Why Blog?

Why blog? Good question.

I initially took up blogging to try to get back into writing, and to see if I was actually any good (at writing and blogging). It was a test to push my own boundaries and see what I could achieve, as I was stuck in a rut to be honest.

My aim was to write, to try to have a bit of fun, and to share my experiences in the hope that in doing so I could help just one person. Pretty simple. I didn’t expect to get many readers. In fact, I was told I wouldn’t.

I started blogging on a website called Emergen (at the time it was called yGen Club – it’s a community that was created to give young professionals the knowledge, skills and connections to stand out from the crowd) ) mid-2010. Thinking back to my first post, I was terrified to press the ‘publish’ button, and when I did I found myself stressing about getting negative feedback, or worse – having no one read my posts! But, there was no reason to worry, as I couldn’t have found a more supportive bunch of people, who were open to ideas and concepts (or at times ramblings).

So after a few months of blogging on Emergen, I thought to myself ‘Why not take the plunge and start my own blog?’

Hesitantly – I registered with WordPress (after painstakingly trying to come up with a name for my blog!). And then there was no looking back.

I was lucky enough to kick off my own blog when ProBlogger was running a free ‘Intro to Blogging’ online course. This provided me with a wealth of info, and convinced me to straight away register my domain name (so instead of having a .com/wordpress address I have a .com). I haven’t taken the next step of getting my site hosted though – I have to take some things slowly!

I then somehow stumbled on the Groups facility in LinkedIn. Having only been on LinkedIn for a few months, I had discovered some groups related to Blogging and writing. So I took the plunge and joined. Initially, I was freaked out as all of the members looked so professional. They blogged about marketing, logo design, freelancing, using social media to promote your business, blogging as a career, and so forth. I had no business. I had no product. I was only just starting to blog. I just had me. But they welcomed me with open arms – and have been excellent teachers and support from all over the world. Special thanks to Keyuri Joshi, Susan Oakes, Rosanne Dingli and Patricia Weber to name but a few.

I’m now incredibly active on Twitter, and have connected with many more inspiring and informative people. I’ve also made many new friends (although I’ve never met them). Thanks to one of the people I have ‘met’ (Hajra – check out her awesome blog!) I now have a Facebook page for my blog, and have joined the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  The Ultimate Blog Challenge is a challenge to blog every day for the month of January (If I achieve January – I’ll continue into February and so forth). From there, I’ve joined the Ultimate Blog Challenge Facebook group, and made more friends who are really supportive. We comment on each others blogs, or offer support when struggling with writer’s block, or personal issues. As a side challenge, I’ve also taken on WordPress’s challenge to ‘Post every day in 2011.’ Let’s see how we go with that one!

At times I feel like I’m on this out of control train, which is heading faster and faster to somewhere…I just have no idea where it is going. I just know, that as every day goes on, I hold no regrets on pushing that button to publish my first blog post.

Questions to the bloggers out there:

  • What made you start?
  • Why do you blog?
  • What do you enjoy about it?

And if you don’t blog –

  • Have you ever thought about giving it a shot?
  • Is there anything that is stopping you?

The Power of the Word

Someone said something to me at my leaving work do on Friday evening that really cut through to my core and succeeded in making me feel inadequate, angry and upset. This was followed by a heated argument with my partner over the phone (and then the battery dying). What should have been a day of celebration with my soon-to-be former work colleagues ended up pretty darn dreadful. That is, apart from some words of wisdom from my lovely friend Ben which succeeded in cheering me up and redeeming some of the day for me (whilst we sipped champagne looking out over the river).

As you can imagine, I’ve done a lot of thinking this weekend about what I was told, about the argument, and about the advise I was given from my friend. And then I’ve done more thinking – psycho-analysing and trying to interpret what was said. This resulted in my stomach twisting into knots also. I sit here now, after having done more thinking (and having had a conversation with my partner), feeling a lot more rational, but with a really tight neck and one hell of a head ache.

Why did I let this all affect me so? It’s a Sunday evening and I’m exhausted. I know I should learn to develop that thicker skin people always tell me about, but I also think when I do that I will lose part of who I am. I also know that my partner and I are stressed, and we are just taking it out on each other (I was to blame for the argument, although we both ended up saying some rotten stuff). Sometimes we just don’t realise the impact a few words can have, and the power behind what it is that we say. It can be like punching someone in the gut, and them being winded. It really pays to stop and have a good think about what it is we really want to say, or about how the things we say could be interpreted, as more times than not we do end up hurting the ones we love.

Words can strengthen or alter the meaning of what we are trying to convey. We may mean well, but the outcome can be far from what was envisioned. Words can end in heartbreak and sadness, they can end or make a career, or on the flip side they can lead to power and happiness.

Mark Twain captures it beautifully –

‘The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.’



What right does anyone have to act like they are better than someone else?

It really frustrates me to see ego-centric people with superiority complexes treating others like sub-par human beings. What right does anyone have to act like they are better than someone else?

I know that it’s completely naive to believe that everyone should be treated equally and with respect, no matter what their financial status, culture, background, eduction, IQ, gender, skin colour, hair colour,  nationality, and so on, is. But it’s RIGHT. I am sick of seeing people treated badly, discriminated against, bullied, criticised. It needs to stop.

I’ve been so fired up by this over the last year that I’ve found myself sticking up for the ‘under dog’, since they haven’t been in a position to stick up for themselves. It just hasn’t done me any favours as its then tended to direct the attention onto myself. And now I’m even more frustrated. It’s just so difficult sticking up for what you believe in sometimes. But I’m not going to stop.

Kindness and wisdom

‘Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.’

Theodore Isaac Rubin

I stumbled upon the above quote in a book I was given at the end of last year, aptly titled ‘Be Happy – 170 Ways to Transform Your Day’ (Patrick Lindsay). I love it, as I believe that with more kindness in the world, it would be a much better place, there would be more tolerance and understanding, therefore more wisdom.

Every now and again – when I see the book sitting there on my dresser, I pick it up and randomly flick to a page. More often than not, the page it lands on, and the quotation, strikes me to the core, as it holds true for what has happened to me at that point.

It may be a coincidence, and it may be my brains way of interpreting the quote and making it relate to what I am going through, but it works for me by making me stop what I am doing and look at my life and the mood I am in at that moment in time.