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Posted on: Sunday, 02 May 2010 by Rajiv Popat

A small project in a tiny little nook of your organization fails but the universe continues to function exactly as is. A close friend has a bad breakup but decides to move on with his life. A cockroach loses its home and decides to move into your hotel room. You have not been able to do any real concentrated work for days. On the face of it, these are utterly insignificant events of your life that no-one gives a rats ass about.

Ok wait... maybe you care. Maybe your mom does. Maybe your friends, colleagues or acquaintances do. But that's about it - you tell yourself.

Then when you sit in front of the monitor thinking of what to write about, you see nothing but insane white electrons staring back at you. You feel like those days when you were asked to answer a question you were totally clueless about.

All you hear is silence.

The sound of crickets chirping deep inside your head.

You whine.

You just missed fifteen things that you could have written about in the last seven days. 

You just missed fifteen new perspectives.

You just missed out on fifteen new conversation any one of which could have brought purpose or meaning to your life and your universe.

And did you realize what the problem was?

As much as you might have heard me telling you that one of the biggest problems about writing on the internet that young and budding blogger often forget, is that no-one cares about you, your blog or your product, to be honest that is not the biggest of the problems keeping you away from blogging consistently and achieving ultimate success in one easy step.

The real problem here is hugely different. The real problem here, just in case you have not yet realized it, is that you, yourself don't care enough about any of these events, experiences and moments that are shaping your life,  even right now as you read this.

TEDxCalcutta speaker and a movie director Ashoke Vishwanathan first introduced me to a rather philosophical concept of movie making which also applies to blogging. During his talk, he explained the concept of the hyper-real in movie making:

This is what we call the hyper-real.

If you walk into a rock concert, where say Madonna is singing. Because the auditorium is so big you require giant television screens and on those giant television screens you will see images of Madonna.

Now when you attend the rock concert, are you watching Madonna singing or are you watching yourself watching Madonna singing. You are actually watching yourself watching Madonna.

While most folks scratched their heads at this remark, what Ashoke was really talking about was your ability to step out and watch yourself participating in your own stories. Do you even have the perspective to notice that the stories are happening all around you? Do you have the ability to step out, watch, learn and then tell these stories to the world? Do you even care about these stories?

Do you just see a cockroach getting squatted, or do you see a tale or errors unwind itself with you playing the central role? Do you genuinely and truly think that a train trip can change your outlook on life?  Do you genuinely believe that programming is art, science and passion all rolled into one and that depressed programmers should be smacked out of the profession and asked to join a different profession? Do you have an enemy?

Do 'you' truly and deeply care about anything?

Do you even have strong opinions on anything?

Do you believe that the life that you live, the work that you do or the experiences that you have are informative, funny or remarkable enough that you feel the urge to move your buttocks off that couch and share them with others around the globe? If you don't care, don't you think, asking your audience to give a shit, is asking for too much?

If you do care enough, you won't have a difficult time finding a topic for your next post, because that is the only thing lying between you and the next meaningful conversation you are going to start.

I look forward to reading it and as usual, here is wishing you good luck.