A lot of the time blogging is a challenge, even for bloggers who have been blogging for a while. We all blog about different topics and blog for different reasons. But what we have in common as bloggers is sharing stories on our blogs – and so much effort goes into it.
This is the 100th post that I’ve written for this blog, excluding reblogs. Next week marks two years since I’ve started this blog, this blog about Asian cultures and being Asian Australian. It has been a bumpy blogging road and as writer Jeff Goins said, “All things creative are hard. Blogging is just one of many”.
There can be days when we simply don’t know what to blog about or don’t feel inspired to blog. Maybe we feel like we’ve run out of stories to fit the theme of our blogs. Blogging about something we don’t often think about tends to get ideas flowing, keeping us motivated. Early this year I felt like I had written all I could about being a cultural outcast and racism, having written a lot about these topics over the previous year. After some thinking, I asked myself: why not look at what it means to be Asian every, single, day?
Blogging takes time. Insightful posts take time to put together. It also takes time to edit, upload and format blog posts. Blogging about culturally sensitive topics doesn’t come easy to me: there’s researching to be done to check out what has been said, and later thoughtful reflection to come up with original, two-sides-of-the-touchy-story points. Having a blogging schedule helps. I set aside Saturday and Sunday nights to write my blog posts, something which introverted me has gotten used to.
And sometimes we struggle to blog regularly because life gets in the way (think work, falling sick, travel). Then again, first we need to live, live in the moment, before we can blog about our stories. If we really are into blogging, sooner or later we’ll make time for it. No excuses.
Chatting With Other Bloggers
Keeping up with other blogs is another side of blogging and it’s challenging following lots of blogs. I space out reading and commenting on the 100-plus blogs I follow during the week, making “blog walking” manageable. Visiting other blogs is a way to get noticed as a blogger and get more subscribers but that’s not why I do that – the more I read other blogs the more I feel inspired to write and feel connected with the WordPress community here.
As I’ve written in the NEMBC Winter 2014 magazine, for many of us blogging isn’t a competition. It isn’t about gaining views and traffic for popularity’s sake. We blog to share, and we comment honestly on blogs without expecting a response in return all the time (though it is nice to get responses to our comments).
Designing Our Blogs
If we’re picky, choosing a blog theme that looks “just right” in our eyes can be difficult. Playing around with different themes and asking ourselves what we want to achieve with our blogs helps. If we don’t want to be bound by limited-customisable blog themes (on Wordress.com) but want to build our own and have more flexibility with our code, we can blog on a paid, self-hosted site. I’ve entertained this idea as the technical bits don’t scare me and I can afford it. Learning CSS I’ve tweaked my custom-upgraded WordPress.com theme to my satisfaction and with no intention of monetising my blog through ads, I can’t see why I should make the move.
Why We Keep Blogging
It is the challenges of blogging that make it rewarding. Blogging challenges us to think outside of the box each time we put up new posts, and in the process we learn to be patient and learn more about what we do, our craft. In my two years of blogging, my words have adopted a more informal tone, reading less and less like an academic textbook – stretching myself as a writer.
This blog has opened doors for me: giving me the chance to speak about being Asian Australian and recently the chance to interview my idol dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling. And blogging has given me the courage to write my first book…which is time consuming…and I’ve made the hard decision to blog less in the coming months. Never saw any of that coming.
But this all doesn’t beat chatting with you. Reading your blogs, I feel like I’ve been to several continents – you all blog so well with your own blogging styles. Keeping up with bloggers all over the world and their blogs, we see more of the world. Interestingly enough, my blog isn’t an expat, travel, lifestyle or food blog. Neither is it a photography, craft nor reviews blog. It doesn’t fit in anywhere, and it’s very humbling to see fellow bloggers commenting on my blog and supporting what I write. I wonder why you do.
Blogging. It’s a journey. A journey where we learn about ourselves and others around us. A journey with surprises along the way.
What are some of the blogging challenges you’ve faced? Or does blogging come easy to you?