find happiness in the smallest of things" is really not my type of logic anyways. This post is about the movie by the same name and how and why it has stayed with me even after all these years. 

So, have you seen the movie Shortcut to Happiness? If you haven't and you blog, you must watch it.

It is about this exceptionally gifted but small time writer (Alec Baldwin) who pledges his soul to the devil (Jennifer Love Hewitt) in exchange for fame and money and becomes one of the best-selling authors.

But slowly his writing suffers. His 2-3 best friends and genuine readers cannot read his "popular" books anymore because it lacks quality and they tell him so but he doesn't even have time to listen to them because he is so caught up with his new readers who are in millions now.

He has it all - readers, money, huge number of published books - everything he ever wanted and then he realizes that actually, he never really wanted any of this. All he ever wanted was a reader who responded to his writing and connected to his words. He was happier being an unpublished writer who wrote brilliant stuff whose real readers actually read him.

In the beginning of my blogging journey, way back in 2010, for one whole month or so, or longer than that perhaps, I caught myself obsessing over Alexa Rank, comments, number of readers, and number of followers, page views, so on and so forth. I even compared it with others. I sometimes returned comments and visits for the sake of it. And this is the shameful part, I wondered why some common readers don't read me but read others. I frequently doubted the quality of my blog, and asked repeatedly was my blog not nice. I worried that though I was nearing 2 years, I was still at 85 posts in 2012. I was caught up in this indivotes (votes that your post gets on a bloggers network called indiblogger), statistics, followers, widgets, and the world of other bloggers. I lost myself somewhere, bit by bit and I was so aware of it.

I had forgotten why I had actually started blogging. I had started blogging to quiet my mind. I was constantly in a monologue with myself and I had to find a way out of it - the constant chatter in my head. It was like I was always talking, even when there was no one else in the room or mostly then! Today, almost 7 years later, with a four year break in the blogging journey, it feels great to be in a space of contentment. Now that I am almost 134 posts old (nine on my travel blog and 125 here on this one), I have often gone back reading my older posts. They always bring a smile of joy. I surely find it amusing that there was a phase where I felt a particular way about a particular issue.

Interestingly, many of those emotions and opinions that I put forth in my earliest posts are still true today! Even after 7 years!  Or maybe, seven years is really not that long a time for a person to have a drastically different opinion on the same issue. Maybe, the number seven is a landmark number for married couples only, what with the itch and all the accompanying troubles. 

So, sometimes, I wonder, what would it be like, reading posts of 2010, say in 2050? Would I be ashamed? Not, I hope. 

12 comments:

  1. Coming back after a four-year break was a feat in itself. Agreed that all of us become obsessed with stats, etc. but once we cross that phase - over a period of time, we get back to our roots and discover real purpose of blogging.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. True. It happens to all the bloggers. It is a phase.

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  2. Whether any blogger watches this movie or not, this blog post is a must read for all the bloggers. Excellent post. I can very identify with you.

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  3. So, now it is time to look back. You've done it beautifully. Nice

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  4. Oh! what a coincidence, I too have seen this movie. I too have felt the same way you felt in the beginning, hardly any comments, whereas, I saw so many blogs having so many comments, I also used to feel that their blogs seemed so dry, yet how come they got so many people reading them. I too went to the sites that gave tips on how to make one's blog more popular etc., etc.
    After some time I realised it didn't matter, for I loved writing and found it very therapeutic, and that is what matters. I have been blogging from 2005, and for the past 1 year or so I became hooked to FB, and left blogging, now I am back at it again.
    Your post is so heartwarming, and I am sure many would be able to relate to it.

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    1. Blogging since 2005! The year I got married ...haha..
      That's a very long time. 12 years - great!

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  5. 2050-you should feel how you evolved...!!!! At least you lived life, just not biologically...!!!! I feel you already in that category.

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  6. As Mr. Ram Anant has said this is true for blogosphere too. Many mediocre blogs attract huge hits

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    1. That's Ms. Rama Ananth :) I guess it was a typo or spell check correction :)

      Yes, it did happen back then too and I guess continues even now.

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