A Hundred Quills- Behind the Scenes & The Journey Ahead

(free image, pixabay)

“If you chase anything in life chase the things that get you excited about living…”                                                                ─ Shannon L. Alder

A Hundred Quills is turning two next week. And this one is a huge personal milestone for me. From just about two readers (or followers as they are popularly called) to almost four hundred (394 at the time of writing this post) and more than two hundred posts, I think I can be kind on myself and call this a decent leap. I have also, during these years, penned my thoughts for a few online portals making several friends in the blogging world along the way. The blogging journey has opened countless new vistas for me. It has been a realm of learning and growth.

On this occasion I feel happy to share the story behind the nomenclature of this blog. Afterall, I owe it to my readers to share some details of the ‘behind the scenes’. Maybe my story resonates with you and you find a tiny bit of inspiration in there! Why I choose to do it after two long years is both special and intriguing, as you will soon discover.

Two years ago, I sent a short story titled, ‘A Hundred Quills’ for a writing competition. I had just started taking baby steps into the world of writing and was experimenting with e-magazines and their likes. The story failed to make the cut. To add a little note, it was my fifth attempt at the competition and I was already disillusioned. I thought it was time to get some expert help about my writing. After a bit of research and at the behest of a friend, I sent the story and a handful of poems for a review to someone with decent writing experience. I was warned- ‘Brace yourself, I do not mince words.’ Well, that is exactly what I was looking for. An honest opinion.

 After three days I received a message for a scheduled video call to discuss my writing. I wondered why a video call! As I look back now, I think it’s always wonderful to begin in an extraordinary way.

The following Sunday at 11, I was on Skype, meeting my first ever beta reader, if I may call him so. The call went on for over two hours. While the poems received passing marks, the story didn’t quite make it. I was categorically told that there is no dearth of writers in the world and it is up to me how I choose to present my writing. I was definitely disillusioned by the ‘honest feedback’. I didn’t want to become Tagore or Dickens. Why was my writing being compared to them? It took me a few days to look at the entire episode more rationally and positively. But once there, I decided to meet the roadblocks head-on and immediately moved over to WordPress to have a place of my own where I could just write and be myself. It was then, while deciding upon a name, that I thought of ‘A Hundred Quills’, a gentle reminder to myself of how the journey began.

I often thought of sharing this part of my writing adventure on the blog but wanted the original story to accompany it. However, the story simply kept eluding me. Initially the plan was to make it the hundredth post on the blog but it took me long to be convinced about what I had written and the time didn’t seem ripe enough to present it to the world. In between I wrote several pieces of flash and went on to win writing contests, although few and far between.

 I joined the IWSG in October last year and wrote my first WEP entry (Footprints) in December 2019 which was a piece of flash. It turned out to be a winning entry and since I’ve been very active and regular with the WEP submissions. I see them as an important part of my learning. I had a long desire to edit my story ‘A Hundred Quills’ for a WEP entry. This month’s prompt ‘Long Shadow’ seemed suitable for just that. Of course, several rounds of editing went into turning a 4000-word story into a flash piece of 1000 words, but should I say it was worth the effort. Fellow writers had some really kind things to say about the story, and naturally no other piece of writing in the past two years made me happier. I would love for you to visit the story here.

Coming back to milestones. I always feel that we each reach our milestones at a different time. And once there, we no longer wish to stay. At least I don’t! I wish to move on to newer destinations, explore other worlds. I have had my share of awards and claps…even jeers and failure. Reached all of those milestones pretty early in life. Maybe that is the reason for my equanimity. I’m more interested in trying out new avenues or ventures or something more… the ‘what next’ type!

 And now I look at extending this approach to my writing as well. After all, we must keep on reinventing ourselves. It is time to venture out, maybe try new places for the poetry and the flash. But that isn’t to say that the blog is going anywhere. This is the place I call home and be sure to find my SOL stories or musings, the books I read, the life-lessons, even rants right here. And every time a poem makes the cut, watch out for a link in this very corner (fingers crossed). Who knows! You might discover a place for your verse as well.

Thank you for being a part of ‘A Hundred Quills’ and for patiently reading me once again. I hope you will not give up on the blog and it will continue to receive your love and support as I work to refurbish it for you.  

