of blogging, exploring, and the need to be good enough to try something new

After living in the illusion that blogging was just a way of expressing myself, I decided to look around a bit, and boy, was I swamped! The sheer amount of blogging on blogging is mind-blogging–er, mind-boggling. Then there are sites that collect articles on blogging, and give advice, and places that collect blogs…I haven’t even got a starting map of it in my head yet. What I do know is, if I’d seen any of this a month ago, I would have wanted to understand all the terminology and the ‘politics’, organize the tips, and build a neat and proper folder…

Today, on the last day of my 31-day-trial, I can admit it: I would not have written a single entry if I knew how absolute my ignorance was.

I am glad I gave blogging a try in my ignorance-is-bliss mode. Now when I read those heavily hyperlinked, dense articles, I have a context to place the concepts into, and an idea of what is relevant for me, and what isn’t. Maybe I won’t instinctively grasp jargon like “echo chamber”, but I won’t scamper off and snuggle into my safe little  shell.

It is clear, of course, that a good blog post doesn’t come just like that–it needs some thought, some incubation, and some structuring, even if it is a rant. There are articles galore on how to do these, but I assume they will boil down to what any activity needs–clarity on the goals, the gathering of skills, the application of mind, energy and skills, and pursuing these till the article is ready and published. If part of the goals is publicity (and it seems from those articles that this is typically so), then the skills will include skills to get the required visibility through SEO or whatever.

It is also clear that if I want to have a good blog, I need an overall consistency to it, not wander around with random posts on all and sundry…

All in all, blogging can be serious business, especially to be ‘successful’. And perhaps some measure of success is desirable if I want people to read what I write (otherwise, why not stick with journaling, eh? Or mutter to myself during my morning walk…)

Even so, there’s a whole world of blogging related gyan and conventions there, and if I get sucked into that, I don’t think I can manage even a once a week post 🙂

My one month trial has done its job—I am clear enough about what writing a post means to me, what hurts, what is difficult, and what is not. In essence, I can declare, yes, I will continue blogging. As I wrote earlier, I expect the posts to be on personal observations and insights, maybe based on my experiences or using the framework of published books and articles.

Here, in short, is what blogging means to me (so far):

  • It gives me a forum to ‘share’, and while it is good to know people visit it, but even if the traffic isn’t quite a stampede 😉 it is good to know that people have the option of visiting it, and that I have been able to stand up and say what I want to share
  • Creating an entry gives me the time to be with myself and think/ introspect and structure (at least somewhat). Beats obsessing and brooding or just zombie-ing
  • Getting some word count in also kick-starts my writing for the day (or acts as a wrap-up). This benefit is a bit mixed, because blogging takes away from available time, too…
  • Writing about topics I consider important and that I emotionally care for give me a feeling I am contributing in some way by at least thinking through and sharing, and maybe some day I will go through this material and re-organize it to create a more meaningful document that can be distributed. This is especially true about my journey and struggles (at an emotional and spiritual level) while caregiving for my mother, and somewhat true about other lessons I have learned (or failed to learn) about life as such

I have also noticed that there are some topics that mean a lot to me emotionally, but that I have never attempted blogging about, and maybe part of this avoidance was because I did not have enough time to do justice to the topic, or because I was just…shy.

My main lesson through blogging has nothing to do with blogging, of course. It has to do with how I typically hesitate to open up and explore new areas if I am not an ‘expert’. I took a risk and blogged, mainly because I assumed no one would read the blogs anyway and I really felt the need to express myself–but people have been reading the blog…not many, but still.

If I had known real people I know will read the blog (and some whom I don’t), would I have ventured out? No way. I would have spent two months mastering the jargon, making pretty mind maps and long bulleted lists of ideas, I would have opened a folder on my hard disk, established a routine of brainstorming and backups, creating bookmarks for sites offering synonyms…

…in short, I would have found extremely valid, rational reasons to postpone blogging. No Just Do It for me, no sir!

Which probably means it is time to check out which other areas of life I am being so well-thought out and systematic about.

And that brings into instantiation the possibility of wallowing in some more lists and mind maps instead of getting down to doing things. Or maybe not, if I’ve learned my lesson well enough…

How can one ever know what is needed, and what is an excuse for fear to venture out? 🙂

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About Swapna Kishore
I'm a writer, blogger, and resource person for dementia/ caregiving in India. I have also been a dementia caregiver for well over a decade, and am deeply concerned about dementia care in India; on this blog I share my personal caregiving journey, my experiences as a resource person for dementia care, and musings on life, aging, dementia in India, and such sundries. More about me and the work I do for dementia care. For structured information on dementia, for discussions, tools and tips on caregiving issues, for resources in India, and for caregiver interviews, please check my website http://dementiacarenotes.in (or its Hindi version, http://dementiahindi.com). For videos on dementia caregiving (English and Hindi), check the youtube channel here.

2 Responses to of blogging, exploring, and the need to be good enough to try something new

  1. austere says:

    You must get a sitemeter so you know who’s visiting and how often.

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