This was hard, it was fun

On April 9 Facebook reminded me that it had been ten years since I smoked my last cigarette. This also meant it had been 10 years since I first discovered the sport of cricket, as I often credit my discovery of the sport–and the 2007 World Cup that was happening at the same time–as one of the reasons I was able to quit successfully. It gave me something to obsess over that I did not associate with smoking.

A couple years later I started this blog, and for almost five years it was my daily companion. And while I don’t post here anymore, I still come back here a lot. I read my old posts and the old comments and it is part nostalgia and part embarrassment and part awe in what I was able to accomplish in this space.  All it took was writing a post every single day. I look back on the earlier posts and juxtapose them against the later posts and I see growth not just in my understanding of the game and all its intricacies, but in my writing too. Which was why I started the blog to begin with.

But I moved on. I wanted to do other things. I didn’t want to write about cricket anymore. Unfortunately, without having this site as my backbone, my foundation, I stopped writing altogether. Up until about a year ago, that is, when all of a sudden, for reasons I cannot explain, I started writing again. The words flowed and flowed. Medium posts and short stories and one unfinished novel and one finished novel and now a memoir about the 13 years, six months and eight days I was able to spend with my father.

When I say that I finished a novel, I mean I “finished” it. There’s nothing more I can do with it. It’s a good story, I think. It’s a love story at its heart but it’s also about how it is when someone we love dies and how sometimes good things happen that wouldn’t have happened if they had lived, and it’s about coming face to face with that irony. It’s about art and the meaning we store in objects. And yes there’s cricket in it. But’s also deeply flawed and so I am not sure what to do with it. Someone else needs to read it, and provide critique, but I don’t think I have the intestinal fortitude to go through that. And so I am taking a break from it, which is what brings me here.

I still follow cricket. I don’t watch it much outside of highlights and old YouTube clips. And I mostly steer clear of stories about corruption and everything that’s wrong with the game, preferring to stick to recaps and scorecards. But lately I have found myself once again getting deeply interested in the game, watching hours of old matches on YouTube and watching Flintoff bowl that one perfect over again and again and remembering what a great, just great, game this is. More than anything though–and maybe this is because the ODI was my introduction to the sport–I am incredibly excited about the Champions Trophy taking place this summer. Yeah, I know, it’s pointless and bloated but c’mon it’s going to be fun and I can’t wait.

And so I came back here. To write about this game I remembered that I loved, and to get away from the book I don’t want to think about anymore, and to keep writing in a space where I feel comfortable. I can’t promise daily posts, but I am holding myself to two posts a week, starting now, and then daily posts during the Champions Trophy. After that who knows? But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

It’s good to be back. What’s everyone been up to?

8 Replies to “This was hard, it was fun”

  1. Welcome back! When I stopped writing on the blog, I stopped writing altogether. I need to get back into it. These days every time I start writing, I write about how I haven’t been writing. I need to get to page two :).

  2. Good to see you back, Matt. I’m in exactly the same boat as Devanshu – not exactly blocked, nor short of ideas, more the time and dedication to see them through. There’s still some great writing appearing on blogs, but so many people have fallen foul of the same thing. They don’t pay, so everyone who isn’t retired has to fit writing in around other aspects of their life, such as earning a living, and that’s hard.

    Anyway, I always enjoyed the US perspective that you provide, and I look forward to seeing more.

  3. Great to see you back writing, Matt. I’m looking forward to your coverage of the Champions Trophy and beyond.

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