November 17, 2011

How I got noticed, got followers and got a meaning to life

Exactly seven months ago to this day, on a dull uneventful afternoon at work, I opened a word doc and started writing about an incident that had happened the previous night. I wanted to vent. And clarify certain things.

And that led to “The Essential Mallu food-guide for non-Mallus”.

When I had finished typing out the post, I mailed it to Arun. He read it and said “It’s great!”. And I remember asking “What? You liked it? I thought you wouldn’t like it!” because he’s not the kind who’ll say “It’s great” to everything. And he replied “Arre! How can you decide what I like??” I said that I didn’t feel it was a great piece of writing. Then he made a few suggestions, I made some changes here and there, and finally published it. I also published it as a note on FB.
What followed next left me completely overwhelmed and at a loss for words.

Over the next few days, the note got shared on FB multiple times. I had only learnt the theory of nuclear fission. I saw how it could be applied in real life with this note. My friends shared it, their friends shared it, friends of their friends shared it. Juniors, seniors, classmates, acquaintances, strangers- everyone shared it, and actually made the effort to drop me a message on FB to let me know that it was a kickass piece of writing and that they were looking forward to reading more from me. And like a broken record, I replied “Thank you! :)” to everyone. I didn’t know what else to say! It was just too overwhelming. I was getting friendship requests from all over the place, simply because they loved my writing. That day, I realized that it’s not just the hot girls with model-type profile pics who get fraandship requests from strangers. :p I even came across a family friend who I had heard a lot about but never met! Suddenly, I was that girl who everybody wanted to know and call their friend. It got me believing in the power of the internet.

And then someone asked me whether I have a blog link for the note to share, since not everyone was able to share it on FB because of privacy settings. And so I gave the link to that guy.

My number of followers went up from 11 to 39. In one day. And it kept increasing. Each time I opened blogger, I was thrilled to find that I had got two more followers. And more comments too. I was living in a completely different world. I could not believe that little old me was actually this blogger who everybody liked to read. Ya, it was not like winning the Booker Prize or something, but for me, it was a HUGE deal. Till then, I didn't even know that I could be 'funny', that being funny and sarcastic was my thing.

After that, every post I wrote, I was aware that I had a certain standard to meet. A standard that was set by me. And I had to meet the expectations of all those kind folks who had faith in the writer in me. It was hard. After the initial excitement wore off, I started getting worried. What if I’m not able to write something equally interesting? What if I’m just a one-post wonder? What if they lose interest and don’t read my posts anymore? Will I be able to handle criticism after all the adulation? But I continued writing, because it was the only thing I knew to do. I continued writing, promising myself that I will try to meet not just my readers’, but my own expectations as well. The number of followers increased, I made a conscious effort to write regularly. I formed a circle of friends who I now call ‘My bloggers’ (Yes, mine. I’m a bit selfish that way). And even though no other post of mine has come even close to the popularity level of that post, I know what I’m capable of. I may not be on FB any longer, but some of my posts still get shared there.

As I was sitting in office today, wondering what is wrong with me, why I’m not able to write, why I’m not able to come up with anything worth reading, why the block refuses to go away, where my muse has taken off to, I opened the very same post to read. And saw the date. And it was exactly seven months ago that I had written that.

Reading that again, it restored my faith. That I will be able to write again. That even though there is a lull now, I will eventually get back to my old self. That the person who wrote the ‘Essential Mallu Food guide for non-mallus’ has not gone anywhere. She’s still alive, maybe not kicking because of various factors, but alive nonetheless.

Yup, I’ll be back. Meanwhile, please don’t write me off.


  1. First PeeVee, then Red and now you... you all decided you'll take a break together? :P
    Anyway... be back soon! :)

  2. No one's writing you off Missy. If you must know, I look forward to reading every single post that you write, even if it is just a couple of lines.

    Its inspiring that you set standards for yourself when the followers started pouring in but also remember that you have to write for yourself every now and then because I reckon that's what you told yourself when you started writing on this space.

    For now, take a breather and come back fully charged(Ermm, ASAP), blogger is not the same without your howlers.

  3. Brilliant!!!

    Even I used to write notes on FB before creating my blog :D (though didn't get so awesome a response like yours)

    Hope whatever that's worrying you gets solved soon.

    Stay Blessed ^_^

  4. I remember reading that post- it was hilarious and I shared it on my fb wall as well! Spiff, you're like a role model for me!! :D

  5. Nee eppo varuven eppadi varuvennu yarukkum theriyathu... aana varavendiya nerathula correcta varuven! ;)

    Will wait fr the Spiff Master!! :)

  6. I think all your having is a moment of anxiety. Even when you write only a few lines, it manages to get its punch in somewhere. I don't think there's any writer's block issue with you. Chillax!!!

  7. You are a riot even when you claim that your posts are not funny any longer..but yeah, i hear you .. once upon a time,when my blog was popular, every new post used to be a challenge to me because I really didn't know what else to come up with (that could match up to the last one).

    Its a fairly common thing for a blogger to face.. so don't beat yourself up so much! now am off to read your mallu post..

