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