Gratitude List

#Gratitude – Why I feel blessed to have a blog

I started a blog in the year 2009 out of boredom and frustration ( 18/11/2009 is the date of the first blog post). My family and friends always encouraged me for my writing skills; I used to write some pretty verbose emails to all and sundry. It was a throwback to my letter writing days when I could “bully” peeps to correspond with me on a regular basis.

Someone mentioned that I should start a Blog;ย some research online led me to blogging. Okay I can give this a shot and it would be great to be able to share all of my writings with my friends and family too. Free WordPress was a boon and I played around with a few themes, before marking one as my own.

Thats how my blog was born and I poured my heart and soul into it. Mind you, there was no SEO or technical know-how. Well actually I wasnt aware there is something like this to be wrestled with while making a blog. All I knew was that I could write and upload my pics.

I had been going through a tough time in my marriage and a move to a new city is what was recommended to start afresh – or so we decided. We moved to Bangalore in December 2009. But with a new job, the Husband was too busy while I was too free with nothing to do.

I took to roaming the streets of Bangalore as I was keen to make my acquaintance with the famed Garden city of India. I also joined a photography club to meet on Sundays at some spot like Lal Bagh, Hebbal Lake, Bannergatta Zoo, etc. It helped that a couple of my photographer friends from Delhi had also shifted there and we connected like the proverbial long-lost souls in a Kumbh Mela ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was after a Heritage walk through the bylanes of Basvanagudi, that I decided to chronicle my explorations via my newly started blog. Up until then, I had been writing diary entries kind of posts (please don’t scroll back to read them).ย 

As you can imagine, I didn’t have too many readers; just a couple of my friends have ever commented on those earlier posts. Others would mention it when we would meet, saying they read a post or two. But the high I would get from seeing my blog everyday is something I will credit hugely for keeping me sane.

I explored a great many place in and around Bangalore and duly wrote posts about them all on my blog; I can’t believe how much I used to write then. They are not the most polished posts, I do cringe a little when I go through them now. But they gave me immense pride and confidence at a time when I needed both desperately. You see, the blog gave me a voice, an identityย  – two thing sorely missing in me at that point in life.

I moved back to Delhi in mid 2011 as things were just not going too well at that time. Eventually the relationship ended, but my blog survived and has been an integral part of my life since then.

It will be another five years down the line that I will discover SEO, blogging communities and the works but that’s a tale to be told in another post.

Does this sound familiar? How did you come to starting a blog?

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32 thoughts on “#Gratitude – Why I feel blessed to have a blog

  1. You lived in Bangalore! I did not know that. Sorry to hear about the relationship and happy that your blog was a friend and vent for you I started mine in 2008 when my elder son was suffering from Typhoid. I had quot my job and was at home with my second son who was a toddler. Like you my blog was a place I turned to food venting or writing diary kind of entries. No technicalities, no worries of anyone read ir not. Such carefree days those were.

    1. Yeah I lived in Bangalore for more than a year, almost a decade back! I hardly knew anyone in the blogging world then, though now that I do – maximum peeps are in Bangalore ๐Ÿ™‚

      Those were indeed the carefree days and I used to love my energy to just sit and write everyday- used to feel fresh and free. Now with making creatives and what nots, I have felt a little clogged up with the writing. Trying to write first and not worry if I cant make a creative to go with it.

      Glad you too found a friend in the blog- its my BFF on most days!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. For me blogging didn’t originally start with my blog I have here now. While I was in college, I took a blogging class and we had to create a blog centered around something we were passionate about. At the time, I was attempting to eat healthier and exercise more because of my high cholesterol so I did a blog on all of that. What I came to realize during that class was that I really enjoyed blogging. However, I was still in college and had so much going on that I didn’t think of doing blogging again until I graduated from college in 2015. I think what started me onto blogging was that I enjoyed writing and since I wasn’t having any luck getting a job in my field (and three years later, that still hasn’t changed), I figured I might as well write somewhere so that I could still be writing and that’s how I’ve come to be a blogger still going strong to this day.

