As far back as I can remember, I always had this yearning to become a writer. When I got my first computer, after I realized how slow the internet was, and somehow figured out that I wasn’t going to be a programmer, I did the one thing I knew I could do with a computer. I opened up a word processor and started writing.
The town I grew up in didn’t have any big bookstores. So when I discovered Borders, Barnes and Noble and all the other stores in LA, I would spend hours just roaming the aisles. I wrote short stories, journal entries and whatever I was required to write for school. I didn’t realize it then, but I was planting the seeds for becoming an author.
Before we had messages, chat and all these other ways of communication, one of my best friends and I would send each other lengthy emails. They were really a discussion about college, life, and all the things that mattered. A few days after I graduated, I sat in a room and wrote a 63 page typed single-spaced story about my life in college in 8 days. It was the first of many seeds that I planted for becoming a writer.
The year after I graduated one of my friends started what was effectively a blog before there was such thing as blogs. Everybody would submit stories about their summer. And he would publish them. I was the most frequent contributor to what became known as “summer or Srini.” Some of the ridiculous stories included:
- The time a guy tried to beat the shit out of me at Hometown Buffet
- The Medical Transcriptionists trade show where people were more excited about a gift certificate to Bed Bath and Beyond than a free Palm Pilot
- My miserably failed attempts to meet girls at bars
Shortly after, I got fired from my first job, I wrote a lengthy expose about working there. Out of concern for the careers of the other people who worked there I resisted submitting it to the San Jose Mercury news. But I sent it to many of my friends who worked there. It made them all laugh. When blogger launched, I signed up and wrote a few things. But I couldn’t quite figure out what to do. So I abandoned it after a couple of days.
In the summer between my first and second year of business school, I worked as the social media intern at Intuit. I started a blog about it. Even though I didn’t get an offer, other students who eventually went on to work at Intuit found the blog and contacted me about it to ask about my internship. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was an indication that I was more destined to become a writer than an employee at Intuit.
I spent a semester studying in Brazil. I had hoped to document the entire experience on a blog but was never consistent about it. However, I did occasionally write about my adventures. I even had plans to write a memoir of my time there titled Estraingero (Portuguese for foreigner)
At this point, I’ve probably written more than 100 articles on Medium. I was one of the earliest users of the platform. Nobody at that time knew that it would become what it has. I considered every single article a seed that I was planting. And one of them eventually resulted in me becoming an author.
- When you come up with ideas for thing to write about you plant seeds
- When you jot things down in a notebook you plant seeds
- When you setup a landing page for a project or idea you plant seeds.
To truly benefit from the seeds you plant, it’s something you have to do on a consistent basis.
Throughout the last 15 years, I was continually planting seeds for what I’d eventually end up doing with my life. Every single day Seth Godin writes something he’s planting a seed, something that might lead to something else. In aninterview with Chase Jarvis, Seth said the following
Happiness is a point of view. Now is a point of view. You can say “I need to wait until all my ducks are in a row” But the thing I say to people is when you get that duck what are you going to do with it? We have our ducks. They may not all be in a perfect row, but the best way to be where you want to be a year from now and ten years from now is to do something today that you’ll be glad you did. — Seth Godin
We all have this opportunity at our fingertips. Start planting seeds today for who you want to become tomorrow, the day after and 10 years from now. You never know which ones will bear fruit. Plant seeds, water them, nurture them, plant more seeds. Rinse, wash repeat.