Reflections

14 cherished gifts from 14 years of blogging

14 gifts I cherish from 14 years of blogging Vidya Sury

Fourteen years ago, 8 July marked the birth of this blog. Today, I am ecstatic about still being here. Oh yes, “consistency” has always been my middle name…among others.

As any blogger will attest, blogging is pure joy. Lots to learn, enjoy, and experience.

Thing is, I haven’t always written anniversary posts. Somehow, this year felt like a big milestone.

So, as I pondered exactly what to focus on for this anniversary post, I brainstormed inside my head. I also asked my folks, a couple of friends, and…never mind!

I tried to zero in on:

  1. 14 things I’ve learned from 14 years of blogging…and found that too meh. Of course I learn on a continuous basis, but what could I list that others haven’t?
  2. 14 things I’ve not learned from blogging. Too much thinking to do and will not be ready in time. Not that the post you are about to read is going to be…just saying!
  3. 14 things I love about blogging. Now, 14 is too small a number. But I am making a note in my ideas book for a post someday.
  4. . . . and so on and so forth

I even considered writing about a specific blogging experience. But I couldn’t pick a favorite.

I thought of answering the 50 odd questions I’ve now got, thanks to being tagged in a couple of hops. But I decided to do that later.

Finally, I decided, just as I was roasting sunflower seeds in my kitchen, that I would simply list the 14 “gifts” I cherish from 14 years of blogging, and quickly listed them in my little notebook on the kitchen shelf. Yo, ideas can come anywhere, any time, ya know.

As a blogger, I have grown as both an individual and a writer. I have enjoyed blogging challenges, writing challenges; reviewed books, products and services; joined communities and blogging networks; been featured on prominent blogs, and been nominated for, and won awards. I’ve seen places, enjoyed experiences, won stuff. It has been a wonderful journey, one that I hope will continue for as long as I live. Solid dream, eh?

Here’s my quick list of

14 “gifts” I cherish from 14 years of blogging

—in no particular order.

1.       Community

Ah, community! Fellow-bloggers, Blogging networks, Facebook groups. So nice to belong! I love hosting the Gratitude Circle blog hop on the last Thursday, each month, to celebrate gratitude with others that are kind enough to link up.

2.       Friends

I’ve been so lucky to make some lifelong friends. I’ve been super-lucky to meet so many in real life, across countries. Truly, soulmates! Love to all those reading this! ♥

3.       Getting published in anthologies

Five so far. One might think that’s a huge hint for me to move a** and write my own eh? Hint taken. Love the NaNoWriMo every year and the adrenalin rush that comes with scooting across the finish line. Enjoyed gloating over the manuscripts until my computer crashed and I lost everything. Lesson learned. Down, but never out. I will do it again!

4.       Writing featured across major sites

. . . like SheKnows, PTPA, WoM, HuffPost, Parentous; Interviews on major blogs; featured in compilation posts by various bloggers. What a great feeling to be noticed!

5.       Inspiring my son to write

Cute feeling! He was fascinated to see me working from home, and of course, wanted to “be like Mom.” He would write, write, write. Then one day, he wanted to blog, and started his own in March 2008. Of course, I encouraged him.

6.       Learning all the time

I am fascinated by the number of fabulous bloggers out there who generously share what they know. It is on-going education. And such variety…somethings life-changing…I love it.

7.       Social media

My son always asks what I will do with the thousands of photos I keep clicking all the time. Thank you, social media, for providing me the outlet to share what I do. And thank you for the respectable following!

8.       Reviewing products

Call me childish but I love my oven. It probably even inspired me to start my food blog.

9.       The joy of sharing my writing across seven public blogs

I am the sort of person that reads at least four books at a time, simultaneously. Same with blogs, as it turned out. I’ve got seven public blogs at this point. I love them all. There have been times when I’ve considered merging one or more blogs with this one, but that’s a very momentary feeling that passes as quickly as it comes.

10.   Brand engagement—travel and experiences

Thrilled that some of my brand engagements have resulted in amazing experiences and travel. So  much fun and learning!

11.   Feedback

Comments and emails, especially from non-bloggers, including my neighbors, my son’s classmates, my husband’s colleagues…and people from all over the world, from different age groups—proving that relationships are everything. Love it when I meet someone and they exclaim…oh, that Vidya? Warm feeling!