    1. Whoa that sounds like some assignment Raney- I hope your health is better and you were able to achieve the desired results.

      Yes love of writing is what motivates me too and I hope to stay that way for years to come.

      All the best with your blogging journey too! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I donโ€™t know because I havenโ€™t been doing a good job at keeping myself healthy Iโ€™ll admit. Iโ€™ve slacked off quite a bit since that blog. But I know I need I do better so Iโ€™m going to try setting up an appointment with my doctor to see what I can do.

        Thank you and you too!

        1. Oh no- that doesnt sound good at all. Raney, health is very crucial to live a happy and satisfactory life; please get out there and do something about it! I hope you feel better soonest!

  3. I too started a blog round about the same time – at least on Blogger. Before that I used to post on MSN as Penelope Potty Snooper. I too loved writing and used to maintain a journal, have pen pals etc. But then no one really likes reading long letters much less responding to them. So I started out writing a blog only to keep my family in touch with my life ( they were the only ones who read it). I too cringe at my earlier blog posts now. They were often cryptic and understood only by ‘my inner circle’. Of course I had no idea about commenting, visiting, tweeting etc. I actually don’t think there was any social media those days – perhaps only Orkut. But like you, I find my blog an interesting part of my life and love the fact that I don’t have to get pink slips from Editors who don’t want to publish!
    I also enjoy the interaction I have with the few bloggers who now seem like old friends.

    1. Fist bump on that letter writing heartache and yeah my detailed emails were a bid to keep peeps in touch with my life and hopes that they would do the same with theirs.

      I think initially the folks who were not into monetizing and all that jazz, wrote simply for the pleasures of it and you and I fall into that category. I have given up totally on ever commercialising my blog. Its a hobby that I enjoy and the numbers are just not for me.

      Interacting with some of the bloggers is GOOD fun and I love their praise/feedback as it helps my writing grow! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Your story was so beautiful, albeit a bit sad at the way the relationship ended. But I know that you’re a wonderful person, in heart and soul. I’ve seen in the way you write, the way you learn and the way you interact with others from the depth of your being. Your travel tales and gratitude posts are my favourite because they give me deep insight into you as a person. I am eagerly waiting to meet you one day and will definitely plan that Delhi trip we spoke about on Twitter. For your sake and mine, I am glad you started blogging, even if it wasn’t read by anyone way back. I was in the same boat. I am equally happy to be where I am now. I love everything to do with blogging, social media and connecting with people. That’s the beauty of blogging, for me.

    1. Aww THANK YOU Shailaja- this means a whale of a tonne to me, coming from you. I am over the moon whenever you praise my writing; you are one of the few bloggers who really appreciate and encourage others to write better. I am so glad that I connected with you and ditto on the sentiment about I am glad you started blogging ๐Ÿ™‚
      I am hoping to meet you (whenver the Universe destines it) and get to know you better. I am not a very “phone” person though I do like to keep in touch; letter writing is my thing but its a relic of the old days; so sigh!!!! But yes please do plan that trip – it will be my pleasure to host you!
      Thank you for the praise to my writing niches- I will take note and work more on these.
      I am learning a lot by just following you and going through your tutorials and advice. Thank you so much for putting it all out there.

  5. I started writing to cope up with my mother’s sudden demise. I wrote in my diary every night that helped me survive depression. After my son was born and I quit my Banking job, I spent months thinking what next. I would post randomly on FB and receive a lot of positive feedback. Finally I took the plunge and started my blog in Sep 2017. I still dont understand SEO, barely have 400 subscribers and stay away from promotional posts. All I know is that I am trying to turn my passion into profession and I’m loving this journey. I feel a connection with you everytime I read your post or comments on my blog. Hugs and love to you my dear.

    1. So sorry to hear that Sonia; hugs for that! I cant even begin to imagine what that loss is like!!! I am so glad you took to the pen and turned it into such an amazing journey. Your written word has a lot of power; its evident in your narration style, story building and character sketches. I have only recently started to read you and every post has been a joy.

      There is an amazing group of fellow bloggers out here who LOVE to help and promote one another; so dont ever hesitate to reach out when you need some help on the blog or anything like that. Shailaja is the leader in that but there are tonnes of others.

