Reflections

Why I blog

Why I blog. Vidya Sury

When Sarah Arrow (yeah, THE One) threw a mini-challenge at the members of “30 Day Blog – The Graduates” Facebook group, I jumped – quite high – because her question has been doing the rounds in my head recently. She said “Write a post about the reason why you blog…….” and it served as a strong nudge, telling my procrastination to take a long hike. Oh well, it didn’t succeed because I’ve been writing this in bits and pieces.

A post like this is tough to write, in the sense that there’s so much to say and it all tends to come out a bit incoherently – at least for me, probably because I am looking at – what – almost 12 and a half years.

Before I get into why I blog, a little backstory first. Grab a mug of your favorite beverage, because this is a long one. Okay, just a wee bit longer than usual!

I started blogging in July 2003 – just three months short of my 40th birthday – when Google had just acquired Blogger. In Internet years, that’s like a bazillion years. Those were the carefree days when we would speak our minds with zero filter and hit publish. The novelty of the possibility of being instantly visible to the world was, to say the least, heady. Exciting. I mean, I could just sign in, write and show my gems of wisdom to the world in a matter of minutes.

Blogging, such as it was in 2003, was a happy hobby to indulge in. After quite a successful corporate career, I made a conscious choice to work from home and was doing quite well. My career wasn’t linked to blogging and so, I had the pleasure of being free of any pressure associated with blogging.

At the outset (so long since I used that phrase!), I did not worry about things like comments and traffic.

I still don’t.

I just love to write and connect with people.

So what was my motivation?

One thing I was sure of, and still believe in, is this – I wanted my readers to feel that here is someone who makes me smile and feel happy. I am blessed with lots of emails from readers who have been kind enough to make me feel I am that person.

Somewhere down the line – years later, I became a little more structured. And focused. The world of blogging was also becoming more active and bloggers were being seen as a powerful force to reckon with.

In 2011, I registered my own domain – vidyasury.com – and soon after, I met Vanita Cyril, who has been a pillar of support and love from the day we met. She convinced me to move to self-hosted WordPress and worked her magic while I slept – moving, troubleshooting, making sure I looked good.

That was a good decision, and by this time, I also started getting the odd sponsored post. My delight knew no bounds when I earned the princely sum of $5 for a sponsored post!

Suddenly blogging seemed to open up so many possibilities. It was time to make blogging “goals”. When I realized I could actually earn some money from my blog, I was thrilled. One of my goals is to support a few welfare homes and blogging is helping me achieve that dream. I donate my blog’s earnings, such as they are, along with 60% of my other earnings. The occasional opportunity has become a reasonably steady trickle over the years and I am happy I am able to make a difference in the lives of children.

My motivation to write is to make a difference.

I love what I do, and I do what I love.

Today, I have five active blogs of my own that I nurture like my babies.

So, how has my blogging journey been?

In one word, fulfilling. Enriching.

As a blogger, I’ve

  • Grown as an individual and writer
  • Joined groups of like-minded people who support each other
  • Networked and built a social media following
  • Been featured by well-known bloggers – nothing like peer pleasure
  • Taken up blogging/writing challenges (My favorites are the April A to Z Challenge, NaBloPoMo, and NaNoWriMo)
  • Using my voice/blogs to make a difference with social causes
  • Seen places, enjoyed experiences
  • Reviewed books, products and services
  • Become part of large blogger networks
  • Been nominated for and won awards
  • Somewhere along the way, I’ve been “niched” as personal development/parenting/book review blogger – which just goes to show variety is the spice of life. It is great to be different things to different people.

I am excited to think that I’ve inspired my son, now 17, to blog from the age of 7 – and he has dreams of writing and publishing too!

As a writer, I

  • Have evolved and improved, thanks to the fantastic blogs I read every day
  • Learn every single day – I believe that no matter how long one’s been doing something, there’s something to learn. Every. Single. Day. Dos as well as Don’ts
  • Have been invited to contribute to anthologies and ebooks

As an individual, I’ve

  • Formed solid friendships with people all over the world, people I can reach out to instantly.
  • Met some of my most favorite bloggers and made soul connections

Where am I going?

As I look back, I realize my goals have always been the same. Thanks to technology, I am fortunate to work from home and blogging helps me exercise my writing muscle, while rewarding me for it. Blogging connects me with a beautiful welcoming community – and I am deeply grateful for its encouragement and love.

My dream is to publish a series of books and donate my earnings towards supporting children and causes and touch as many lives as possible.

Blogging has helped me reach that coveted balance, allowing me to blend personal, work and life goals.

Lucky me! I find that I’ve been able to leverage my skills and knowledge and what I am passionate about into a most enjoyable career.

I continue to hold my principles close:

  • No naming/shaming – kindness rules!
  • No ranting – why not spread positivity instead!
  • Raving, yes. Treat friends like photographs – show them in the best light.
  • Spending more time with nice folks, which automatically results in minimal interaction with the not so nice
  • Being open to learning and criticism
  • Smiling at the world’s give and take policy – you give, I take – oh, this too shall pass!
  • Helping whenever I can, whoever I can
  • Not worrying about reciprocation – simply because there are more productive things to do
  • Not keeping score – simply because there are better things to do
  • Believing that no work goes unnoticed, no effort goes unrewarded
  • Money is not the ultimate thing. People are!

