I have been blogging for over a month now and it’s been a marvelous experience so far. Here is what I have learned from it.
- There are really good people out in the world. There is really good in people. Most bloggers and readers I have met so far are supportive, generous, and benevolent. I have felt truly appreciated, supported, and encouraged even in this quite brief period I have been blogging. There are people who take the time to read, like, follow, comment and engage deeply with other people’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions. People really care.
- A lot of people are making money blogging. I didn’t realize that before. A lot of blogs are about blogging and how to make money blogging. I didn’t that know as well.
- There are diverse bloggers. I have poets, gardeners, fashionistas, foodies, writers among my readers. I am amazed at the wealth of talent and how generously they share their gifts with the world.
- Blogging and interacting with this world has opened my eyes to so many more possibilities and ways in which people create and contribute to the world and make a living. I am amazed at the inventiveness, creativity, confidence, and boldness of the blogger-entrepreneurs.
- I also think blogging has democratized building expertise and legitimacy. If you can think, research, read, and write about a topic and accumulate content, you become an expert because readers vote with their clicks. Like online education, possibilities like this also makes the future of higher education very shaky.
- Blogging process has made me more mindful about my world. As I am looking for topics to write about, I pay more attention to my surroundings and the world. I keep a list of headlines/topics that I think may be interesting to write and read about. I still feel awkward about recording voice memos on my phone but it is a good idea because good ideas slip away if you don’t record them somewhere.
- I am learning to be light and playful. By clicking the publish, I know I am putting myself out there. Sometimes with not-so-great poems. But I love posting them anyway.
- I have new-found respect for people who create prolific content. Even lowbrow authors that people may pooh-pooh. Everything that needs to be said has already been said before. So continuing to create a lot of reasonably readable, useful, and interesting content is a huge undertaking. And some of them have been doing it for years including my own son, Viyan. I never thought about the sheer quantity he has written over the last three years. That takes ass-in-the-chair persistence.
- This one is a bit of an ouch-aha. I tend to fall so easily into rule-traps for success. I started this blog to create a space and audience for whatever I want to write and get better at non-academic writing. But I started at looking at how to blog posts and was so tempted to follow those rules to boost blog traffic, etc. I even created a hundred headlines from a headline hacking advice guru. The advice is excellent if you want to make a living off it, but it restricts what you write. It makes it a job. I already have a job which tells me what to write and where to publish. So, I have to remind myself that it is okay when there are only 30 views some days.
- One of the appealing things about a blog is that the voice is personal. But it is also a tight-rope dance between revealing enough of your personal self and revealing too much about yourself and others in your life.
PS: I love food. I always knew that but I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy writing my food posts and photographing food. I need a better camera.