WordPress are doing this new programme Blogging 101. I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now but we always learn, right, so I am taking part.
It’s great that they are helping new bloggers get on the platform, although the marketer in me suggests that the objective is likely to drive number of bloggers on the platform and specifically in light of Medium (rival platform) becoming more popular… Anyway.
The first assignment looks quite interesting – reflect on and revisit the mission of the blog and why you are doing this, specifically the following questions:
1. Why are you blogging publicly instead of keeping a diary?
2. What topics do you think you’ll write about?
3. Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
4. If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what do you hope to accomplish?
First question is spot on – I had a diary before but found it limited – you are your own audience, no feedback by default, and feedback is important for writing. Plus diary is writing on a wish, not on schedule so it does not discipline you to write.
When you write publicly, you have higher degree of accountability, you do not just write anything – I still write about what I feel and am going through, mostly, but I also organise these thoughts, I push myself to not just share my experience but also add value to the reader, hopefully help someone else going through something similar. Also often I do research and carefully select and think through the topics I pick.
I blog about happiness – my path to being happy, what happiness means for me, what makes me happy, etc. And I have got happier as a result through self acceptance and self discovery for which I mainly credit meditation but could writing have played a role? Absolutely.
My blog is not huge and there are many blogs on happiness but I have a few followers and I know they are people who know that being happy is the purpose of living and they are on their own self discovery, self acceptance paths. If my posts manage to put a smile on their faces, make them nod in agreement and appreciation they are not alone in their challenges, or help learn something new, perhaps a new way of being happier, then it’s all worth it. I read their blogs too and also smile and nod, so I do think that blogging connects you to other people.
To be honest, I’d write even if no one read my blog. I write for the sake of writing and use my blog as self therapy (and sometimes bookmarking!) tool. Of course, there is a degree of vanity there too – each of those likes are like a balm drop on a writer’s parched heart 🙂
My blog started with escape, with the path of a nomad, got a Buddhist tinge, evolved into a more scientific discourse and got interspersed with lyrical reflections on the subject of love and more practical lifehacks and parenting techniques.
This year I want to do something new. I had this writing project for a while which I started in Russian the idea of which is that I want to leave some of my key discoveries (I am trying to avoid the ‘advice’ word!) about life to my son. I nearly died in 2010 and it was quite scary and later when I had my boy I could not stop thinking that if anything were to happen to me, he would be left with no guidance whatsoever. Lame and patronising, has been done before, yes, but he does not have to read it and I have to do it.
I’ve started already – you just did not know 🙂 Every week I will publish a new post and then link them into one index post ordered alphabetically so it’s all in one place. The idea is still the same – happiness. Shall we embark on this experiment together? Alright, hold on tight 🙂