12.   Books for review

So I adore books. I enjoy reading. I love writing book reviews. I am thrilled to be associated with sites like NetGalley that generously offer Advance Review Copies of books. It is a great feeling when authors directly approach me to read and review their books. So exciting, that it eventually led to a new skill on my resume—editing manuscripts for publishers—and this keeps me pleasantly occupied most of the time.

13.   Awards, prizes, and compliments

Recognition is always welcome and it is exciting when one of my blogs wins an award, or is included in a “top …” list. Of course I enjoyed winning blogging contests, too. Encouragement and motivation of the best kind.

14.   Making a difference

Saving the best for last, I am grateful to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children. I donate my blogging earnings to local welfare homes, schools for the blind and other random causes. I hate to say NO when someone approaches me for help, and I am glad I can afford to say yes—most of the time. This is my biggest motivation for enjoying blogging.

I like to see myself climbing higher on the service spectrum.

That’s definitely not all, but I’ll stop here. I am grateful for my family’s appreciation and support in all I do.

I started with some personal rules for myself, and have added several over the years.

  1. No naming/shaming—kindness rules!
  2. No ranting—I prefer to spread positivity instead!
  3. Raving, absolutely. Treat friends like photographs—show them in the best light.
  4. Focusing on the nice folks, minimal interaction with the not so nice
  5. Being open to learning and criticism
  6. Being helpful whenever I can
  7. Being consistent with my writing
  8. Not worrying about reciprocation from others—simply because there are more productive things to do
  9. Not comparing—because I am exactly where I am  meant to be!
  10. Not keeping score—simply because there are better things to do
  11. Believing that no work goes unnoticed, no effort goes unrewarded
  12. Money is not the ultimate thing. People are!
  13. When there’s a choice between having fun with my folks and writing a post, the choice is obvious. Guess what!
  14. Keeping commitments.

The list is longer, but I thought I’d stop at the special number for today, 14.

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 easygoing, coffee-loving person who’s ready to step forward and support you in any way I can.

I have smiles to go before I sleep.

Thank you for your presence here today, and thank you for sharing this wonderful journey with me.

And now, please go ahead and ask me a question in the comments. Anything! Let’s talk!

*Getting the coffee and cupcakes ready*

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40 Comments

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    July 9, 2017 at 1:04 am

    Congratulations on the anniversary! You’re such an inspiration. I can’t say that enough. I can dream to be half so selfless and positive. And if I had any children, I would want each to be just like Vidur. Bless you and yours, my dear.
    As for a question, hmmm… I know! Do you, or have you had, any pets? That’s one thing I don’t recall you ever mentioning.
    Namaste.

  • Reply
    Shailaja Vishwanath
    July 9, 2017 at 1:15 am

    Many congratulations on the anniversary, Vidya. Your gifts are beautiful and so are you 🙂 May you continue to spread light and joy for many years to come. Happy to have connected with you through blogging three years ago.

  • Reply
    Gary
    July 9, 2017 at 1:58 am

    Hi Vidya,

    My amazing friend, 14 notable notes and hearty congrats on reaching blogging anniversary number 14. You make a difference in so many ways, to so many people and of course, a certain Jack Russell dog.

    You must of started blogging when you were 7 years old! 🙂

    A peaceful rest of your weekend and congrats again, dear Vidya.

    Gary x

  • Reply
    Mahathi Ramya
    July 9, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Congrats for your blog’s 14th anniversary. You sure are spreading positivity with your blog. I have learned writing gratitude journals from your blog. I wish you many more years of happy writing 🙂

  • Reply
    Rima Reyka
    July 9, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Happy 14th Blogversary Vidya!!! Keep the spirit up!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Rajlakshmi
    July 9, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I love how positive your posts are and it always manages to spread a smile across my space. Congratulations on reaching a major milestone. Blogging is such a rewarding journey. I am so glad I came across your blog through a community. Keep smiling and keep spreading the love.

  • Reply
    Neelam Bhatt
    July 9, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Congratulations!!!

