They say,” “The journey is what brings us happiness and not the destination.”- anonymous
So True!!! Somewhere in these insane schedules, when we take a short break, and look behind, it all rewinds like a film, leaving a smile. If it does not, then you are still on the way to reach a milestone. What is that makes us feel good about what we are doing? I also tried to figure out. Today, I am sharing my journey as a blogger. Though I encountered blogging when I was 23, in year 2009; but blogging had taken birth 14 years ago.
I was in 4th standard, enjoying my carefree childhood in a small town “Indore”, which was far far away from technologies. To our generation, technology was a “use only when needed” thing. We did not really survived on gadgets. Those were the days when new inventions had to travel a number of years, to reach us. World was big then. And US were 7 seas away. (Saat samandar paar)
At the same somewhere is US, a journalist “Justin Hall” created a blog, which was not referred to as blog immediately. It was simply registered as a personal homepage.17th December 1997, Jorn Barger created his own blog called, ‘Robot Wisdom’. And invented the name “weblog (Web+Log) ’ for it. Later in April or May 1999, Peter Merholz, jokingly used the word” Blog (the short form of we-blog)” ; in the sidebar of his blog “Peterme.com”. And since then the world know the informal, informative websites as BLOGs.
Blogging was a revolutionary creation. Is took really short time to become a fad. Every writer was now can easily got a platform to publish. I was introduced to it, by my Manager, when I was working at IIT Bombay in an e-learning content development team. All of us from our team were asked us to create blogs. The purpose was to get us on the platform, to portray our skills in a professional manner.
From the two most popular platforms of the recent times: Word press and Blogger, I chose ‘Blogger’ as it looks fancier to me in terms of design. As an animator I wanted my work to be displayed in a colorful way; be it just the words. And word press was focused purely on the words.
Blogging being a compulsory task assigned by a manager was not kicking me. It all started casually. I still remember while naming my Blogger profile,”Pyari chudail”; I was laughing loudly and having all fun myself. I had no clue, what to put on it. Name was obviously suggesting my character: “Sweet but dangerous”. So no idea for a write-up was coming up to justify it. It had to be ’Dhamakedaar’. I had total three poems by then, which were close to my heart, written for my love, and supposed to be very personal. I just couldn’t put them up for public. Neither till then I had ever wrote anything else myself.
I randomly started reading blogs. And something clicked. I started enjoying the articles, for their personal touch. Blogging was meant to be used as a personal digital diary. Never before, I had come across any writing material which could reach to the heart straight. Newspapers, Magazines, Novels, even internet content, all had a formal feel, while blogs made the reader and the writer sit right before each other and communicate.
Bingo, as an overly outspoken person, I found the blogging medium so fascinating, as I could reach out the readers so quickly and directly. This medium is transparent, straight, casual and open. Its so me !!!
At the same time my emails, my poems, general articles, even meeting notes, started getting appreciation. I was more than happy, and soon realized that; writing gives me more satisfaction than anything else. And now I know why? It gives me freedom to express with no filters.
Soon, I penned down a short story, ‘Vision’. But before it gets published on my blog, my Profile’s name has been changed from “Pyari chudail” to ‘Go- getter’. Not to mention why? As I was just a person before and now I had a goal. And that goal was to look ‘Beyond the Horizon’. So first my short story ‘vision’ has published on my own blog called’ Beyond the horizon’.
There did not come 100s of comments and shares. There did not come any exhilarating feedback’s either. But still there entered a supremely satisfying feeling in my heart. I was very happy once I created it. I still remember ‘the spark’ I felt just after it got completed.
‘The spark’ if I could describe it, it’s like the joy and a feeling of satisfaction after one sees the expected result of an exam. Feeling is blissful rather than excitement. This feeling is the approval from your heart and mind to you. Now you do not need an approval of anyone else. That was the ‘finish line tape’ for me.
I still keep working on my creations (be them articles/fictions/animation/digital marketing or any other thing) until I reach to that ‘finish line emotion’. ‘The spark’, I call it.
Anyway, So I was overwhelmed on my own story, vision. All my readers some known some random, encouraged me, to write more and more. And from there my journey as a writer started.