  8. aaaaaaaaannn..
    waaaaat molaayyy..!!!!
    like that and all no need to think..
    we all need a break Dee..:):):)
    nobody is going to write you off or any such blaah..
    you have always written super stuff out here..
    so just chillll..!!!

    waiting for the next post..:)):)
    keep writing sweetie..!!

    cheers !!

  9. Huh...shud have named this one 'SHOW OFF POST' :D

    loved this. really nice post. and i cud relate to it too. cos my take off happened in Divine Facebook and Harry Potter spoof post. I wasnt an overnight superstar like u missy.

    One advice...u wrote that post for urself. not for anyone. and see the response. dont think i need to say anythin more. :)

  10. I remember the post so well. Easily, one of your best! :) Remember how I mistook you to be a Teresian?

    Be back soon Spiff, I really, really look forward to reading you. It is one of those few blogs that makes me smile.

  11. In fact that was the first article I read of yours, and I was taken away to wonderland!! Fell down from my bed reading that post..!! It was ultra- amazing.. Must have enjoyed it a tiny winy bit more because of being a Malayali :P!!!

  12. Like that chickeguniya and H1N1 menace, this blogger-block thing seems to be spreading :(...don't worry Divs, we should never force ourselves to do what we don't want to. All of us love you and we'll continue to do so. Even if there are no posts till the end of this year, we still have so many more gems in the archives to dig up don't we. You could also try completing the 10 day challenge thingy...I took it from you in Sept, I'm yet to start :(...waste moolay I am.
    Love and Hugs <3<3<3

  13. Aye! Don't go! Okay go, but come back soon! okay?! :D :D

  14. :)
    It was the other way round for me. From blogger to FB notes and now, Im back 2 blogger because its kinda awesome, isnt it?

    You will always be you. :)

    Streaks of brilliance WILL strike.
    It is only a matter of time.
    But don't slow down friend, don't trail away.
    On a different day,
    Awesome things will happen.


  15. I will never ever write you off, even at gun point! I swear!

    I idolize you when it comes to blogging and you say that you are having a block :( You are as alive and kicking as ever, Spiff! Maybe, you need something more to meet your self-set standards and I am happy that you take time to analyse your writing. But, never ever consider that your followers will write you off.. I don't think that will happen even if the world ends.

  16. 7 months back, REALLY? Damn, it feels like yesterday! :P I still remember how I had stalked your blog on Google after reading that post. I just knew someone with such amazing writing skills had to be a blogger. And I wanted you to marry my brother cos I found you so funny. :D :) Honestly, your blog was my inspiration to read Indian bloggers. :D

    So thank you for writing.:) Can't wait to read more of your witty posts Senseless Sense Sensible Nonsense Spaceman Spiff. :D

  17. Well.. Its seems there is a kinda recession out there... In the blog world... Everybody is takin a break or off with the same reason.. You were the last person i ever expected to lack the attention of madam muse... (miss purple shoes... I remember that post :p) nevertheless will be waiting for your return..!!!


  18. Ah yes. That post brought me to this blog, indeed.

    The concern regarding meeting readers' expectations while planning to write some post is a tricky trap. There your concern becomes "what will work for others?" as opposed to "what works for me".

    What I've come to realize is write only when you're that passionate about what you have to say. You'd have done your best, AND others will appreciate it for being genuine. Quite like the unexpected success of that post.

    Don't sweat it.


  19. First PeevVee and the you! Don't Go away and sop writing . Please... Pretty Please.. I love your writing and I just restarted blogging and reading blogs after a long time. Found some nice blogs (yours , Peeve's etc) and suddenly all of you decide to take a break.. (Just my luck).

    That's just selfish me, But do keep writing what's in your mind and when what's in your heart comes out it becomes beautiful.

  20. U wont ever be written off our books :)
    U are a great blogger :) Get back soon.

  21. now why on earth is every blogger i like suddenly taking a break???i took a 4 day break...and now am back.....please be back soon too...

  22. Oh I just landed here and you are taking a break :)

  23. @All: First of all, thank you so much for the kind words and the reassurances. I feel humbled and loved. Thank you so much. :)

    This break wasn't really a consious decision. It's just that I'm not able to write. I had struggle to write even a para for kalpak's guest post. And I finally ended up sending something that I'd written long back.

    Feels good to know that you guys will miss reading the sense and nonsense I dish out. :) There will be more of that. I promise.

    See you all soon!

  24. :) Be back soon.

    Also, a video link posted by @Quotes4Writers -

  25. Food guide oru sensational post thanne ayirunnu. No doubt. More will surely come.

  26. Just to let you know-one of my cousins actually shared the exact same note, and I found it soo funny.
    SO you've reached so many people through your writing :)

  27. Your blog definitely rocks!! And you have been consistently maintaining that standards of yours that I am amazed! Hats off doll!

    I still owe you a blog post but meanwhile, I'm promoting your blog okay?? xx

  28. I'm gonna be a me. And I don't need to 'follow' you..just bookmared you on my browser..should do.

    u take care now. and congrats - u deserve all the fan following..


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