  • Reply
    Kaarina
    July 9, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Bravo to you! You are a cherished friend, prolific and wonderful writer and an inspiration. xo

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      July 9, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      Hugs Kaarina! So blessed we are connected AND got to hug for real! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Wendy of The Rock
    July 9, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    You exhaust me! Inconsistency is my middle name!
    But you are inspirational. Happy blogiversay.
    And may there be many many more.

  • Reply
    Joy
    July 9, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I did smile today – as I read your words, here. Thinking of you roasting sunflower seeds (which I might now do later, because I love roasted sunflower seeds) and how you are inspired by daily life. Congratulations on 14 years – wow!! I am honored and delighted to know you, via your writing here and connecting through that. I love you!!

  • Reply
    Debbie D.
    July 10, 2017 at 1:30 am

    You are the blogging Queen, Vidya! 😀 Congratulations on 14 years of success in the Blogosphere, with surely many more to come. Cheers!
    Debbie D. recently posted…SCREAM | #WordyWednesdayMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vishal
    July 10, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Lovely list Vidya. Gifts which all of us can learn from and try to get for ourselves to.

    Congratulations.

  • Reply
    Nabanita Dhar
    July 10, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Happy Blogversary, Vidya. It must be such a great feeling to have been doing it for so long and not only that but loving it and enjoying every aspect of it. I’ll try to follow some of your rules. I say some because I cannot help rant in some cases though I have sort of controlled it now still 🙂

    Tell me, was there any point in these 14 years where you were not able to find time for writing or when you almost were on the verge of giving up?

  • Reply
    Obsessivemom
    July 10, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Congratulations Vidya. Seven blogs did you say? And I can barely keep two of them going. I have always admired your spirit and your positivity. I think those are the things that keep me coming to your blogs. Oh and some recipes too (like that oats strawberry).
    Obsessivemom recently posted…The Call of the WindMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shilpa Gupte
    July 10, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I have always been in awe of you and all that you have achieved, Vidya. The gifts you received during these past 14 years show how far you have come and how much you have been blessed! Stay blessed, dear friend. It’s an honour to know you and it will be an awesome moment when we meet in real. Till then, a big hug for you for your 14th anniversary. I also found your personal rules worth following myself!
    <3

  • Reply
    Rekha
    July 10, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Vidya, my first read on your blog was the one on Happiness Jar and my most favourite one was the one on your grandmother. And though I am not a regular here, I love the positive feeling that this blog leaves me with. You make us realize about the simple joys of life that we sometimes tend to forget. Plus I love the discipline you have in maintaining 7 blogs. My God! I go crazy handling just two girls and two blogs which I don’t even update frequently. As I mentioned the other day, lots to learn from you. I loved all your rules but 1 and 4 are my favorites. And I wanted to ask you, are you a Virgo? That ‘I hate to say NO’ makes me wonder this. Once again, congratulations on this milestone and may you fulfill all your dreams, blogging and otherwise. Lots of Love.

    Yes. I did smile today. Because of you. Stay blessed. 🙂
    Rekha recently posted…#MythicalMondays – Aravan/Iravan: The God of the TransgendersMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mayuri Nidigallu
    July 10, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Congratulations on 14 years of blogging, Vidya!
    And what wonderful gifts these years have brought you!
    I loved reading this heartwarming post:)

  • Reply
    Rachna
    July 10, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Hearty congratulations for 14 years, Vidya. I love the happy place that your blog is. Thank you for spreading smiles. I loved the gifts you shared. The best bit: You are doing it on your own terms. Wish you many more successes and teen years.

  • Reply
    Birgit
    July 10, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    I am always smiling after I Red your blog. You offer such positivity, you show smiles from people you meet like the women selling their wares on the street, your love of food and coffee, your family especially your son and, despite loss, you show how to celebrate life. I feel like I know your mom who was such a tremendous influence on you and continues to be. I can feel your love and how rightfully proud you are of your son. When I am feeling down, I read your blog and, obviously without you knowing, you have written something that truly has hit home and made me feel better. I read so many blogs who say they don’t know what to write about any more and they give up but you always find something to write about and with such energy that it is inspiring. Thank you for being here and I am blessed to know you at least in blogland:)

  • Reply
    Soumya
    July 10, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I might need to borrow some of your personal rules, hopefully I’ll be able to follow them 😛

    14 years and so damn consistent! Consistent is definitely your middle name, among gorgeous, awesome, sexy, hotness etc etc.

