Blogging Over The Years

I started this blog, my first one, in January 2007.

It feels like a lifetime.

I was young and literally restless, and strongly felt that the much-hyped digital advertising job I had just landed a couple of months back, wasn’t satisfying my creative needs as much as I thought it would. Hence, the blog.

Back then, I blogged about completely random things, without giving a f#@k about editing, spell check or even privacy. Yes, I had a strict No Personal Pictures On The Blog policy (which I broke only in late 2014) because back then putting your own pictures on your blog was considered cheesy, with the same amount of stigma as present day’s ‘Here’s My Bathroom Selfie’ pic on Facebook has. My blogging was always irregular – there were months and months of zero activity and then suddenly my blogging friends would be bombarded with two posts a week. This was mainly because I was writing for myself, and so I wrote whenever the hell I wanted to. 

But then started the comments and as amateurish and lame-o as it might sound, comments made me swell with pride. Someone out there was actually reading what I was typing furiously during lunch breaks at work and this virtual attention was amazing, it fueled my desire to blog more.

And this is when I started making Blog Friends. 

We were a bunch of people reading each other’s blogs and it felt so personal that we were even G-Talk friends – don’t give me that look, G-Talk was THE thing back then. Together, we formed a little blogging community, sharing tiny pieces of our lives, however layered or encrypted it might be, and developed a sense of camaraderie over the years. Most of them are still my friends!

All this while, along with the blogging and the virtual writing friends, my dream of writing a book was thriving. You see, I ALWAYS wanted to write a book, like everyone else, obviously. As a kid I used to design my future book cover with childish doodles and Killer Font. Yeah, I did have a thing for melodrama even then. Later on as I tarted reading more and more, buying ONLY book from my internship money for 2 months and getting lectured by mom and dad on finances and financial planning etc, I began to write plot outlines for my book. A girl travelling to Parallel Universe to meet her Dead Dog who was still live int his parallel universe and two sisters travelling the world with a magic purse were some of the ideas. Yeah, I’m not planning to pursue them now, you’re welcome. 

But only when I started blogging, did I feel confident about the Book Dream. Blogging gave me a platform to develop my skills, get feedback, gauge the effect of a few different writing techniques,  and most importantly – 

Blogging gave me my writing style, my voice.

My writing style, my voice – I’m told – is fun.

And I love fun!

I’d be nothing except fun. I want my writing to be as fun and interactive as possible. I want people to enjoy it, even if I write super long posts with little or no focus – it has to be INTERESTING. That is my first and only tip to myself and to anyone who asks me.

And trust me, I get asked a lot. For writing tips, I mean. Ever since the book came out, people always ask for tips to get published and to write. My three tips:

  1. Keep it Interesting.
  2. Keep it Interesting, please?
  3. Keep it interesting dammit!

Blogging has given me so many things, and since my blog is knows for Lists, here’s one to keep the tradition going:

  • My blog has given me amazing friends
  • My blog has got me a lot of wins in blogging contests. To count my blogging contest wins from the last 3 months, I won and iPad Air from Blogadda, a Moto E phone and A Micromax Tab from Indiblogger and Vouchers worth almost 12k from various places 
  • My blog attracts brands too! Yes, only this month I’ve got three really HUGE brands emailing me to blog for them. I will if the theme fits the blog, like I always do, but it’s great nonetheless
  • My blog give me a regular medium to write. While book-2 is in a super long editing phase, my only writing vent is this blog and I treat this as the biggest take away. I mean, a girl does need her (creative or otherwise) vent, no?
  • And the most important, my blog gave me the confidence to go on and write my first book. (Have you read it yet? No? I can’t believe you. Go read it, GO NOW!)

It’s no secret that I do not follow any of much-advised blogging bible – I do not follow just one theme. I write about place I’ve visited, Food I’ve liked, People I’ve met, Dreams I’ve had, Social Causes I’ve related to and then I’ve also written totally unrelated poems on depression and Odes to Motherhood and random conversations in washrooms. No theme whatsoever. I’d like to believe that by defying the overly used keep-your-blog-themed caution, I have somehow managed to keep it real. Hey, it’s just me, you can disagree, okay? But don’t, really. It pisses me off and hey, I might write about you! 

Because I don’t believe in the bullshit of being the so-called better person or not-being-mean-in-writings-by-targeting-people because a.) I keep it real, seriously, and b.) I believe that we owe everything that happens to us to our writing – if people wanted to be written about kindly, they should have behaved better. 

Also, if we pretend to be what we aren’t, it shows in our writings. Trust me, it does. If your writing is not genuine, your posts will reek of artificial preachings. And who wants artificial, hm? WHO? There have been countless times when I’ve wanted to type to people, in all CAPS, that ‘Hey, your pretense is showing bro‘. But I don’t. Because I am kind like that. 

And also, I mainly write for myself. I mean, I would more than love to blog for brands and make some money out of this almost-a-decade-old blog, but I have realized that I just can’t kill the vibe of this blog by going off it’s main theme. What’s the main theme of this blog you ask? Well, it’s all things fun and interesting. If I write about Travel, it will not be a To-Do Listicle, it will have my twist to it. If I write about Parenting, it won’t be preachy, it will instead be relate-able and slightly self-deprecating. And if I write about life, it will be honest and unpretentious and well, hopefully fun. I’m still learning, though.

Clearly, I’ve never give too many f@#ks about earning through my blog, but I am told I should so I’m starting with baby steps. What I have done, though, is inspired bullied quite a few folks to start blogging, including my sister. Has to amount to some good writing karma, right?

And then’s there’s my (totally awesome) book: Soldier & Spice: An Army Wife’s Life. 

In the reviews on my book, a lot of people have called me the Desi Sophie Kinsella and it makes me tap dance every time. And this is the style, the tone and the voice that Blogging had given me, and I love my blog for this. To say that I owe my book to this blog, will not be wrong. My book is one of my most favorite things in this world, no doubt about that, but this blog? It’s more. This blog is my first love.

And today, after almost a decade of starting this blog, I have purchased a domain name. Yeah, I know it’s super late and high time and hence pretty lame to announce it publicly slash socially, but you have to understand that I am NOT a technical person at all. The idea of having to manage a blog on my own was pretty damn scary to me. But then Akanksha, my old time blogging friend who I adore, explained it to me this morning and on an insane impulse, I got online and bought five minutes after the phone call. 

It is a big milestone for me. Does it sound childish to you? Maybe. Maybe not. Depending on how long have you known me, and how much Blogging means to you. 

So, I’ll wrap this up on a happy note –  I might have gone back to zero Alexa Rank and a negative Moz Rank or whatever, my 2K+ comments might have disappeared, my all blog scores etc might have taken an underwater dive, but I am am ecstatic. This is euphoria. I am so happy that I might throw a dance party at my house tomorrow for whoever can attend and can dance to Yankee Doodle Went To Town  because that is the only thing Gauri, my daughter will let me play in the house these days. I want to celebrate blogging because this blog an me, we’ve come a long way and it has been an incredible journey since 2007.

Here’s to blogging!

PS: I still find editing the posts incredibly exhausting, so pliss excuse if there are typos here. Will get back to it soon. Kisses, my readers!

Post Author: Aditi Mathur Kumar

Author of 2 books. TEDx Speaker. Travel Writer. Blogger. Addicted to Travel & Books. Digital Media Strategist. Social Media Girl. Army Wife. Mom. Curious. Crazy.

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