You see, writing is not instinctive for me like music and art are. For me, writing is a laborious process and I have spent almost my entire lifetime avoiding writing beyond the essentials — homework, school essays, reports, letters, dissertations, etc. have been sincerely done. But that’s about it. I’ve never maintained a diary, even an appointment diary !
I must confess here that I’m quite envious of people who declare that they always knew they wanted to write, and also those bloggers who declare that it took them “just half-an-hour” to write a blog post.
So why did I start blogging? Mainly because I wanted to prove a point to myself by doing something out of my comfort zone, but also because I was bored. So Year 1 of blogging was all about getting comfortable with writing, exploring and experimenting with topics and writing styles, etc. Though writing still did not come easily to me, I had fun conceptualising and then writing post after post. It was hugely satisfying to see my thoughts take shape in the words I wrote.
I entered Year 2 of blogging with greater confidence. That year turned out to be a fantastic year of growth as a blogger, meeting fellow bloggers, and receiving recognition from many quarters, including fellow bloggers. I felt proud to be a blogger and part of the blogging community. There were more people subscribing to my blog, more people reading it, more people commenting on it, more… more… more…
You know the feeling when everything is right with the world, you are on a roll, and nothing can stop you? Well, that’s what I felt like as the second year ended. There was this “small matter” of writer’s block, but I was quite calm, not unduly worried, and pretty confident that everything would sort itself out.
I began Year 3 on a high — a high degree of complacency and smugness. And we all know what happens when something like that sets in.
It was a time when I thought more about blog statistics, page views and comments rather than my writing. In other words, it was more about quantity than quality.
It was a year that shattered my illusions of a mature and unified blogging community through instances of bullying, spite, online abuse, and hypocrisy.
It was a year where I could no longer ignore writer’s block or keep calm about it. Though there were periods I was able to write, more often than not I was just overwhelmed with not being able to.
However crazy it sounds, I’m glad for all that has happened this year. I needed it (i) to realise that bloggers and the blogging world are a reflection of the real world (I really wonder now why I thought it would be different !); and (ii) to acknowledge my skewed priorities vis-à-vis my blog and remedy it by bringing the fun and passion back into my writing.
Before you think that this year was all doom and gloom, let me assure you that it was not. There were some fantastic highs as well: the launch of The Sunday Book Club (of which I am a co-founder) and its growth; my blog posts on Mumbai got published in DNA newspaper; two photographs of the Demoiselle Cranes at Khichan got published in the Deccan Herald; a blog post on Memorable Travel Memories won a Blogger Relay Contest; got listed among the top 30 travel blogs in India; met some awesome bloggers like Bhavana, Modern Gypsy, Puru & Ekta, and much more…
This year illustrates a favourite quotation of mine rather well:
Just when I knew all the answers to life’s questions, the questions changed. ~ Anonymous
These days, while I appreciate the comments on my blog posts, I am not fixated on them. As for blog stats they don’t make a difference any more and I see them only on the day I publish a new post. This has been the easy part and as for the difficult part, I have barely made a dent — writing. Though I have been writing fairly regularly, trying to breathe life into my writing, it has not been easy and the blog posts have been more misses than hits. Still, I am not giving up. Yet.
So, will the journey of 3 years, 283 posts, 2,07,006 words, 36 videos, 1,344 images, 1,35,558 page views, 6,937 comments and 17,117 spam comments see a fourth blogversary post?
Que sera, sera