Saturday, February 21, 2015

Blogging for an audience of one

When I started blogging way back in 2001, I had grand ideas.  But then I was so young.  I suppose if one cannot have grand and foolish ideas when younger, then those years are wasted.

My grand idea was to make this blog a space where others would also contribute.  It would be an intellectual cyber-cafe.  It never came to pass.  As with most grand ideas, this one too died a bloody death--I finally killed it sometime in 2007.

A year later, I simply had to start blogging again.

I had to because, well, I realized that blogging, writing, is an integral part of my identity.  I didn't care anymore about any grand idea.  I didn't care if anybody read the posts.  I didn't care if anybody engaged with me.  I would blog for an audience of one--me.  Everything else was pure gravy.  (And, has there been some gravy since then; thanks, folks!)

I keep to my own schedule of blogging every single day.  With rare exceptions.  I mean, from my blogging, you would not have known that I was away from home and campus for four days, right?  Blogging, expressing ideas, commenting, or creating something new, is not easy.
Writing is hard. For most writers, the financial rewards are few. I know the best I can hope for—and I hope for this daily—is a nice email from a stranger letting me know that something I wrote helped. Or moved them. Or made them laugh.
Yet, I feel compelled to do only because, hey, that is who I am.  As simple as that.
If you want to craft something that people will want to read, you’re going to have to work hard, and in ways that put callouses on your brain. You have to get used to the feeling of stuckness. You have to show up and do the work even when it feels stupid and meaningless.
I agree with that, but with one exception.  About the callouses on the brain.  I think it is the other way around.  The hard work reinvigorates the brain.  Creates new synapses.  And also prepares me for that reward that might not be always there--the randomness of an appreciative email or a comment makes it that much more exciting.  Like when I was a teenager waking up thinking that maybe that was the day when that girl would find me exciting, appealing ;)

It is not that I have all the time in the world to write every single day.  When at the conference, with a two hour time-zone difference, and with activities from breakfast time all the way through dinner, it was exhausting--physically and mentally.  Yet I blogged.  I simply had to. It is who I am.
You can find time to write, if that’s what you really want to do.
There is a catch:
That may require some sacrifices or changes in your priorities.
You see how this is linked to one of my favorite themes that I explore here: about priorities in life?  I am amazed at how so many aspects of life neatly fall into place once I figure out what my priorities are.  It is so darn simple.

As I continuously evaluate my life against my experiences and against what I read, hear, and see, I do not rule out changes in my priorities.  But, I know this for certain: I will always have to find the time for whatever I consider to be my priorities.  If not, it is a life that is not worth living.  I will write about that too ;)

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