I was motivated to write this blog after I read GreatBong’s unsolicited advice. I always liked his blogs and in recent times I felt he was going too abstract, but with this post I felt it was GreatBong’s return to glory.
But coming back to topic, I must ponder over a few things like, when did I start blogging?, how has this journey been? What I earned/learned from this journey? and is it worth continuing?
When did I start?
I initially started blogging on Rediff Blogs somewhere in around 2005. It was basically some crappy short stories, humor and my dreadful poems.
The first good enough blog came as an impulse which is also on this blog. It was originally published on Blogspot and I migrated it to this wordpress. That blog was published on 2nd May 2006. In the world where half life of a technology is just 18 months, I must say 3 years is a very long time. I dont remember is I have persued any other interest with such diligence and persistence.
Just when I speak to you guys about “the first blog“. There are just so many feelings that come up in my heart right now. I can still smell that peculiar smell of GEC lab where I had typed it. I can feel my friends and some special friends moving round me. Its still so fresh.
But when I read that post all again, I realize that I have come a long way. A very long way. Many things that I had said about myself that time, doesn’t hold true anymore. And I am aware that this was expected. Change is inevitable but then what matters is the footprints that I left on the sands of time. Time, that may or may not be important to others but important for me and people close to me.
Why did I blog?
People should not blog for traffic or attention—-a “lonely impulse of delight” (to quote Yeats) is the only thing that should motivate them.
This is what greatbong has said. And that was it. It started as that lonely impulse of delight. It was not loneliness nor it was an urge to communicate with someone. I knew whatever I type today will get some memories in future. I dint know Calvin that time but after I got to know him I realized that probably, my blog was an attempt to look at the huge world with a perspective that probably the world doesn’t share. Everyone of us was a 1st graders once, but still Calvin’s viewpoint is different and it so pertinently points out at the ironies of life. I probably felt that my viewpoint too is something like that.
But Calvin and of course Hobbes have been my favorite Philosopher and I must Thank Anderson for giving such a masterpiece to the world!
Most of my blogs thought they touched various topics with different depth were mostly due to some impulse. I saw something, I liked it and I felt to share it with my own world. Sometimes it was an original thought sometimes borrowed. I felt that it is important that I write it because I felt it had an impact on me.
Sometimes I had blogged even thrice or four times a day! And there was a gap of a month or so in between.
Earning and Learning
I got a few dollars from Chitika Advertisements and that is all!
But on learning side there is just so much to say. My over all linguistic ability and communication skill has developed considerably but I cant call it exceptional at it’s current stage. But relatively I have improved a lot on that ground.
Even I find my initial blogs a bit irritating due to constant spelling and grammatical mistakes. In between I did go through my old blogs and edited them but however now I have stopped that. Because, it brings memories. Posting below a mail I wrote to my friend in 2002
Hi!Whats up?What u r doing in ur hollydayz?
Thats very embarrassing , I know. I still remember the trouble I had taken to ponder over whats the correct spelling of “Holidays”, and still I got it wrong. I dont find it much embarrasing that even today I cant get the spellings of following words in first shot.\
Even now I took help of spell check to get these words right. I have also purposely avoided learning the right spelling of these words for some unknown reason.
Movies and Television
I was not a movie lover until 2002. I never felt any urge to go to a movie hall and watch a pic. But a movie I saw on SetMax one fine evening changed me. It was Maya Memsab. Starring Shahrukh Khan and Deepa Sahi based on “Madam Bovari” a french novel. From then onwards I liked movies and I used my blog as a medium to talk about movies. Sometimes they were like reviews and sometimes just random thoughts.
Here are some picks
Another aspect I learned while blogging was that how difficult it is to express your thoughts. If you want to express them properly your clarity of thought is a must. If my ideas are superficial it is immediately visible when I try typing them.
To get the depth and to be able tow write well, it is essential that one reads good stuff. It is then I started reading Shourie, Tharoor, Satyajit Ray and many others. Greatbong too. Whenever I read a newspaper article I would not just read it a leave it but would think how I can extend this idea, criticize this idea in my blog. I think made me think over so many issues. From politics to education. From movies to sports.
I was a avid reader in childhood. The categories of books I had read spanned from Children Literature to World War II analysis. Now with blogging somehow that avid reader in me was awake. Today I can claim to have read books on almost all subjects including those which require IQ above 60. 🙂
Society, Politics and Development
Humanities and Social sciences in India are mostly orphaned children. No one really pays attention to them. I think because of my blog, I had to read a lot about these topics. More than politics my focus recently has been shifted entirely to development and governance. I have written/ranted extensively about these topics. Thanks to Atanu Dey , I got certain directions in this regard. But then its all subjective.
Response and reasons to continue
I can not claim to be a super blogger, popular blogger or even ammature popular blogger. I am much below those levels. As of now the statistics on my dashboard says I have 242 posts, 8 drafts, 2 pages and 305 total comments. Out of those 305 half will be mine put mostly thanking another commenter. My blog mirror on wordpress.com has a few more comments.
But that doesn’t really discourage me. I dont mind if no one reads or many criticize. I will continue listening to GreatBong’s advice
Final words. Write about what you are passionate about—-be it wriggling your ears or collecting match boxes. And most most important of all, produce original content.
But I have seen a steady increase in readership of my blog. This increase in readership is directly correlated to the improved quality of my blogs (as I perceive it). So I feel readership shouldn’t matter as long as I ensure that every post is better than the previous.
And one of the most important reasons why I blog or in general why I do so many things which normally others dont do is explained best by this strip.
And in concluding remark I cant stop telling a few more things specifically about blogging, which I have learned in last three years.
1. I have realized how superficial/shallow my thinking is. Many times it just lacks the depth required and I am sure that without that depth, it is difficult to proceed. But admitting a problem honestly is the first positive step towards solving it.
2. I have realize conciseness remain an untamed animal for me. I use 10 sentences where 1 would suffice and even those 10 sentences sometimes lead to confusion.
3. Spellings and Grammer remain weak points of my writing ability. Yes, I sometimes think in a way that can be considered as pragmatic or amusing but unless I put it is elegant language, it doesn’t go under the throat of my readers.
4. The best quality blogs are those which i write=>read=>modify=>read=>modify……..=>publish. Each of this read and modify iteration has visible impact on quality of the content.
5. Technology does not necessarily takes us away from LIFE. Sometimes it makes us understand value of many things in life which we otherwise dont. Blogging for me has been a similar experience. I has made me think about those things which I should I have done by I dint, things I should have said but I dint. It has made me realize value of moments lost and those which will come to me in future. In short it taught me to appreciate life in a different way.