      When I started finding my feet, I would ask people how they did something; 9/10 times I got a positive response from them!

      Glad to know I could build a connect with you; here is to building a good positive rapport!! Stay in touch – cheers ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. How I started my blog? Long story! I actually have written an entire post on that. I think it was titled Blog Birth Story or something like that, lol.

    But here is the gist – 3 years back I wanted to start a food blog. It was my one true dream. It still is. But there were many road blocks (both real and imagined) and so in the meanwhile I thought it would be a great idea to start a “practice blog”, which eventually turned out to be the only blog I had for 3 years (till I started the food blog this year), and is still an integral part of my identity now.

    I am sorry you had to go through such a difficult phase, but I am glad you had your blog to help sail you through those tough times. And I am especially glad you started blogging, and never gave up, because I got a chance to “meet” you through it. I hope we get to meet one day in person.

    1. I think a trial by fire kinda story is there in everyone’s life and thats what I think my relationship was at that time. I learnt a lot and grew up a lot then. No regrets!

      I think I have read you r blog story post – isnt it amazing how we convince ourselves we cant do something ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am so glad you got your cookery blog up- its pretty neat and I love the graphics you work out there! All the best with your second baby Shanaya- looking forward to many more recipe learning from there.

      And a big big YES on meeting somedayin real time!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I started my blog to record the recipes I tried out in my hostel-kitchen. I was just engaged and knew that my then-fiancee was a foodie and that I better buckle up and learn cooking. Since then, there was no looking back. I tried to write for Bloggada wow prompts and discovered that I could indeed write okay-ish ๐Ÿ™‚ Even when I feel like quitting(all thanks to the depressing social media), I know I will write for the rest of my life. Especially because I got some really nice friends, including you, through blogging. I understand you had gone through a tough phase in your life but I’m glad you kept your blog in your heart and we can see how beautiful your blog baby had turned out. Keep at it. Love!

    1. I love your blogs and have said so time and again- you need to just get back to it Gurl!! You are the first blogger to sher her amazing graphic work tricks with me and I am forver grateful to you for being so selfless!!

      What a sweet thing to do- learning to cook for your finacee!!! That is just adorable Shalzzz – I think your recipes are just so simplified and great to work with. I have made quite a few things and they all turned out so so amazing!! So please keep posting as I am learning to make stuff for myself to indulge myself!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Great to read your story. Looking forward to the part-2 of your blogging story.
    Nice pics.
    Blog is really empowering.
    I too feel blessed to have a blog & connect with wonderful bloggers from all over the world.
    Stay blessed! Keep blogging!

  9. I wish I knew you when you were in Bangalore, we could have had so much fun!

    I had no clue about your marriage, and I’m so sorry that it had to end. But, I’m glad that you had a vent in the form of your blog and you never gave up on it.

    I started blogging in 2009 too, over a heartbreak. It helped me vent and in some way helped me heal as well. I used to write a lot back them. Random topics, no command on the language, just about anything! Like you, I too cringe when I go back and read some of my old posts. Sometimes I’m like, what was I thinking?

    Today, I’m so happy about how far I’ve come. I write for pleasure and convey my thoughts and not for money, so I haven’t thought much about SEO and marketing. I think it is about time I did that seriously now. Soon, maybe.

    I love you for your honesty, Shalz and I’m so glad we connected offline as well.

    1. Awww I wish I had known all my blogger friends then – life in Bnagalore would have been much bearable!

      I am surprised to know so many started blogging as a hobby – thought that was just me! I see monetizing as such a big thing these days and am happy to bein the august company of peeps like you – we blog for the fun of it ๐Ÿ™‚

      I love your writings, especially your book reviews and opinion pieces – you come across as so sorted!! I am looking forward to meeting you soonest in person!!

  10. I didn’t realise you were blogging since 2009! I started in 2007 and it’s probably the longest relationship I’ve ever had! ๐Ÿ˜› I agree with you about blogging giving you a voice and helping find your identity. I think when you stick with it for so long, you also notice how much you grow as a person. So glad to have met you through blogging and looking forward to meeting you in person and getting to know you better.