    You are so inspirational, you have no idea. And I’m so happy to have met you during your blogging journey. You rock!

    Here’s to more years of blogging, smile and staying awesome!

    Love, love, love! <3

  • Reply
    Sara
    July 10, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Congratulations Vidya!Definitely, calls for a celebration!

  • Reply
    upasna
    July 11, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Vidya, your Blog is one of those I headed to since my early days of blogging. However, its been only 2 years yet. I love the positive feeling being here. You gifted me with the Gratitude habit. Consistency and quality are your assets and your pictures 🙂
    Congratulations and good wishes. Keep inspiring. And yes you choose spending time with folks, right? Me too.

  • Reply
    Ellen Bard
    July 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    So many congratulations! It sounds like it has been a wonderful journey <3

  • Reply
    Debbie Hampton
    July 12, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Congratulation on quite an accomplishment, Vidya! I’ve enjoyed interacting with you and sharing your light online. I like your rule to treat people like photos. That’s a keeper! 🙂

  • Reply
    Elle Sommer
    July 12, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Lots of congratulatory hugs Vidya. What a prolific and happy blogger you are. Yes I always smile when I visit your site and I’m still in awe of the number of blogs you spin at the same time. I can just about manage 1! Love your enthusiasm and love for life and I for one am looking forward to the next 14 years. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ramya Abhinand
    July 12, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Congratulations.. Yours was the first blog I actually came across on social media when I began my journey 4 years back!!!! 14 years is surely a long journey and its amazing the amount of positiveness this blog generates . All the best and hoping there are more blogging years ahead for you!!!!

  • Reply
    Sreesha
    July 12, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Why hello Queen V!!! <3 Congrats on the milestone. Loved reading about the blogging gifts. And always leave with a smile every time I visit your blog <3
    Now I'm gonna go out and get some sunflower seeds, cos I've no idea what they are but I'm damn curious.
    Sreesha recently posted…How To Be A Bawse, by Lilly SinghMy Profile

  • Reply
    Paige Burkes
    July 12, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Many blessings to you my birthday sister! You’ve been there throughout my blogging adventure and I’m so grateful for you and all you are. You’re amazing!!!

  • Reply
    Kala Ravi
    July 12, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    What a beautiful read this was Vidya! Congratulations on this wonderful milestone! I loved reading about the 14 cherished gifts and agree…..totally to be cherished! I am inspired by the personal rules you’ve set up. As always your blogs are a breath of fresh air and so much positivity. Thanks for blogging and being an inspiration to so many bloggers like me. Love and hugs!

  • Reply
    Anuradha sowmyanarayanan
    July 13, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    congratulations !!! 14 cherished gifts from 14 years of blogging is a special gift you gave for bloggers like me who have just landed in this field. than you so much ,madam.

  • Reply
    Sandra Pawula
    July 14, 2017 at 1:05 am

    Congratulations, Vidya. This level of consistency is a huge accomplishment. And you do make a difference, a big difference!

  • Reply
    Shrinidhi Hande
    July 14, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Many congratulations!
    Shrinidhi Hande recently posted…Japanese Bullet Train (Shinkansen) Experience!My Profile

  • Reply
    Vasantha Vivek
    July 14, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Wow …. That was a big number. Happy 14th blog anniversary Vidya. And you know one thing, you started your blogging one year after my marriage only …… LOL.
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Gratitude Dissolved My Negativity ….. #GratitudeCircleBlogHopMy Profile

  • Reply
    Asha
    July 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Congrats Vidya on your achievements !

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    July 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    14. Making a difference!!

    YESSSSSSSSS, you have done this, my darling Vidya.

    Love you more than the beautiful doves on my telephone pole! xx

  • Reply
    Parul Thakur
    July 19, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Your 14 gifts are not just yours – your readers share them with you. Your blog is the epitome of happiness and positivity. I am so glad to have known you on this journey. <3 Wishing you another 14 and many more.
    Parul Thakur recently posted…#ThursdayTreeLove – 17My Profile

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