As long as I blog, this is what I’ll always want to know from you:

“Did you smile today?”

Yes, I will always be that easy going person who’s ready to step forward and volunteer when someone wants something and ready to support you in any way I can.

At 52, I have…

miles to go

lives to touch

books to read

…before I sleep

Why do you blog?

Oh, by the way, if you want to make a difference with your words, and you are considering the idea of starting a blog of your own, visit FirstSiteGuide for free blogging tips and resources.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Birgit
    November 9, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Vidya-I can count on you, at the end of the day, to put a smile on my face. When my joints are bad and I feel so, so tired, I read your blog and by the end, I have a smile. You enrich my life even though I have not met you. Your life has had its ups and downs but you choose to view your life with the love and experience it has given you and guided you. You shared wonderful moments of your mom and grandmother as well as your son. I love your pictures and wonder how that machine you bought ages ago is going (I sent you a recipe for cookies but not sure you can eat them). You know, you remind me of Bindi Irwin, although she is much younger but she is like sparkling water. She is on Dancing with the Stars which I love watching. If you can, google last week with just her part. She has major bruises on her knees, she has horrible blisters and has lost all but 4 toe nails but she smiles and laughs and has a power of life that we could all learn from. She has known setbacks and will encounter more but she is a firecracker of light…and so are you.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 9, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Birgit my love! There are days when all I have to do is think of you to get my happiness meter up. I am so blessed to know you! Thank you.

      I did make those cookies and my son loved them and have my own version for me!

      Ok I’m crying now. Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Why I blogMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lata Sunil
    November 9, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Great Vidya.. It is so inspiring. And as you said, if I can make a difference in someone’s life, I should. I have been just blogging a little over a year and I am already enjoying it so much. And I too have miles to go before I sleep. I used these exact lines on my 40th birthday post 🙂 .

  • Reply
    nabanita
    November 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    One word for you Vidya – Inspiration!

    Every time I go back learning something.. I wish one day I can be as balanced as you..Sometimes I blog out of frustration looking at the world, in a way spreading negativity… I wish to improve and be someone who does more than rants in her posts..I love writing and blogging, and one day I wish to be able to say I have been doing it for decades and loving every bit of it!
    nabanita recently posted…How Depression Becomes A Bad Word But Shouldn’tMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Hehe, Naba! You’ve no idea of your own strengths and that’s what is so charming about you! I love your writing – and I’d love to see a book (or few) from you because I know they are lurking in you! Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…The Bullying Evolution: Meet the CyberbullyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Danny Brown
    November 9, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    “I love what I do and I do what I love.”

    Pure blogging summed up in a perfect sentence. Here’s to more bloggers like you, miss!
    Danny Brown recently posted…The Teaser of UniquenessMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rajlakshmi
    November 9, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    I absolutely love how structured your posts are, always inspiring and motivating. Readers smile on your blog, probably one of the reasons why they coming back 🙂 I wish I could sound as mature and pragmatic as you.
    I feel that I have evolved as a person all these years. I guess blogging does that to you.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Of Headstands & FogMy Profile

  • Reply
    Arlee Bird
    November 9, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    That is quite a blogging history. Your motivations are in the right place I think and your attitude is inspiring. Keep up the great work you’re doing. I guess we can each make a difference in some way and no matter whether that difference is big or small, if it’s positive we’ve made the world a better place. I think you are doing that.

    Arlee Bird
    Arlee Bird recently posted…Are You A Prisoner of Hope?My Profile

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    November 9, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    You are so generous! I’m awed by all you do and grateful to have found you. My favorite line today was about treating friends like photographs. Beautiful and poignant! Bless you, Vidya.
    Darla M Sands recently posted…You Know it’s November When…My Profile

  • Reply
    Debbie D.
    November 9, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    You are a blogging maven, dear Vidya! 🙂 I enjoyed reading about your journey. Your posts inspire us all.
    I fell into blogging accidentally in Sept. 2010 (when Windows Live Spaces was merged with WordPress.com), but am enjoying the process and learning more and more each day. It’s my creative outlet and my aim is to entertain. Self-hosted has its challenges, but the total freedom makes it worthwhile.
    Debbie D. recently posted…MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS BOOK BLOG TOUR @Guilie73My Profile

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    November 10, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Vidya,
    because of your words, the world is sweeter & kinder 🙂

    Love you more than 5 panthers sipping water from Kisumu, Africa. xxx
    My Inner Chick recently posted…Without Gratitude, There Is Only DeathMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shantala
    November 10, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    This is the best thing I read today. Every time that I come here, and I mean every.single.time. I leave with a smile.

    The things that struck a chord with me today –
    Treat friends like photographs – show them in the best light.
    Money is not the ultimate thing. People are!

    Stay the wonderful person you are, Vidya. Hugs <3
    Shantala recently posted…Diwali in USA | A normal Diwali, our festivities, and keeping India alive in AmericaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sheethal
    November 10, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    I have told you before … Telling you now also… Whenever I read your posts I have this vivid image of you smiling with a coffee mug in your hands and actually voicing all those words you have written. And you always make me smile and feel light. 🙂

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