Though the words are often used interchangeably in our context here, blogging and writing are very different things. Writing is a part of blogging, but blogging doesn’t always have to have writing. Even though I generally write everyday, blogging everyday is very new to me. In fact, it only happened 14 days ago, when I decided to take on NaBloPoMo. In 10 days time, Of Opinions will have completed 6 months of her renaissance, and I’m beginning to think of her remarkable journey so far. Six months ago, blogging was as clear to me as computer programming, i.e. fuzzy as the blackest of seas. Though this journey has had more ups than downs, each post has been an adventure. It’s like I’ve been on 92 first dates, and each one has been a unique, unpredictable experience. Now that this first-dating has become a daily feature this month, it is making me think of what my blogging habits naturally are.
When I restarted Of Opinions towards the end of May, I had no other agenda except to write. The month had been eventful, and I felt like doing something for myself to alleviate the intensity of those events. I didn’t expect anything. Though I slowly started getting read, the next two months, especially June, were all about writing, not blogging per se. I wrote whenever I had time about a suitably Of something that I’d been thinking about for a while. This happened 3 or 4 times a week. I never checked stats. I didn’t even think I was building something that was leading to something. These posts reflect a phase when I was getting into Psychology again, and so they deal more with that than with anything personality-driven or humorous as my posts have since become. The funnies, or rather the semi-funnies as I’m pretty sure I’ve never made anyone go ROFL, started to come late in June, starting with a post about the agonies of being a mid-twentysomething. Again, this was reflective of my general mood. If the past month had been about reflecting on human cognition and behaviour in general because I, personally, was having a tough time, this next phase was about taking things into stride (well, slightly into stride) and learning to have a good humour about it. I discovered I had two distinct blogging personalities : one that is more serious and reflective and the other that likes to be a bit cheeky and talk happily about nothing. Needless to say, the latter gets a wider audience but as I slowly started to have one, I realized a combination of the two resulted in better work.
The next phase however, was confusion. In the first phase I wrote often because I felt the need to write what I was thinking about. In the second, I was cheered up and so wrote often and merrily. In the third, confusion regarding my own life were reflected in my blogging habits. I wrote much less and only to agonize about one thing or another. At least, I always made it a point to do it in a good humoured way so that I felt better and you were spared my whining. I have talked about some of these confusions, like my weight gain. However, life eventually started getting the better of blogging. I was puzzled until I realized towards the end of October that life for me was writing, or nothing. That I needed to write and would do it even if nothing becomes of it in the world outside. For, the world inside was too overwhelmed by the love of it than the fear that it might not work out. In this latest phase of blogging, I realized that though my love for writing may remain unrequited, writing itself will help me cope with it. I started writing more and more for my blog again, even deciding on NaBloPoMo.
NaBloPoMo has ultimately opened my eyes about this six-month love affair with blogging. Before I started it, I thought I could easily write posts in advance to fill my quota and meet the challenge. But, NaBloPoMo is less about writing for yourself and more about writing for your blog, in a good way. Content isn’t king here, your blog is. Writing is only a single step in a series, a process. Before you even write, you have to conceive of ideas befitting your blog on that day, as though your blog is another person, another personality, with different needs and wants. Of Opinions doesn’t have topical posts, but she has, in the past 6 months, evolved into having a rhythm of her own where I cannot just introduce something out of the blue. The effect would be too jarring. And after writing what is right for the day, there are the steps of making it publishable and finally, publishing it. Things like my Wi Fi make me anxious because if I don’t post on a day, I’m off the challenge. I have realized half-way through NaBloPoMo that Of Opinions is a 3-4 posts a week kinda blog, not more, not less. That’s her habit and that’s what she hopes to get back to in December.