11 Things from 11 Years of Blogging

by - Thursday, April 07, 2016

1111



This is probably an odd number to mark for an anniversary, or even to dedicate a post.

I am never one for the norm anyway, and while everyone observes the one year, fifth year or spell out the milestones by the decades, I have decided to take on a different take and include the +1, or better still, whip up any random number when inspiration hits.
Yes, that is more like my style, rather than conforming to any unseen social standard.
(Otherwise a socially acceptable reason for the fact that it totally slipped my mind to do the post last year and it just hit me, or the fact that the tenth year; last year, was the year I was already celebrating the launch of my own domain. 
Either way, I’m getting away with it).

On my tenth year of blogging, I finally consolidated all my blogs and found my humble online abode here; with that huge self-owned domain to myself.

It may be the norm for most of the other bloggers who have long ago ditched their blog host addresses and there is nothing much to talk about, but somehow, it was something that I was quite happy about despite being the late baby boomer in this aspect.

It took me long enough, and there is just that something about wanting everything to be perfect before making anything official, alongside the fact that I was busy browsing through designs and coming up with that concept of how I wanted my new site to look at.
Nothing seemed to be perfect enough, and then there is that part about doing the coding (though there’s not much) to personalize the site to my very own ideals.

And that led to a decade.

Anyway, looking back, I have gone through my own blogs; yes, from the very first blog I started and my motivations back then to the series of transformations to where the whole blogging thing landed me today, and that was quite a journey.

I laughed, cringed, gasped and even surprised myself as I stare at the things that I wrote myself.
It was just like a mirror, as I looked at my younger self.
Only, in writing.

I started my blog in the beginning as just a way to pen my thoughts; recording the events in my life and just for the sake of writing, which is something that I could never just leave without and I didn’t want it to just go away after leaving school.
I have my personal journal of course, but I just enjoy writing about things happening in the world or just anything that comes into mind; sharing my two cents of thoughts.
Blogging was never even a thing at that time, and I never even thought of commanding any presence or preaching to anyone, let alone have followers.
It was really a personal thing, and is something that I still stick to until this very day; perhaps the reason I was never really bothered about whether I have followers or not.
I just wanted to stick it out doing something I really like, and just be myself.

I still enjoy what I do, even though I sound boring or eccentric at times, but that’s the way I see my blog, along with the many other things I learnt and saw for myself as I took the journey through the decade plus one years…

1. Be Myself and Stand for Who I Am
      I started my blog to write about my own stories, my life; sharing my perspectives. It could sometimes be lengthy, and maybe there are hints of sarcasm occasionally, and there are times when it just could be a simple or understated post. It is just like life; there will always be the ups and downs and there are times I faced writer’s block too.
I want to update the blog, but the words just don’t flow quite as I want and I leave it.

The personal aspect of my blog is what I take pride in; and I used to even include poetry (yes, I love poetry and I write them, occasionally) in my blogs.
Then I started taking photos of my mum’s cooking, my dad’s gardening, food I ate at home or outside, and well, just almost everything in the universe that fascinates me.

I’m rather private and reserved in person, and I will post on things which I want to; rather than just about everything. That could be boring to everyone, because hey, not everyone wants to know what happens in my life (as if your life is not varied enough).

I write in my own style; and back then I even segregated my blogs to separate categories, and in a way, I was labeled as a food blogger at some point (thanks to my food blog), a travel blogger, and even a book/movie reviewer. 
Some even thought I was a ghost hunter, thanks to my blog where I shared stories of the unknown and supernatural.

The fact is, I just write about topics I like and just systematically put them into labels; which were defined by the different blogs.
Today, they are all under one roof, where I just choose to write about whatever I want.

It is my personal blog about my life, sans the title of reviewer or food blogger.

I have my own style of writing and I welcome opinions and even criticisms, but I will not be dictated by trends or standards or even for the sake of commercialism.

It is who I am, and I want to keep it that way, thank you very much.

A blog without a personality, is just like a house without furniture.
Empty, and dull.

