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:
- 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?
- 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!
- 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.
- . . . 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.
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.
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!
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.
- No naming/shaming—kindness rules!
- No ranting—I prefer to spread positivity instead!
- Raving, absolutely. Treat friends like photographs—show them in the best light.
- Focusing on the nice folks, minimal interaction with the not so nice
- Being open to learning and criticism
- Being helpful whenever I can
- Being consistent with my writing
- Not worrying about reciprocation from others—simply because there are more productive things to do
- Not comparing—because I am exactly where I am meant to be!
- 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!
- When there’s a choice between having fun with my folks and writing a post, the choice is obvious. Guess what!
- 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*