I kept putting up few more posts not so frequently. The years passed. In 2011 I got married to the love of my life. I was in a fresher‘s phase, in the career in animations; and in married life too. A free bird was now struggling to cope up with her guards. New office, new kitchen, new people and the eyes of audience composed of all old relations…. I had too much on my plate. Among all of these activities, there was only one thing which used to make me relaxed. That was my pursuit of learning to write. I wanted to write more and more, pour it all out. Juggling to manage time frames, I still used to somehow stole a little of it and write. Surprisingly I came up with some theories of learning, some ideas of fictions. some life lessons and few more stuff.
I started working as a freelance technical writer along with my job, and making money out of it. Soon I started getting very exciting and variety of projects, like writing self-learning materials for open universities, Sales training program for Future group of Industries, Website content development for MMRDA and many more. When I worked on these projects, I got that ‘Spark’ immediately. That was the time I was making money from what I exactly wanted to do. Also as a freelancer, the projects I was doing were fixed terms, so I used to get an ample of time to do extra things.
But due to this work satisfaction, my Blog, ‘Beyond the horizon’ was kept on hold for a long time. I kept experimenting with it. In that phase, I developed my technical skills like Basic HTML, Designing Concepts, GIF Creations, Advertising on Blog,Handling and managing a blog . But in a petty time all that was impossible to implement. Meanwhile I armed myself with that technical knowledge. I was more updated on blogging while not at all working on it. Its like, I was exploring the routes on map, long before I started the journey. All that rough work was fruitful in 2017, when I had no time to study the basics and I could directly start learning the expertise and working on the development of my blog.
I was blessed with my son and I embraced motherhood. I started getting the spark after accomplishment of motherhood duties. Writing, work, animations; left all of that, right there and took up my home, my home management indoor outdoor tasks, my son and my husband! Not to forget the battle to save my motherhood instincts and decisions from the constant mocking of rest of the world. I enjoyed every bit of it. It all was beautiful.
Soon I found my super active child needed to be among a lot of people. And I needed to be back to the work. And here happened the entry of dilemmas: To work or not? Maid or day-care ? Cook or Self- made Food? Work from home or office? Now when I look back, all these questions were not as complicated as they troubled my mind emotions and heath. All our decisions, depend on the needs, availability, situations, and the willingness of our children and the family to support. They are always, almost clear in our sub conscious. And we all do dare to take them also. Its just the nervousness of making it successful, drain us initially.
Anyway, the job gave me money, people and confidence. But yet, this time, the spark was missing. In a short time, I was irritated, frustrated and drained. I tried to steal time to write, but no luck. This time, Motherhood was added to my responsibilities. Everything was overflowing and I was still hungry. My patience started breaking down, and as the time was not sufficient even to steal, therefore I started snatching it by demanding some time frame for myself. And I am lucky to have a husband who understands and contribute to my passion.
This year, I picked up an idea for fiction. Two of my characters were playing in my mind to create a love story. Along with its development, I was growing as a writer . Three to six months, and after trashing hundreds of drafts, my first fiction (which has nothing to with reality) was ready. I named it “A ghost tale of love”. While ‘vision’ was just an expression, working on this story, has introduced me to the whole process of writing. I got to learn about how to develop a whole story, out of just a thought. My story finished and this time I shared with few friends on emails. And added to my pleasure, it got, overwhelming response. Still it yet had to find a platform.
As I Fixed to take up writing full time, I stared to work on my own blog. I decided to own a blog and run it myself. Till now, I knew ‘how to do?’ and ‘what things will be required?’. But I was clueless about ‘what to put on it?’ My level was upped now. I was standing at the beginning of the next level of the game, just like I did when I stepped into ‘Blogger’.
To start with, I had to find out, what will be the niche of my blog? I am being a ‘Multi-potentlite’ I was not agreed upon sticking to a particular niche. [A multi-potentialite is a person who have no “one true calling” and has many ‘different interests and creative pursuits in life]. I wanted to keep myself free for writing, random things. This way I could offer the verity and surprises to my readers. But I wanted to be highly structured and organised.
