Blogging is about learning, improving and sharing
Lorelle (yeah, the one who had recently published a Blogging Tips book) challenged her readers to describe blogging, and as much as I’d like to think this is an easy job, it isn’t. In fact, NONE of Lorelle’s challenges were easy — if they were, they wouldn’t be called challenges in the first place. Sometimes I wonder from where she got her tough ideas, hmm…
There is not a shadow of doubt that blogging IS indeed a full-time job. Whether or not one “works” as a full-time blogger, the act of blogging requires more than just one’s time. It requires one’s attention, effort and well, time :) When I blog, not only do I have to ensure that my blog looks presentable, I have to ensure that my images don’t break my theme and there aren’t spelling or grammar mistakes and at the same time, I have to catch YOUR attention and make sure you come back tomorrow. Now, that’s A LOT of work, no? :D
What does blogging mean to me?
Blogging is about learning. When I started blogging, I wanted to customize my Blogspot blog. I read up and learned whatever was necessary to hide the navigational bar at the top of the Blogspot page, I learned how to create lists on my sidebar and I learned how to make things look the way I wanted them to. I’ve spent countless hours researching and experimenting with my blog, and that was how I learned how Blogspot blogs function.
But when I hosted my own WordPress blog, I realized I had to learn a whole lot of OTHER stuff. I’ve learned about CSS and how it makes things easier for us, I’ve learned about widgets and what they do, I’ve learned about various plugins and how they enhance our blog functions and I’ve also learned a lil’ about placing ads on my blog!
Besides the technical stuff, I’ve also learned a great deal about bloggers and their blogs. I’ve learned about blogging, about maintaining my blog, about monetizing my blog and I’ve learned that there are a lot of bloggers who are willing to teach us stuff if we asked.
Blogging is about improving. I used to blog about what I had for dinner, and how my housemate cooked us spaghetti, and what we did to celebrate another housemate’s 21st birthday. I’ve read recently that nobody is interested to read about what we had for dinner, unless we run a food blog, and that changed my perspective on blogging.
I started blogging about what mattered to me — charity, conservation (of natural resources and the critically-endangered turtles), volunteerism and health issues (breast cancer, AIDS, yoga). I wrote more about my personal life, my relationships with people around me. I wrote about the river terrapins and what we are doing to save them from becoming extinct.
And I participate in Blog Carnivals and Blogging Challenges (like this one) to improve my photography, writing and blogging skills. And I’d like to think that I now write and blog better compared to 18 months ago :)and
Blogging is about sharing. I wouldn’t have achieved so much without bloggers who were so generous to share their knowledge with me. As such, blogging has also taught me to share my knowledge and mistakes so that new bloggers get to learn from them. I remember a saying that goes something like this:
Learn from mistakes that other people make because you don’t have time to make them all yourself.
How does blogging change my life?
Frankly, I can’t remember what I used to do during my free time before I started blogging. I only remember that I used to read a lot. In fact, I am still doing a lot of reading, though I’m taking much longer to finish reading a book, for obvious reasons :D
Blogging has changed the way I think and look at things. Whenever I take pictures of pretty things or see something unusual on the streets or hear something funny or even downright unacceptable or read a good book, I think of a way to share it with my readers without sounding boastful or arrogant (the internet has taken away a lot of warmth in our everyday conversations and misunderstandings are way too common these days). And you know what? Blogging has also improved my photography skills! :)
And what does it mean to work as a blogger?
It means you get to sit in front of your computer for lonnnggg hours, even on weekends. It means you don’t get to tell your boss you’re late because there’s a massive traffic jam when in fact you had just woken up. It means you can NEVER be AWAY from your work because well, your computer is just sitting on your desk, and that’s all you’ll ever need. It means you can be your own boss by dictating what you’re going to blog about on any particular day without having your manager/supervisor knocking on your door every 5 minutes to see if you’re done with the report. It means you can leave the phone ringing for all you care and not feel your colleagues’ eyes watching you. It means you don’t have to buy new work clothes because you can work in your pyjamas. It means your make-up set will last longer because you don’t use them much.
What about you?
How would YOU describe blogging? :D