A little over a year back, I started a blog. This blog, to be precise and on 2 June 2011 My Favourite Things celebrated its first blogoversary.
Looking back, it’s actually surprising that I started blogging. You see, I didn’t have too high an opinion of blogs—I found many of them narcissistic, self-obsessed, and opinionated. But what irritated me the most was bad language and a complete disregard for spellings and punctuation. My dislike for blogs was so great that I got into a rather heated and completely unnecessary exchange with a close friend about blogging and bloggers. The poor guy had just started a blog and I jumped down his throat with a “Not you too!”, and said many things better not shared here. Once again, I’m sorry, Aniruddha.
My Favourite Things is actually my third blog, and currently the only active one. My earlier two attempts at blogging (you can read them here and here), were done under duress. Both were assignments as part of my postgraduate coursework, which I would have failed if I did not complete those blog assignments. I didn’t take to blogging happily. I grumbled and pouted and researched and cursed and wrote and rewrote and edited and re-edited and published blog post after blog post for the assignments. But something changed during those 3–4 months of assignment blogging. I discovered that I enjoyed writing, and what’s more, I could write too ! The grades and feedback that I received for the blog assignments only confirmed what I felt.
After completing my postgraduate course, I rejoined work and eased into my routine soon. But I felt I was missing something. Something important. It took me about 6 months to figure out that I was missing writing, and more specifically blogging. Yes, I know, I can be quite slow sometimes. That’s when I knew that I had to start blogging again.
Once I had decided on a completely unoriginal name for this blog, I registered it on WordPress and on 2 June 2010, published my first post on the Bandra Fort. Thus, My Favourite Things, a.k.a. http://thatandthisinmumbai.wordpress.com/ was born. My initial plan was only to write about my travels. But my blog had a mind of its own and along the way developed its own multi-faceted personality. Today, it is less of a travel blog and more of a mix of travel and a personal blog.
My 1-year blogging journey has revealed many things:
- I found travel writing tedious. I struggled over each post that was tagged with ‘travel’ in this blog. Ironically, it was a travel post that won me my first (and so far only) contest—the Indiblogger Cleartrip “My Purpose” Contest. Go figure !
- I found that I couldn’t write film reviews to save my life and after 3 rather embarrassing (non) reviews (you can read them here, here and here if you wish to risk it), quietly gave up the idea of reviewing films.
- Because my attempts at reviewing films were such a disaster, I thought I couldn’t and shouldn’t do book reviews either. Big mistake. When I wrote about a book for a Blog Adda contest, I found that I loved writing about books, and I did it fairly well, if I may say so myself. And voilà, that’s how book reviews found their way into my blog.
- I discovered that it was the more serious stuff (you can read two of them here and here) that I loved to write. And those were the kind of posts that I wanted to avoid writing about when I started this blog !
- When I said in my post titled “Should the Kohinoor diamond be returned to India?”, that this was an emotional issue for Indians. I didn’t realise just how much. This is the third most popular post in my blog and rarely a day goes by without at least one hit for this post through a series of permutations and combinations of keywords—kohinoor, koh-i-noor, koh i noor, kohinoor diamond, british crown jewels, koh e noor, where is the kohinoor diamond at present, kohinoor diamond of india, kohinoor diamond in london, india kohinoor, diaries for the kohinoor, koh-i- noor, koor-i-noor, the koh-i-noor, koh i noor diamond, kohinoor diamond tower of london, kohi-noor, uk crown jewels diamonds. Phew !
- People who are interested in knowing about the favourite things of Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor or Hrithik Roshan also land up on my site. All thanks to the title of this blog and these actors appearing in my 3 film (non) reviews. But what I can’t understand is why would anyone be interested in knowing about the favourite things of these stars?
- My wordiest blog post is on Elephanta Caves at a whopping 2,792 words, and the one with the least number of words is the one on the Zero Meridian with a measly 47 words.
- The most viewed posts are the ones on Homai Vyarawala and on my family history, and the least viewed is the Wimbledon post (I hope this will change with The Championships just around the corner)
The last one year of blogging has been a year of self-discovery—that I could write and more importantly the fact that I enjoyed writing. Though I began rather tentatively, the range and depth of my blog posts increased as my confidence levels increased. A special thanks to my friend Deepa, who posted very nice comments on my blog, but would actually give me an honest critique in private. I owe a lot to her for the way some of my posts turned out, in particular “Is silence always golden?”, a blog post very close to my heart.
One thing, however, did not change—my opinion about the general quality of blogs, nor my irritation levels with spellings and punctuation. What has changed is the way I approach such blogs—I just don’t read them and move on to the ones that interest me. In this process, I have discovered some wonderful blogs and bloggers along the way, and got discovered too when I received the “Versatile Blogger Award” from two fellow bloggers—Raksha Bhat of A Canary’s Diary, and Deboshree from Saddi Dilli. Thank you so much, Raksha and Deboshree.
1 year, 99 posts, 70,338 words, 351 photographs, 11,647 page views, 737 comments and 1,101 spam comments… and counting. Yes, it has been a wonderful year of blogging.
And you, dear reader, are invited to participate in my first blogoversary. How? By commenting and giving suggestions on how to take ”My Favourite Things” forward. I do have ideas, of course, but I would love to hear what you have to say too.