I decided I'm pausing my book writing process. I can't honestly say the book will be complete by the end of this month; in fact, I can't honestly say when the book will be complete. It's humbling to fail but I'm glad my failure is public. This project required the longest period of continuous effort I've ever put into anything. I started and stopped several times. I tried building a Substack community, turning my book into an NFT, and hosting a weekly Clubhouse room to hold myself accountable. Ultimately, writing the book felt like a chore rather than a gift, and that's not how I want to approach my craft.
My first focus was writing about the Indie Hackers community. Their lives, to me, felt worth emulating; one year ago I wanted to be an independent creator full time. Their stories felt achievable, in part because I connected with so many of them online: Steph Smith, Patrick Frank, Justin Murphy, Hugo Amsellem, Courtland Allen, Mubashar Iqbal, Daniel Vassallo, and Jack Nasjaq. These people are all artists; they create beauty and share it with the world. Steph with her newsletter, Patrick with his videos, Mubashar with his websites, and Nasjaq with his Tiktoks. The idea that I could share my authentic self online and create a community around it was dizzying.
Late last November, I pivoted. I realized what I cared about was independence and living a life of independence. All of the people I interviewed embodied intellectual, financial, and creative independence. I wanted to share their stories with people, but I wanted to inject myself into the narrative. I wanted to understand how I could live a life of independence. I wrote about how the internet lets people explore subcultures and maximize their weirdness; I shared how I discovered the most amazing group of techno-optimists my age on Gen Z Mafia: Jerry Feng, Alex Masmej, Kiran Cherukuri, Andrew Roberts, Nikolas Huebecker, Rahul Rana, Anush Mittal, Wade Fletcher, Sudarshan Sridharan, Samay Shamdasani, and Yash Godiwala.
In January, I started working at BLISSWAY. I navigated pervasive feelings of imposter syndrome, the desire to impress my new coworkers, and a new tech stack. Writing felt secondary. I journaled, but I didn't work on the book for five months. When I returned to my old work, it felt like the ramblings of a forgotten past. Those words carried no weight with me anymore. I still wanted to finish the book so I decided to write for the same reason I started this blog: to understand myself. I wrote about telling Meghana I liked her in the eighth grade, how creativity is soberness, and what it means to know something.
When I returned to school, I failed to execute this new game plan. My actions revealed my values. My inaction revealed my indifference. I've discovered obsession is a more powerful force than discipline. I couldn't work on something I wasn't excited about. Where did my excitement go? I suppose I'll need more time before I can fully answer this question, but I have an idea. Before this semester, I journaled more than 1,000 words a day. I could see my own reflection so clearly it was blinding. Now, I no longer needed writing to be therapy. I had my friends.
I can't wait to share these ideas with people. For each statement about why I failed, there is 'yet' at the end. I'm not finished writing a book yet. I can't share what I've created yet. I'm not an author yet. This word is a promise to myself and to each of the people who've been following this journey since I announced it a year ago. It's difficult for me to quit something I love, and I love how much this journey taught me about myself.
I realized I needed to reconsider this book journey when I saw this excerpt from Joe Rogan's podcast with Naval Ravikant. Naval illustrates the importance of starting over with the analogy of someone climbing a mountain: "you go two-thirds of the way up... but now to go the rest of the way you're going to have to go back down to the bottom and look for a new path." I don't have enough to say right now, but I'm excited to let go and find a new path.
Thank you to everyone who reached out to me to ask about the book, the people who react every time I share an update, and those people who keep bugging me about the release date. I'm blessed to have people so invested in me. I can't wait to share what I've created with you.