In the past, I’d put so much of what happened to me and how I saw the world into fiction stories, and complain that nothing interesting ever happened to me. It was only after I started a blog and took it seriously that I realized my life wasn’t as banal as I made it sound. Blogging has made me contemplate what my priorities are, what I want out of life, where my heart lies, and how fortunate I am to be the person I turned out to be. Blogging has helped me make something quirky out of the things that happen to me, or the things I’m into, as a result over time I discovered an original style of expression. For people who grow up reading other people’s work and emulating their favorite authors, finding their own voice is quite an accomplishment.
Listed below are nine reasons why I think you should start blogging.
- You know what niche you belong to.
Maintaining a blog is like getting dressed. You think about it, coordinate the pieces in your head, ask your friends if they look good, and even though you’ve spent hours deciding what to combine, you ultimately end up wearing the same comfy Uniqlo pants and season-less sweatshirt. I spend days brainstorming something out of my niche to write about but in the end, it’s what I love and deem significant and/or fun enough that I end up spilling.
- You are able to sort out what is more important to you.
The difference between a diary and a blog (besides the blog being public) is you only write the most significant things on a blog. Out of all the petty dramas that surround you, you decide which ones are worth noting. While a personal journal may bear your every-day whims about how much you think your life sucks, a blog, maybe not so much. You need to give something worth a reader’s time. Consequently what you decide to write on a blog is filtered and something you consider important enough. For instance, no matter how frustrating it was, I wouldn’t do an elaborate blog post about that one time someone in my class wanted to know why I was singling them out while I answered a random question. I wasn’t. There are quite a number of significant people in my life and they just don’t make the cut.
- Blogging makes you think.
I love the kind of books that keep me awake weeks after I’ve read them. (The Kite Runner, Room, The Hunger Games, to name a few) In other words, I like anything that makes me think. Partly because that’s what I do best. Also because it’s good cerebral exercise. Besides the anecdotal pieces that I instantly pen down (because I don’t want to forget the details), a considerable amount of thinking, research and my perspective go into the posts I churn up. On the way, I learn new things. Always a brownie point.
- It encourages you to get out of your comfort zone and do things.
As a teenager, I used to be an indoor person – the kind who could shut herself in for days and not socialize too much with Homo Sapiens Sapiens. I guess I live inside my head a lot. When I learned about people who haven’t had enough socialization (because that’s just the kind of things we do in our course) and what they turned out to be like, I was scared. Maybe that’s why I’m short? Oh how dare you it’s the genes!
Even in my first two semesters, I was often reluctant to socialize outside the class. I guess I liked the comfort a cup of coffee and some books provided, rather than going out there and getting involved in the set of Game of Thrones that was RTC. One time we were doing a short article on Hikikomori in class and I told the lecturer that I was afraid I had the disease. Only she said, “No you don’t. You just like to believe you do because it’s Japanese. You’re one of those who like everything Japanese.” Fair enough. But especially after I began writing non-fiction, I’ve found that I now willingly go to places, meet new people and take risks. Because hey, I can write about them all quarter-long!
- It’s free!
Unless you want to turn it into a website for wider reach, blogging is absolutely free.
- It’s a place for you to convey what you think the people need to hear.
There are things that you want people to know. You don’t necessarily have to rub them in their face. I like the idea of illustrating certain points, instead of ranting about how people don’t get this and misunderstand that. Blog is a good place to start.
- You become ‘one of those’ people.
- It’s a nice way of keeping track of the changing times.
People change. That’s the truth. And they do so especially in their teens and twenties because they’re still figuring out who they are and what they want. Looking back, I’m no more the naïve little girl I used to be. When I read things I’d written way back, I have to shake my head at how innocent and dumb I had been. Blogging, or just writing has helped me understand myself better, who I used to be and who I turned out to be.
- You get better at writing.
This doesn’t come as a surprise. Blogging consistently makes you invest quite a lot of time and effort in writing. Consequently your writing becomes more refined. What wannabe in this niche doesn’t want that!
These are the nine reasons why I think you should start blogging.
(The writer is a former Royal Thimphu College student and an avid blogger.)