2. It doesn’t have to be Perfect, all the time
Imperfection does make perfection sometimes. 

I’m always someone who wants to make everything perfect, all the time and that is annoying. 
Sometimes I could just wait because I simply felt that the post, or design was not perfect enough, that I would not post, but really, it was just my own way of thinking.
There are posts which I think they are less than perfect, but they end up surprising me when I received emails and comments from readers who loved the post.
Turns out, I was the only one who didn’t approve my own post.

At the same time, getting away with less than perfect, or perhaps slouchy posts, are just reminders that life is full of ups and downs.
There are just days when inspiration hits best and I churn out my post, thinking it was my best piece but it may not be and there are times, when inspiration is simply just being that painful sore, staring and mocking me in the eye but simply refused to comply.
Furthermore, one man’s meat may be another man’s poison.
What I liked may not sit that well in other’s eyes, and vice versa.

Besides, it would be unrealistic if everything was just so darn good, all the time.
And, just so you know, if I waited for everything to be perfect before I post, the blog would just sit there, collecting dust.

3. Make Mistakes, They Give Everyone a Good Laugh
Yes, just as the imperfections, it is funny how stupid mistakes tend to stick for a very long time.
Of course, while proof reading for grammar mistakes and the accuracy of facts are given, there are times when some silly statements or references could just make people giggle (or snarl) along with you.
I thank the people who noticed my little mistakes in my writing and are kind enough to get back to me.
It made me learn from my own mistakes and after that, I am sure it will tickle my funny bone decades down the road.

4. NEVER Be Afraid
      Fear is the biggest barrier in anything we do; how often have we held back from doing something simply because of fear?
Writing is all about self-expression and putting them into words.
If there is fear about judgment or mistakes, there would never be anything written or printed in this world. Ever.

On a side note, Freedom of speech and journalism, is still an ongoing debate which sparked recently.

It is all about common sense really, what should and could be written about, with regards to the sensitivity of the issue and the feelings of others.
That, alone is not about fear, but more of consideration.

But if the fear of being judged or criticized is holding you back from writing, then that is just wrong.
There will always be criticisms; no matter what we do.
Just put that pen to work; wagging tongues or not.

5.There are OTHERS who are just like ME, more than I ever Imagined
      I was fortunate to have met and befriended many other bloggers when I started blogging, meeting them through their blogs and their visits to my blogs; and some even through events I have attended (I have attended a few reviews before too). 
They have become personal friends and we still chat up occasionally. 
I have seen some of them rose to celebrity fame today, and I am genuinely happy and proud of them.

They have their own visions, and they enjoyed what they are doing, blogging in their own areas of specialty.

Likewise, they have been supportive of who I am and my style over the years too and I appreciate that.

Along the way, I have also met and stumbled upon other like-minded bloggers, who owned and spearheaded their blogs in directions such as mine and even share aspirations like me.
It is amazing how just a simple online journal led me to such wonderful discovery beyond my keyboard, and the screen.

6.The World Wide Web is MASSIVE
       There are just so many people out there; and while there are those who would click the button to follow, or even drop that occasional comments, there are also those I never knew of their existence until I get that ‘Like’ out of the blue, or the email in my inbox with a smiley.

Some would say this is spooky, but when you put your blog online, you’re inadvertently making it public just like a shop or an open house.
You’re putting yourself out there, and unlike the physical world, the web makes everywhere accessible through the connectivity network; which means anyone, or everyone can view and access that information on your blog.

You may never know who is out there, staring at your profile pic while writing their assignment or even jabbing their finger at your face; lovingly or hatefully.

There is no stopping that, once you click Publish.

Likewise, there will be fans and there will be haters.
We are talking about the world; accessible by just a click.


7.There will always be RISKS
       Cyber security, online threats, stalking are just part and parcel of the world wide web, and even in the physical world.
The Internet has become a major and massive platform for sharing and even self-proclaimed fame where people could turn into celebrities overnight online.

The Internet is a major portal for opportunities, but along with it comes the risks and maybe, even dangers.

