TAKING ON A NEW CHALLENGE

It has been exactly one month since I have written my last blog post. Since that time, I have had people ask me if I had “quit blogging” or “given up”, and I always told them that I hadn’t, that I was busy and tired and uninspired. Every time a new idea popped into my head–writing about pride month, the future, my family, political issues, my travels, summer, friends– I somehow could not bring myself to sit down and start typing. I felt incompetent to address things larger than me, but also vain and selfish when writing about light and simple topics. Nothing is working, and for a moment, I truly worried that “Chocolate and Politics” was starting to deteriorate and become another project that would fall into the rubble pile of failed hobbies.

When writing my to-do list today, at the very top in bold letters was “WRITE A BLOG POST“. I promised myself that today, I would put something out, no matter how trivial or substandard it was. Sitting down to write though, was a whole other obstacle. I started on one topic. Deleted the entire thing. Started on another. Threw it out. Considered giving up. And then, finally, realized what I had to do. Instead of throwing out post after post, I had to throw away all expectations and force myself to go back to the beginning.

I started “Chocolate and Politics” on July 23, 2020. Almost one year ago, I wrote my first (real) post entitled “Mental Health in Teens”. I remember feeling so proud and happy that finally, I had a safe space to document my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. From that point, began the process of bolstering the website. I became a well-oiled machine, putting out posts daily, inspired by mundane life. Creative posts from the “Best Butter Chicken and Garlic Naan” to one of my most popular posts to date “Dating in High School”, were all written in that window of inspiration. I honestly didn’t know or care if people I knew were reading it, because I was writing for me and writing things that I would want to read. Over the course of the last year however, I began to write for the reader (as any good blogger should do I guess). I wondered what my friends were thinking as they read my words or what topics would make me seem educated and original. I began to read other blogs that teens I knew started and compared my meager dinky writing with their profound ideas and knowledge. I stopped writing.

The most crucial lesson that I am still learning is the art of individuality. The truth is, that I could write about the same profound ideas that others were claiming expertise on. But still, I can’t claim to know everything about the LGBTQ+ community or talk about mental illnesses I have never experienced. I would rather let those with these experiences tell their own story so that I can listen and learn. My job is to tell the narrative about things I do know and, if I can do that, I’m certain that I can write every single day. Every single day.

Over the last few weeks I have constantly questioned myself: “if I can write in a journal daily, why can’t I blog daily?” Maybe because a journal is private and I can vomit words onto a page without worrying about others reading it. Maybe because I have full creative freedom to write about anything I want. Whatever it is, the boundaries and expectations I place on my blog is what I must work to tear down. This is why, over the next month, I am embarking on a challenge to write one blog post per day. Now I realize, like when I did this last year, that people do not want to be flooded with nonsense writing and that, with a higher frequency, views tend to drop. But, the way I see it, this is what I have to do to get “Chocolate and Politics” back on its feet. For the first time, I am saying quantity over quality.

At this point, I am not sure if I will be posting daily because my commitment is to writing daily. I can write articles and then post them on a schedule (weekly, bi-weekly, etc) or, I may just go ahead and put them out daily. Either way, “Chocolate and Politics” will be undergoing a change. Hopefully, my readers will stick around and support my writing no matter how short, quick, or mindless some of the articles are. Technically though, that is the entire point of “Chocolate and Politics”… you can’t have inventive, riveting conversation without a slice of chocolate cake (if you know what I mean).

So join me on my journey to become a better writer. My writing will not be perfect and my concepts even farther from it. But, I can promise that I will do my best to put out content in a more timely fashion. In the meantime, I need your help! Please send me ideas so that I am not overcome with the dreaded writer’s block. As referenced throughout this entire post, it doesn’t have to be large or scholarly. I plan on writing posts about politics, social issues, and mental health but also, recipes, and creative writing and my personal experiences.

Welcome back to “Chocolate and Politics”.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” -Louis L’Amour

Happy Living 🙂

Published by Ria Pai

Hi let me introduce myself. I was born and have lived my entire life in a beach area as a child of two amazing parents who immigrated to America from India. I love art, music and writing so I try to combine the three. I enjoy deep conversations on a number of topics from politics, to friendships, to fashion. I’m a natural perfectionist, but sometimes find this to be a bit overwhelming. I love mangos, dark chocolate and tea. I make art whenever I get the chance…painting, songwriting, dancing, and writing are all forms of art to me. Since I live in a warm area, I cannot stand any weather that is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and always find a way to swim in anything from pools to the ocean. I have one dog, a Lhasa Apso who I am envious of because he does nothing but eat, sleep, and lay around all day. I experiment with my style. I am horrible at geography and sitting still, and it’s not uncommon to find me with paint all over my hands. I like to wear bold clothing and I always find a way to wear the same white sneakers with any outfit I can. Hi, my name is Ria, nice to meet you.

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