The joys of blogging

This is my 200th blog post. I started blogging in May this year— egged on by friends and readers on Facebook to compile all that I was posting there in one place. I resisted at first. Then on an impulse, on the first day of my vacation, I succumbed to their request. It took me a few hours from scratch to finish to set up this website, with hardly any technical experience. I learnt from trial and error.

It wasn’t satisfying at first. The instant responses I used to get from Facebook were missing. Readers didn’t bother to click URLs as easily as they read direct content on Facebook. And even if they did, I never knew who was reading or responding. Not many wanted to leave their comments on an external web page with their email ID (which was mandatory). I got spammed incessantly and it wasn’t amusing. I missed the reader interaction.

Then I learnt to link my posts to Facebook and add interactive ‘like’ buttons, which made the experience slightly better. But then technology has its flaws. Facebook changed its policies and my blog was marked insecure. I was harried and finally got things corrected. Only to have someone in customer care erase all my reader feedback without asking me. I was furious! Nevertheless as always, life moves on.

But there have been high points. Writing almost every day (when I wasn’t travelling) showed me that I could write consistently. I felt an accountability towards my readers who would ask, if I missed writing for a few days. In the last seven months, I have put down over 102,364 words on this blog. Not to forget the clicks from my camera. And today my website is just 800 short of 20K hits. It has been a fulfilling journey.

It has been wonderful meeting people who said that they had read something I had written. Some of my posts appealed to people. These are the ones which struck a chord the most.

But most fascinating has been the ability to reach out to people across the globe. Each day a little yellow spot somewhere on that map would fill up and it would excite me. Initially the maps of Africa and South America were empty, but then last month I found readers there as well. They might be hackers and spammers for all that I know! I had hits from countries which I hadn’t heard of: Isle of Man, American Samoa and Curaçao made me reach out to Google to learn more. Today I counted readers from 74 countries which is humbling. I’m hoping one of you visits Greenland or Iceland and opens my blog from there, just to have that empty spot turn yellow!!

As this year draws to a close, I would like to thank all those who first encouraged me to start blogging. It is not the same as writing a book, but at least I am writing. It keeps me alive and happy. And a big thank you to all my friends and readers who have walked with me in this journey. Wishing you all a happy new year. Hope this journey continues with the same earnest next year too.


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