I never thought that I would fall in love with blogging. In fact, I stumbled to this whole experience quite accidentally, without much thought or even weighing the pros and cons. But I got hooked.
Most of you may already know the story of how I started this blog. It was February, 2010. I was a high school graduate, ready to embrace the new role as an university student. I had just changed my degree from Biomed to Arts, trying to major in Media and Communication. Well, I might as well learn how to write, right?
So off I went, to the wonderful little world of blogging. None of my peers blog, and I have no idea on how to become a blogger. The only reader that I had was my sister, and she didn’t even read my blog that much. During the first fifteen months, I didn’t even know what I wrote about. I had zero (okay, maybe about four?) followers, and I blogged about random stuffs about how I like or hate my days, and I didn’t even craft the story in a decent way. Nope, it was all over the place; the language was awful, not to mention the grammar (still is).
Then I got a big jump in my blogging life. How important are grades to you? become one of the Freshly Pressed posts, with 203 likes from bloggers, 316 likes on Facebook, 42 tweets on Twitter, and 149 comments.
Shortly after, some faithful readers started to visit my blog regularly. And I would be forever grateful for them, who have supported me throughout my journey, and (hopefully) much more journeys to come.
After that, I was hooked. Until now. No regrets, just a satisfied and grateful heart.
So what have I learned from blogging?
First of all, blogging teaches me to become a better writer. I am not only practicing how to write, but I actually am practicing how to write regularly, almost everyday, with the professional mindset at the back of my mind because I know some people would be reading the posts. Every post that I write is going to be published, and even if no one reads it, I still assume someone will. That means whatever that I write would be held accountable. And yes, it also puts my reputation at stake. One wrong piece of writing and you’ll lose some readers. It’s a pretty tough game, is it?
Second, blogging enables me discover my passion. Not only falling in love with writing, I have also realised that throughout my posts I have talked a lot about education and relationship. Well, they are all parts of life in general, but these are some themes that keep on coming up. Who knows what will happen later in life? I might specialise in these areas.
Third, blogging makes me find my niche. Before I found out that I love writing opinion and reflective pieces, I tried writing everything. They all are good experiences, and I still write a couple of non-opinion pieces sometimes, but by finding my niche I know what kind of writing I should be focusing to improve on. I also know what kinds of writers I should follow, and find inspiration from.
Fourth, blogging forces me to stop and reflect on life. Sometimes I’m so concerned about living and keep on living that I forgot to actually integrate what I have learned and become a better person. I used to keep on doing the same mistakes, without really knowing why. If this is the case, I will end up walking in the same dessert for the next 40 years.
Fifth, blogging gives you a sense of reality. Readers are, and always be, the honest mirror of my writing. When they like a piece, they will like it, when they don’t, they will not bother to come back. Some even go the extra mile to leave comments, which I’m really grateful for because it just makes me learn to accept feedback, both positive and negative, over and over again.
And there are a lot of other reasons I’ve learned from blogging. But maybe it’s a tale for some other time.
It has been a privilege to share this journey with you, and it is a blessing, really, to be able to taste life twice.
Because that’s why writers write.