  11. This is such a bitter-sweet post and I can so relate with this. I also write cringe-worthy posts (as a novice) and don’t know anything about SEO but love blogging nonetheless. Wishing you a grand success in the journey ahead.

    1. Thanks so much Jheelam for dropping by- first time on my blog I think! I know what you mean about the earlier posts- but I think thats also the starting point and we learn so much as we continue writing.

  12. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I am glad you had your blog during troubled times. Broken relationships take a toll and I am sorry that you had to go through one. How I started my blog story is somewhat similar to yours. I wanted to write. I had written letters to friends whom I met daily in college and had long chats nearly everyday on phone and still I wrote them letters, mailed them through Indian postal service. I prodded them to write back. I had written enough in office emails. If there would have been an award in my workplace for best emails, people would have voted for me. The collegues advised “Accounts chodkar aap to writer ban jaao”. In 2008, I registered my first blog on Blogger but couldn’t use it for lack of blog writing ideas. It is still there. In 2014, while I was recovering from post-partum depression, I set up a new blog on WordPress (the name was ‘I know nothing about it’ because I knew nothing about blogging and parenting). I rambled along, sulked, made fun of my failures but I was happy that finally I was writing outside my diary and it did not matter that only my best friend read it and commented on it. The first serious blogger who came commenting was Damyanti. 6 months later, Indiblogger happened. Another 6 months later, Write Tribe came into my life. And then I became ‘The Bespectacled Mother’.
    I have to thank you for writing this post. it gave me a window to peep back in time.

    1. Oh I yearn for the letter writing days now but in this age of emails also, I cant seem to find peeps willing to spend the time writing! Sigh!!!!

      I am so intrigued by your journey and am glad I wrote this post; your blogging story sounds so similar with the writing intention! I was alaso always told to become a writer by many at work/school/college – everyone used to commend me on my writings!

      Well I am very happy to read your blogs -be it the book reviews or Dhruv related tales – they are awesome!! Keep writing Anamika!

  13. Reading your posts and then going through the comments I’ve realised that our blogs are such a source of comfort to all of us. Like you, when I began writing no one read my blog for years together and I was okay with that. When I discovered Indiblogger I was delirious with joy. I had no idea there was a whole community out there. I’ve come a long long way since then and I remain grateful for my blog and the friendships it has brought me – somedays it is only virtual friends who understand what I’m going through.

    1. I agree with you on the friendships that blogging has brought me. It’s amazing how vibes match across e waves and we have bonded into friends who care to ping and check stuff with each other. I don’t do that with everyone and not all the time but with some and once in a while- it’s just brilliant.
      Then I try and meet Bloggers in person if I can. This year it was Aditi Kaushiva whom I met in March and ideas just amazing.
      Hope we meet soonest too Tules, you are again someone I really vibe well with. Love your book reviews and book reccos. Ciao my darling!!!

  14. Good to know you more through this blogging community. I started in 2015, it was my first winter and I was frustrated and irritated. I started doing DIY โ€˜s to keep myself busy. As I started sharing them to my friends, they kept asking me to share the process to make it. One friend just like that suggested to start up a blog and I was like least interested, but after two weeks I thought this way I would be documenting all my crafts together and so it started. I am still on WordPress itโ€™s high time I need to buy my own domain ( i m not sure it is the right word) this SEO thing is also Greek and Latin to me, may be some day I will have all these in my blog .

    1. DIY sounds lovely Shilpa – you must be very creative to come up with them. Making a blog on it is such a perfect idea. i must hop across and check out your blog now!

      As far as self hosting goes – I would suggest you to wait a bit and first figure out why you blog. I did try to monetize my blog but couldnt sustain it and thus my blog now is just a hobby area for me. So everywhere paying fee for the self hosting domain seems a lot – ask around and talk to a few bloggers like Shailaja for this and see what she says!

      Trust me, I almost decided to stop blogging from this year as the hassle was getting to me a lot! I regret ever getting off the FREE wordpress platform.

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