Cheers to many more novel years of writing!

Some of my earlier and raw poetry is available on Juggernaut. If you are looking to find out more about my poetry, click on the link below. Don’t forget to leave a short review if you enjoy reading the poems!


32 thoughts on “A Hundred Quills- Behind the Scenes & The Journey Ahead”

  1. Congratulations Sonia! Just two years, it’s such a great feat!! Hope you reach many more milestones and achieve many more laurels along the way!! Super glad to have “met” you! ❤
    So glad to hear your story about naming this blog! It’s always nice to have behind the scenes, right!

  2. I so so love your posts. They way you weave the words, it’s just amazing. Glad one honest feedback pushed you towards having your blog. Keep writing.

  3. Pingback: WEP August- Encouragement Award – A Hundred Quills

  4. Fantastic! Loved hearing the story behind the title.
    It took me over a decade to learn the craft well enough to begin sharing my words beyond my first 2 critique partners. I had so much to learn!!!
    Congrats and here’s to the journey ahead!

  5. Congratulations on your milestones, Sonia, and the new horizons that lie ahead. I’ve enjoyed watching your growth and your successes in the time I’ve been following your blog. You’ve worked very, very hard, and it’s paid off. Brava!

  6. A beautiful rendition of all the mixed feelings while being on an incredible journey that only a writer can understand!! Congratulations on completing this milestone and kudos to you for emerging as one of the finest writers. Wishing you many more milestones.
    Perhaps I have never told you earlier that you have been a source of inspiration for me since the time I have discovered you.
    Here is a little gesture to tell you what I couldn’t otherwise.
    I have nominated you for ‘The Sunshine Blogger Award’. Please visit http://towardsbetterlifestyle.com/the-sunshine-blogger-award/ for details:)

  7. Congratulations to you, Sonia! I love your writing and your work and am obviously curious where it is all going! I A novel, perhaps? I will hop over to the root cause of all these words (wanted to say word flowers.. 🙈.. been writing too much).

    Before I leave, I would like to say I am glad i found you and your words

    1. Thank you Namratha. Well a WIP is there but it’s going to take a long time… a year, two…I don’t know, not sure. I am looking at journal submissions right now, as the next step forward.
      I know you’ve been writing a lot and writing so well. Keep at it and thank you for being such a constant support.

  8. Wowww👏👏👏👏Sonia , many many more milestones to you . I have read many , your writing is so real and relatable . Keep writing and sharing . Your readers look forward for a new one . Congratulations 🌸🌸🌸👏👏👏

  9. Gosh. What a journey. I am so happy that you did not give up on writing and rather made it to here, over time with such amazing pieces. For a while, I thought that you were levaing this blog or so but am only thankful that you are not. Believe me, it would be a loss to all your readers. Over time I have become. Fan of yours. Also, this reminds me I completed 4 years of blogging this august. Only, I have been too occupied lately but I am itching to go celebrate. However, small this is a place close to me too. You said it right ‘home’. To many more writing 🖤

    1. At the outset congratulations Moushmi. For those four wonderful years. Many more to you!
      You were one of the earliest readers I gained and it was totally my good luck. You’ve been such a wonderful support. I can’t thank you enough.

  10. Congratulations Sonia! A wonderful journey indeed. Keep churning such magical words.
    To many more years ahead for these milestones and successes 😊

  11. Congratulations my dear friend! My best wishes are always there for you. I feel honoured to cheer for you. This has been a great journey for you and you have certainly evolved a lot. Love 💕

  12. Congratulations Sonia! This is a happy feat for me. This place is a safe haven for poetry lovers like me. And the best part is, I always find a part of me in your pieces. Absolutely love your creations. Here is lots of more cheering years for A Hundred Quills and you. Best wishes. 💐💐

  13. Congratulations Sonia. A well-deserved celebration indeed. I’ll hop over to read the seed that held this tree of hundred quills in its womb:)
    Raising my glass to many more milestones for you and for your wonderful writing.
    Hugs. xx

  14. Oh that’s amazing. Congratulations! This it amazing. We would have come a long way after years of writing. But I was surprised to hear the story behind the name. Our poetry is amazing. I feel in love with them, especially during this year’s A to Z.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: