Blogging a hobby. Blogging a profession. Jury is still out on this, at least in our nation.
The revolution of internet has spread far and wide but we need to agree that the evolution of blogging has not been as quick as that in our country. For most of us it is still a hobby, a pastime and at best a passion to achieve higher goals.
Like thousands of bloggers across the length and breadth of India, I too started with this. An idea of writing away a part of my life in words on the internet. A medium I discovered when Facebook notes fell short of satiating my creative needs.
But somewhere in this six (and counting) years of journey, I decided to take myself and this blog a few steps further. Scratch that, a lot of steps further.
Question I ask myself today is why?
What started as cryptic diatribes on politics, random hit-backs on friends and family and at times out loud thinking rants, this blog suddenly decided to take itself more seriously. Not the content or the subjects it ranted on. But only itself.
Where earlier a blogpost usually consumed fifteen minutes of our time, today it happens to stretch over days. Through scribbled notes in diary to as many as five deleted drafts in a night, blogging has become a lot about better finished end product. Coupled by a well marketed/promotion strategy.
But again why?
When I Consider How My Light Is Spent
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
Here John Milton laments sudden loss of his sight thus rendering the very talent of poetry lodged in his soul useless.
This is how I feel about not taking one’s blog seriously. By not giving a blog its due are we not wasting the very talent we own? By denying our art its right position, its right stature- are we not in a way committing a sin?
Blogging is not simply the art of creating content. It is the art of creating a product. As bloggers you are not only a writer or a photographer or a cook, you are your own blog’s Bansal brothers. And simply putting up a blogpost is not even half work done.
Why is understanding your blog stats and working in their direction the most serious thing you can do for your blog?
A couple of years back, I decided to assign myself a target Alexa rank. The elusive and much talked about figure of under 100,000. And do you want to know where I started this journey? 22 million! If you still have doubts as to how I did this, then do read How to change your alexa rank from 22 million to under 100,00 in ten months.
But why did I choose to do so?
Answer lies with Picasso.
In this piece, re-created through journals of Brassai based on his interactions with Pablo Picasso for over thirty years, a very interesting thought on art is discussed. Here we get to know that Picasso always sold his work pieces at a rather inexpensive rate, thus ensuring that his art reaches out to as many people as possible. He believed that art as a way is successful only when it can be heard or seen by a large mass.
Blog stats and monitoring of same supports a similar idea where we as bloggers can unsure that our voices do not die a slow death.
But again why did I decide to take my blog seriously? Why even look for stats and contemplate on content for days before hitting publish? Because I believe art in any form deserves so? Perhaps.
But more importantly because this is who I am.
I realised that if blogging is an integral part of my life then should I not take it seriously. Like every other thing I own and carry out as a way of being. Isn’t that who I am? And if this blog is my alter ego then should it not represent me in larger sense?
Tonight I ask you, did you decide to take something about your life seriously in recent times and why? And if you are a blogger then please do tell me what does blogging mean to you?
Why do you blog? Even better we at Blogchatter have a writing prompt which is on till 18th November. Write a post around the theme ‘Why do I blog’ and tweet the link to Blogchatter twitter handle.
Don’t you wish to know how John Milton ended that poem?
My true account, lest He returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or His own gifts. Who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”