When I first heard the term “blog” more than ten years ago, my initial thought was that it was merely an online version of one’s personal diary, and the movies kind of supported that idea. At first I was against it because I couldn’t reconcile the notion of a personal–and SECRET–diary being made public.
But then I discovered LiveJournal. It was perfect for those who wanted to make their thoughts known worldwide while still maintaining control over who gets to see what. I tired of it after a few years; the ambitious me wanted my words and thoughts to reach more, and LJ’s strict privacy tools weren’t letting it happen. I explored other online journal places like GreatestJournal, Multiply (which has become an online marketplace), and then I settled here on WordPress.
Through those years blogging has taken on the popular idea that if you start a blog, you have to have a central topic. Your blog has to be a niche blog. I was as scatterbrained as a dodo (first thing that came to mind, sorry), so niche blogging was out of the question, but I did try to make sure that my posts weren’t just a-day-in-the-life posts; I tried to post opinions on books, TV shows, films, political events in my country, and because that, as a commenter once said, is in itself a form of niche blogging, I tried to stick to it.
And so plod on I did. I still have drafts of book and film reviews that I have not finished, including one I promised for The Reading Spree. I still have ideas for other entries, but in all my years of writing on various blogging sites, I realized just now that I never would have made it as a professional writer–you know, the ones who write for newspapers, magazines, journals. THAT kind of writer.
While I do very much like writing, I didn’t like the stress that comes with deadlines (probably one reason I’ve been putting off continuing my grad studies, too). I wanted the words to come to me and not have to strain to get them out because when this happens, my writing gets really, well, crappy, to put it mildly. But on the other hand, straining to get the words out is also a good exercise in improving one’s writing, isn’t it? I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t, hence my participation in this challenge.
I suppose different people see blogging differently, but blogging for me has become my treadmill. It keeps my writing fit. I started out slow by writing day-in-the-life entries, and while I still do those occasionally, I’ve managed to up my game and churn out some pretty decent reviews, too.