Recently (June 4), I and my blog celebrated our fourth year anniversary. Through thick and thin, inspired and uninspired times, I kept picking up the pen because it is my passion, it is something that I believe in. There were times that blogging has become burdensome. There were times I was embroiled in quandaries. “Is this endeavor worth it?”, I kept asking myself. But with tenacity, I kept writing, kept publishing one piece after another. And just like that, four years have passed by. Certainly, there were crests and troughs but I didn’t mind them all because I want the world to know my story through the things I write.
In four years of blogging, I have made some realizations as well. There are many but here are some of the four things I have realized vis-a-vis blogging and writing.
1. The first and the most important thing is finding the heart to “start”.
I know this is banal, a hackneyed line from a broken record played over and over again, time and time again. But its profoundness can never be denied. There wouldn’t be Serena Williams or Roger Federer if they didn’t start playing tennis. Microsoft wouldn’t be a household name if Bill Gates didn’t muster the courage to start a risky endeavor. The great products we use daily had someone somewhere didn’t have a vision. Indeed, having a vision is important but what is more important is finding the time to start and putting that vision into motion.
The same holds true for anything in our lives, including blogging and writing. A lot of us are filled with visions, we all have things we want to accomplish in our lifetimes. However, we cower before challenges, we get discouraged with what we hear, we get daunted by “foreseen” obstacles. Lest we forget, the great names I’ve given above wouldn’t have reached the pedestal had they found the heart to start their individual journeys, even if it meant taking small steps.
2. Celebrate every success, even if they are small.
Writing, most would realize, is actually a very back breaking works. Bloggers and writers spend hundreds of hours conceptualizing the best works. Blogging and writing, synonymously, requires literally burning those midnight candles. It can be very brutal, but hey, it is a vocation we all cherish.
It is then important to celebrate every achievement that we reach. These achievements can range from reaching 100, 200 or 5,000 likes; attaining 1,000, 2,000, or 20,000 views; or gaining one, two or 50 followers. These are difficult things to achieve and come rarely, hence, pat yourself on the back. These achievements, big or small, give a certain morale boost. A huge chunk of writing and blogging is about finding inspiration and being constantly motivated.
3. Always be inspired; write and blog you.
One of the biggest hurdles in blogging is finding a great subject to write about. “What should I write about?” “How should I write it?” These are just amongst the things that constantly bother one when one starts his own blog page. Countless of times, he’ll find himself in a quandary because such questions always end up with, “will my readers like it?”.
Stymie thy fears. Through four years of blogging, I have learned how whimsical (and diverse) readers can be. Worried if someone will read what you write? Don’t worry because I am pretty sure someone out there is willing to read your story and your ideas. The most important thing to keep in mind is to be yourself. Leave your indelible mark in everything you write by writing you, blogging you. Just stay true to yourself and to your resolution.
4. Never rush; take your time. It is all about taking small steps.
At times, blogging (and writing) can be frustrating. I admit that I experienced apprehensions because of the number of views, especially at the start. I was such in a hurry to achieve heights that I nearly forgot about the process. Over the years, I’ve learned that the most beautiful things take time to blossom. In times I got discouraged by different circumstances, I kept reminding myself this, especially because writing is something that I truly am passionate about and something that I want to fully develop to its full potential.
That mantra subconsciously helped me drive on even through the most challenging of times. Just when I thought my blog reached a plateau, it started blossoming like a rose in spring after the toughest winter. The number of views started increasing (and the number of followers as well). The reach of my blog begun extending to far flung places, countries I never thought I would receive views from. I was surprised, utterly surprised but it was pleasant nonetheless. Indeed, hard work does pay off.
I still flounder at times but I am taking it one step at a time, even if it means taking baby steps. These steps, no matter how small, are taking me to my next destinations. As a reminder, there is no such thing as short cut to success. Everyone is working hard and doing their part. That includes bloggers and writers.
Bonus: Always be grateful and never forget where and why you started.
Again, another hackneyed music from a worn-out record. Keep your feet grounded and never forget where you started. Keep trudging on with a grateful heart. You will be repaid a thousand folds.
To everyone who followed me from the start and who kept reading pieces of my mind, my hearty gratitude to all of you. I would have not reached point B from point A had it not been for your unwavering support. I hope that in the coming years you will still be there cheering for me as I do the same for you. Again, thank you everyone! Cheers to more years of blogging and writing.
P.S. My writing has slowed down over the past couple of months because of some commitments I belatedly had. It is not something that I could really help. But these are just mere trifles, things that won’t stop me from moving forward.