I was more than a little surprised to get a message on my blog dashboard the other day. It was a little note from the backroom boys of WordPress to thank me for “flying” with them for five years. My reaction: stunned incredulity. How did the years “fly” past without me noticing? Looking back, it has been one heck of an adventure. And here are my top five learnings…
Blogging is about finding your own path
When I first jumped on to the blogging bandwagon, I had a single-minded focus. To become a disciplined writer and write as often as possible. Well, I sure did get on to that road but in a kind of zig-zaggy way. The first few months of blogging were easy enough but soon I started stressing about whether my writing was good enough, what I would write next and whether my readers were getting bored with the stuff I was putting out. But after five years or so, I have decided that when it becomes stressful, it’s no longer fun. And that in turn reduces the enjoyment factor for readers. It’s a bit like going off the beaten track and finding your own path… there will be some surprises, a few wrong turns and then those brilliant aha moments. So, go with the flow and enjoy your blogging adventure.
Enjoy the company of fellow travellers
On every journey you are bound to meet people. Some, with whom you connect, form a fleeting bond and move on. Sometimes the memories stay with you for a long while and at others they fade away. Perhaps only to be triggered by a random event or happenstance. Then there are others with whom you create a more lasting connection. Both types of connections enrich your life and that’s what my blogging experience has been like. So, thank you fellow bloggers and readers who have encouraged me with your thoughts and comments, your random and/or occasional visits.
Appreciate diverse points of view
When you blog you open yourself up for bouquets as well as brickbats. Especially if you have an opinion–that is not particularly mainstream! True, there will be some who are on the same wavelength with you and will appreciate your point of view. But then there are others who may be equally passionate about the opposite view. We are a combination of our experiences and blogging teaches you to be aware of and take the other perspective in your stride. While ‘trolling’ seems to have become a nasty byproduct of blogging, the true blogger is one who learns to shake them off without disturbing her equanimity.
Never rush to publish
There are times when there is something that you need to get off your chest/mind right here, right now. Those posts always come straight from the heart…more often than not they are rants. Hitting the publish button however can be a bit risky. Seems like we need to give ourselves some space to breathe. We owe ourselves a cooling off period. After a day or two you might feel differently. Or not. Blogposts have often helped me to thrash out things–even as they sit in my ‘drafts’ box, they are my writing equivalent of count-till-ten-before-you-speak. Once in the ether, the damage is done. So why not take a step back? My new mantra: Write when you’re emotional, Publish when the dust has settled.
Here’s a reminder that Bob Dylan gives in his evergreen song… and applies to practically everything in life, including blogging…
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.
So, here’s a big high-five on my fifth blogversary! Hope you will keep visiting. Do share your thoughts on why you blog/write…
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