However, just like everything else in the world, it is the norm.
If we are always afraid of the risks, we would never step out of the door, at all.
Not even our mother’s womb, not that we have a choice when the doctor pulls us out.
*Graphic

8.We Can’t Please Everyone
      I write this piece, click Publish. I receive Likes and people share their views with me, saying how good it is.
They find it fascinating, and they loved how the stories turned out.
Then there are those who found it too lengthy or too boring.
Some prefer it to be all words, while some prefer to have more photos.

But really, how can we please everyone?
It is not possible.

If I were to do that, then what would happen to my very own style?
That would wreck Lesson #1.

So, I’m sticking to Who I am, and just Be Myself, rather than harping on likes.


9. Do What We Want, Because We Want to, not because We Have To
      That doesn’t mean you can go shoot anyone with a gun.
      There are often times when you feel like you have to do something, you have to write this post for someone, you have to write a good post for your sponsor, or simply because you have to post or update your blog every single day.

The Key is, HAVE to.

But, do you want to?

Doing something for the sake of obligation or just because it’s required is going to compromise that quality, and trust me or not, it will be evident.
Ingenuity shows, and lacks in creativity.

Doing something out of passion or love, and simply of desire produces an entirely different result.
When you feel good, you will do good, and people will definitely think it’s good.

Always Rule #1, Be Yourself, and just Do it because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to, for any reason, at all.

10. A Picture Tells a Thousand Words
     I have always loved photography, and I love taking photos of everything around me, as I mentioned earlier.
Sure, I am far away from the standards of the professional photographer, but that still doesn’t stop me from continuing to take photos of everything.

I do pick up tricks and tips, but there are times, I just want to take photos the way they appear to my eyes; dropping all that golden rules and everything.
I am not forsaking the standard, but rather, photography, to me, is just like art.
It is all about the perception and angle, and they tell different stories to different eyes who perceive them.

However, I do agree that good photos do the trick, and they help to articulate my stories even better. I am still working on improving my photography, and while I am all about writing, I appreciate the visual aid of photos on my blog to convey my words even more effectively.


11.NEVER Give Up and Find the FUN
      I have people asking me, “You’ve been blogging for a decade and yet you don’t have a mass following? You should consider putting yourself out there, get some sponsors and earn money

I appreciate the love and support, though at the same time, I don’t know how many would believe when I say that numbers don’t really matter to me.
Yeah sure, I am happy when I see another person following me, but yet, I do not let the numbers dictate who I really am or what I really want to do with my blog.
I still want my blog to stick to the original direction when it first started, to be the personal and lifestyle blog sharing my life stories and even sharing inspirations.
It was not about the money, for when I started, there was no such thing as commercial value even. Yes, we should evolve along the way, and I do do a sponsored post once in a while; though selectively, but it is all about the alignment with my blog’s vision and they should tally.
Commerce would just be the sidekick but integrity remains my priority.

Rule #1 never goes away.

Though I don’t command a huge following nor am I a celebrity, it doesn’t mean I will stop writing or running my blog, because my blog was never started because of that mission.

I will never give up on my blog, because that would be giving up on writing.
That would be almost equivalent to suicide, for me.

So, while my posts only reach hundreds, I still find the fun in writing and sharing my thoughts on my blog, because at the end of the day, it is that love for writing that keeps me going.


There are definitely more than just 11 lessons I have learnt over the decade (plus one year) in my blogging journey, and I simply could never stop the list just here or even stop learning.

Blogging should never be purely about the number of followers, or even about fame, because that would only rip blogging of its very own nature and the pleasure of writing in all.

Be who you want to be, and who you like to see or follow; rather than pretending to be someone else.
They already exist, so why don’t you just be yourself?

To Myself, the decade plus one year made me more motivated and even happy to see many more joining the bandwagon (though for good reasons), and I will continue to write and pen those thoughts of mine in this humble site of mine, hoping to learn, inspire and be inspired by the lot of many more of you out there.


To more decades to come and to more inspiring posts, Cheers~



*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.




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