…later, a milestone has been crossed. Yes, dear reader, the blog celebrates its 4th anniversary today. 🙂
Its time to write that anniversary post, which will be a reflection of the journey undertaken so far and hopes and plans for the future. But first, let me share with you some of the highlights of my 4th year of blogging.
- It was a year of travel — Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Aurangabad. While I have finished writing about my visits to the first two states, I still have to write about the latter two.
- This was also the year of exploring my city, Mumbai, and writing about it as well. Its art scene, its neighbourhoods, its rich and varied heritage, its public transport, its forts… all found their way into the blog. I think my blog url of “thatandthisinmumbai” has finally lived up to its name. 😀
- I started getting invites for blogger events. The first was a FAM trip to Suryagarh, near Jaisalmer; the second to a Google+ event to celebrate World Photography Day; and the third (and most special one) was an invitation to be part of an art trail in Mumbai.
- Two new series were introduced on the blog — Photostory and “Neighbourhoods of Mumbai” — and I’m really excited about them. Right now there aren’t many posts in the series yet, but by next year (fingers crossed!) there will be.
- One of my earliest posts, Meenakshi’s Lamp, got featured (with slight modifications), in The Deccan Chronicle and The Key Bunch. Similarly, part of my post on Pallankuzhi, a traditional board game, was included in the DKS Learning Centre’s blog.
- I finally started a Facebook Page for the blog. If you haven’t ‘liked’ me yet on FB, this is where I humbly fold my hands and request you to do so. I promise I will never spam your TL with inane or too many posts. 🙂
After reading the above highlights, would you believe that I began my 4th year seriously contemplating whether I should continue with or stop blogging altogether.
After an exciting beginning and finding my feet in the first year of blogging, a heady and wonderful second year followed. In the third year of blogging, I got derailed by a combination of complacency, severe writer’s block and negativity in the blogging world. This led to extreme blogging fatigue and I began my fourth year of blogging wondering what to do. As it turned out, it wasn’t an easy decision to make.
Initially I just let it be, thinking that the decision would happen on its own. So I blogged when I wanted to and ignored the blog when I couldn’t write. Either way, I was in a kind of blogging limbo. After a while, I got rather tired of whining and feeling sorry for myself and my blog. That’s when I decided to revisit the very reason I began writing this blog.
Simply put, “My Favourite Things” was the product of boredom, resulting from not writing a blog. (For those who are not aware of my blogging journey, this is actually my third blog and only active one; the first two were part of study assignments). As I evaluated and reflected on the first few months of this blog, I realised how happy I was to just write and not bother about anything else at that time. I decided that perhaps that’s what I needed to do now as well — just write. And write some more and not bother about anything else.
That’s what I did and somehow, everything just fell into place. Of course, it wasn’t all that easy, but this time I was determined and decided to follow the advice I give students of the “Academic Writing Skills” course that I teach:
Write everyday. Even if you trash what you write, it is important that you write. The discipline of writing everyday will stand in good stead and soon become an effortless habit.
And slowly and steadily, I began to write and somewhere along the way writing became a habit. A pleasurable habit. Soon, I had a list of blog posts all waiting to be written and even probable dates of publication. I know, I know it sounds too structured (scary even!), but I only treat the list like a guideline of what I want to write. If I feel like writing anything else at any given time, I do just that. But I must confess here that I have blog posts lined up till the first week of August 😛
Along with writing many other things also got prioritised. For example, after being interviewed for a contest, I decided never to participate in contests ever again. I am still mulling over a similar decision for FAM invitations. It’s true that I get invited, but it’s also true that 99% of them have not worked out for some reason or the other. While I keep getting listed in some top Indian blogs (travel or otherwise), I have also not been featured in many other lists as well. So yes, while I appreciate and am thankful for the recognition, I do realise that these are extremely subjective lists.
Right now my priority is to continue writing and write well. For that. I now need to resume reading other blogs as well, something that I regularly used to do, but had unfortunately stopped. It is now time to follow another advice I love giving my students.
To write well, it is important to read as well. Your writing is only as good as the stuff you read.
I have lots of exciting ideas for the year to come and can’t wait to get started. A big thank you to all my blog readers and followers, friends who encouraged me and gave me a stern rap on the knuckles when I whined too much. You people rock ! 😀
So 4 years, 346 posts, 2,65,417 words, 39 video, 1 audio, 1,874 images, 2,05,812 page views, 8,740 comments and 37,488 spam comments later, I’m all set for Year 5 of blogging. Bring it on, for it’s party time 🙂
PS: Do keep an eye out for my next post this coming Thursday. It’s a first for this blog. Hint. Hint. 😉