Twice. Twice tried and twice failed. You know, for us writers and journalists, not very often does a story come along that offers the potential to identify our own faults (yes, we are only humans, not demi-gods as some may portray!) and rectify it, so to say. For me, this is such a story.
You see, I am a failed blogger. For all my ranting on passion about writing, I just couldn’t keep my blog alive. It offered me all the guilt-free pleasure—a space to speak my mind, to write on things I wanted to—with no extra charge, and yet I couldn’t keep up the momentum of posting regularly. I don’t even remember the domain name of my first attempt!
Anyway, the good thing is that I am not alone (remember the relief on discovering you weren’t the only one getting punished for not doing your homework in class?). A number of people I know, including some of my friends, are on the same boat. They have chosen subjects close to their hearts and yet could not go beyond the first two or three blog posts.
So where are we going wrong? Who, but passionate bloggers who do it all so (seemingly) effortlessly, can answer that? BlogwatiG (http://blogwatig.com/), for instance, confesses of slip ups but says that the power her words wield—to make someone laugh or cry or ponder—keeps her going.
“My blog is my playground, so it’s my game and my rules. You are welcome to watch,” the feisty blogger whose real name is Vinita and refers to her online avatar as her alter ego, says.
Her words resonate with other bloggers who profess similar passion. But is that all?
Blogger Arvind Passey (www.passey.info) who has 850 posts on his blog emphasizes on dedication. “I need to keep practicing writing well or I slip back into mundane expressions. So I do it regularly…almost daily. I have a target to write at least a thousand words which can go up to 5,000 on lucky days. There are days when I am not able to write but they are rare,” he says.
Blogging is also therapeutic for many. It is, after all, writing, and words have their way to carve around like a channel, acting like a vent to all your hidden feelings.
Mommy blogger Rachna Parmar (www.rachnaparmar.com) for instance relates the time when her son had an injury and she was feeling guilty about it. “At that time I found great support from fellow parents (through the blog). It was a moral boost in a time of deep personal stress,” she says.
Others like Aditi Mathur Kumar (http://www.aditimathurkumar.com/) say that their blog helped others discover the ‘real’ person in them. “My husband says he fell in love with me even more after he discovered my blog (we had met only twice until then),” Aditi laughs.
Blogging also helped her realize her long cherished dream of writing a book. “My book dream was as old as I am but it was my blog that gave me the confidence to start writing (it).”
Money follows where the crowd does, and so blogs which are very popular and have a lot of hits are also a favored destination of advertisers to market their products. But bloggers advise caution.
“Brands wanting to associate with your blog is always a good thing and is a big motivation to write more, but I try and pick brands and causes that I connect to and that fit well with my blog. Plugging in products that do not make sense to you or to your reader is something every blogger should be wary of,” Aditi says.
And finally for some dead-serious list of tips for fledgling bloggers (that was the whole point, remember?).
BlogwatiG has six points. “Write what you connect with; know your strengths and weaknesses; follow bloggers you idolize and you’ll know what not to do; put effort in your post heading; always reply to comments; never be in a hurry.”
But the most important point? Just write, they say. Right.
About the author:
A development journalist who writes mostly on health, women, and children related issues, Azera started her career a decade ago with the India Today group. Seeking greater flexibility (she needed it in ample amounts thanks to her husband’s job—he’s in the defence forces—and now an active one-year-old bundle of joy); she switched to freelancing, and now writes for multiple publications like TOI, Hindu, IANS, WFS, Third Pole; does some editing for publishing houses like Penguin; and also works as a consultant for UNICEF.
She has also been awarded two national media awards and a fellowship in the past. “So if you ask me what I like to do in my ‘free time’—as in, the time I get after tending to my toddler, in between packing boxes during the frequent transfers, and, oh, scraping through deadlines in all my professional commitments—I can only ask, ‘what’s that?’”