I reached for pros and cons of ‘multiple niches vs single niches blogs’ and came to a conclusion that it absolutely depends on the writer’s goals and interests. Both are equally capable of reaching the skies.
Where I was open to the subjects being displayed on the blog, I was also looking for a theme/ Concept to tie them all up in one thread.
In this process, the first question I asked myself was what I was going to put on it? Subjects were random, fiction stories, poetry, digital marketing training articles, finances, spiritual writing, and some real life experiences about buying houses, loans, insurance policies etc. I found out, all I wanted to do is to share my experiences, so that somebody can get benefited from it and is somehow less troubled as I was. And these experiences are from the crucial phases of life, where we all get restless, due to lack of real-time information, or choosing the wrong options.
So my concept became, “Sharing real experiences/ and information about a task, in a guided manner to decrease the chaos and making people relaxed on its path.” This is what we do in general; we share our experiences with friends, so that they should get less anxious while doing the same tasks.
After the Theme, I had to decide the name. I kept brainstorming along with working on the design, look and titles. Thousands of names had failed my approval. I dug out every possible well, name generators on web, books names, other websites, friends, family, and what not, but nothing have reached my ‘finished line tape’, the spark .
Parallel y, out of nowhere, I feeling of null was running within myself. I started to think, what the purpose of my life is? And while researching for this spiritual query of my own mind, I found out that the purpose of human life is to breathe peacefully.
Bingo!!!I somewhere I connected this theory to my concept. I wanted to make people less anxious and breathe peacefully, with the content put on my blog. I wanted the people to catch their breaths when they are out of them. And hence, the blog is called ’Catch your breath’.
I jumped into the pool of technical tools I required to build the blog. Website design, Word press website building, Hosting platforms, animated logo, Structure and categories of the content, digital marketing strategies, etc. I was again in the studying mode.
To be honest, I did not enjoy all of that. It was like, when we learn a new skill, let us say swimming, we struggle. We get exhausted, body pains. All the time until we can comfortably leave our bodies on the water, we get tempted to leave. Similarly, many times I wanted to leave it. And all those times I just used to take short breaks and then come back. Any learning phase brings frustration, fear, avolition, discouragement and all of that. I also sailed through the same sea.
When I was writing, my first post , which was supposed to be launched with the website ‘Catch your breath’, I was actually lacking of them (breaths). Most of the time while writing, I felt like, How will I justify, if I myself cannot follow. But then, it was neither easier to write nor to follow. With all doubts in my mind, I was constantly trying hard to follow, what I meant.
11th September 2018
After months of consistent work my blog was all set to be published. On this day my ‘Catch your breath’ moved on to the Internet from the local host (My Laptop). Finally I achieved the spark back at the launch of the ‘Catch your breath’ , from the living room of my home.
It was Lord Ganesha’s festival. Ganapati was sitting in my Poojaghar facing towards us, were blessing us. I was sitting on the floor, and my laptop was on the sofa. My husband was siting next to me as an technical helping pillar. My son was playing downstairs, in Ganapati pandaal with his friends. We got late for Aarti, but The God waited. The Dhols were being played, and everyone was celebrating. I got delayed by a month to launch but do not regret. It happened in such a holy atmosphere, among celebrating vibes, with the blessing of Lord Ganesh. Being ‘Sucheta’s Blog’, it had to happen in such celebrated way.
One and half year of ’Catch your breath’, and my journey is still continued. I never tried to push it up neither I left it to stay back. It’s growing up at its own pace, like my son did, naturally and calmly. I still wait for each article to reach up to the mark I have put on. As soon as it creates’ the spark’ the article is published. And I am enjoying this journey just like, we all used to enjoy the journeys to our nanihaals, in the summers of our childhood.
As I believe “The journey is what brings us happiness and not the destination.”
With this thought, signing out for now, Yours Blogger Sucheta Asrani, from her journey, Wishing all of you ‘Happy Working !!!!
With the Song:
झुक झुक झुक झुक अगीनगाडी
धुरांच्या रेघा हवेत काढी
पळती झाडे पाहूया
मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया….