Saturday, September 14, 2013

Why I Still Blog, Seven Years Later

It's my seventh blog birthday and I'm sitting rather dumbly in front of my computer wondering what I should say. It's a Saturday, a day when no one seems to notice a blog or even a Facebook status, and mine, even less.

I continue to blog - yes, I still do, even if it's a pitiful one post a month nowadays - at a time when life is getting busier and harder and there seems to be lesser time for pleasurable pursuits. I blog in an era when utterly addictive social media have crowded our lives and no one seems to have the time to read blogs. I continue to blog despite falling visitor statistics and comments. I continue to blog even as the blogs of talented fellow bloggers have fallen silent. I persist even as my friends and readers seem to have less and less to say on my blog. Sometimes they don't have much to say on their own either. I struggle to involve myself in my friends' blogs when they don't talk to me as much as they did earlier.

I continue to blog even though I do not read much more than the same blogs I used to. I blog even as my friends tell me their time is too valuable to spend on the computer, on the Internet. (But I see that they can't stay away.) I blog even as bloggers I like tell me they do not want to get involved with other Indian bloggers as they are political. I blog even though I do not/cannot/am too lazy to market my blog.

I blog even though I don't always eat exotic, seasonal, local, home-grown or organic produce, and my food does not always turn golden on cooking. I blog even though the oil never seems to separate or leaves the sides of the pans. I blog despite knowing little about my tradition. I write despite my blog's lack of clear positioning and classification.

I blog even though I feel jaded. I blog a 1,000 words stubbornly; my photos are no paragons of beauty. I blog because there is some flickering, undying hope that it will lead me to what I want it to lead me to. Above all, I blog because it's sanctuary, the one activity that occupies me completely, when the rest of my life fades out entirely. (Of course, it comes flooding back soon enough.) Blogging is one of the very few things in my current life I like doing wholeheartedly. And giving up on it out of a sense of futility real or imagined would be like giving up on life itself.

Thank you, dear readers and bloggers, for still spending time on my blog. Here's wishing you all get all the time you want to put up your feet a bit more and do the things that make you happy.

And now for some less heavy reading. Here are my previous anniversary posts:

First
Second
Third
Fourth
Fifth
Sixth

And here are some resources on why blogging still matters

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2013/08/30/is-blogging-still-relevant-in-a-world-of-social-media-6-reasons-why-i-think-it-is/

http://1000heads.com/2013/05/why-blogs-still-matter/

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/15-reasons-i-think-you-should-blog/

And why there's a place for blogs that write rather than shoot
http://lifesafeast.blogspot.in/2013/09/lets-talk-writing.html

And a blog that I like to think I had a bit to do with, in terms of prodding the blogger to start/not delay blogging:

http://viewfromthetopofthetank.blogspot.in/

56 comments:

  1. In honor of your seventh anniversary, I decided to do a little digging in my own archives, and I found the very first comment you left on my blog! It was in February of 2007 -- the days of Coffee's MBP and Nupur's A-Z. Ah, the good times in the days of prolific blogging! ;)

    I agree and empathize with so much you have expressed here. I miss those good old days when we seemed to have so much more time and energy for our own posts, and for visiting others.

    Thank you for being an early and continuing inspiration, and for your continued interest in my blog (even when I disappeared for awhile!). I still get the same smile on my face when I see a comment from you.

    Big thanks for keeping *your* blog running. I always take something special away from my visits here.

    Happy Seventh Blog Birthday, dearest Sra -- here's to many more! :)

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    1. Hi Linda, that is a real honour, I'm off to see that comment. And thanks for your comment here, I enjoyed reading it.

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  2. Thank you so much for all of your hard work!

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    1. Thanks, it never felt like hard work!

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  3. Wishing you a very happy 7th birthday with a fervent wsh that you keep blogging for years, especially in the face of all that might suggest otherwise.
    I don't quite get around to reading blogs like I used to, and when I do I don't always leave comments.
    However I do enjoy reading what you write, and its been this blog that led me to you. :)

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    1. Aparna, that's true. I always think that I wouldn't have known so many people without this blog. And I remember hesitating to say Hello to you on gmail but you reached out and I've never let you go since then. ;) Thanks for being a good friend.

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  4. sra - I have problems with my blog too. My kids try to prod me into writing. I have a lot more time on my hands now and more experiences to share. But somehow I do not feel like jotting them down. I feel so strongly about so many things, but am not sure how it will go down with others ( even though I can hardly count the readers of the blog on one hand). But, I think it is important to continue and having said that, I shall give myself a week's time to revive my blog. I think your post will be the motivating factor.

    And wishing you many many more years of blogging

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    1. I am going to keep tabs on whether you posted, Radha!

      I did hesitate a bit when I wrote this post - probably one of the franker ones which is not a rant, either. If you don't express yourself for fear of what others might think, you will self-combust - I am facing that in another sphere now. I'm no gnyani, nor am I a better/more successful person for this realisation, but I do know this much. :)

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  5. Wowo 7 yrs congragulations, And hopefully you will be blogging for many many more years.
    I always forget my blog birthday maybe next year i should not it down. Atleast you remember.
    I don't do so much blog hopping as beofre, and like you I go to my old regular ones and sometimes new ones, and most of the time i read but don't comment too.
    One thing i am happy of having a blog is I have made some good friends even though I have not met most of them and one parson is you sra.

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    1. Finla, yes, I think of you as one of my good friends too, your cheer and your sense of humour is something I look forward to everyday. I thought you posted your blog birthday this year. No? Must go check.

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  6. That reminds me that I missed my blog birthday last month! It is not easy to find the time these days, it is true. But when I read some of the old posts they fill in the holes that my memory seems to have lots of. So, when I got the time this Sat, I chose to write about my travels before the more topical book review!

    The blog is a diary that is great to flip through. It is good to keep one; and it is great when there are a few loyal readers out there!

    Happy anniversary, Sra!

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    1. Anita, I remember my posts fairly well. I keep meaning to take a print of them for posterity but never get round to doing it.

      Sometimes the stuff I cook, I think, what the hell is there to write about? And hasn't everyone written about this? And I increasingly feel cynical about exoticising or glorifying everything. But still, I think there is a post in my mind about comfort food that I don't seem to be able to stop ...

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  7. And here wish you many more years of blogging ahead Sra..Every time I come here, I really enjoy reading all your accounts..keep going :-)..hugs and smiles

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    1. Jaya, let me tell you at least now how much I like the way you sign off, saying hugs and smiles ... Thanks, friend!

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  8. I have always enjoyed ur blog Sra, even though there are times I don't leave a comment. :)
    Will talk to u more often too.....;)
    Happy blogiversary!

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    1. Yes, please, talk to me :) And you can always tell me how much you enjoyed the blog, my friendship, my intellect, my writing, my sense of humour, etc etc - I never get tired of boring stuff like that!

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  9. Happy Blogiversary Sra! I have always enjoyed reading your blog, even though i wouldn't comment most of the time. But then, since we talk very often, it didn't matter I guess....;)

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    1. Sigh, I wish you were here though I know you don't want to be!

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  10. Happy Happy anniversary Sra and Cheers to many many more to come! I was smiling right through the post and can relate to almost everything you said. Things have changed. People have changed. Each of our lives, definitely is constantly keeping us busy. As you said, the reason to blog has changed and for me, it gives me a sense of accomplishment, doesn't matter how small or big. I have stopped blogging for numbers or comments a long time ago and unintentionally became a silent reader most of the times. One thing for sure, blogging gave me many friends like you whom though I haven't met in person but manage to bring respite in some form when I need the most. :-)

    Cheers,
    Siri

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    1. Siri, thanks for the involved comment and the nice things you've said. I do feel disappointed if there are no reactions, and especially from regular friends, but the fact that it's solace and sanctuary - and hope - keeps me going.

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  11. I found your blog thanks to Siri's Twitter post and am deeply grateful to her. Not just because it led me to find a blog I will be happily digging through the archives of for some time, but also because this post, it captures the essence of my own blogging experience in a way I have never been able to articulate. I have been doing it for little over half the time you have but have felt the same way about it for a little over half that time.
    Thank you for your wonderful honesty. And that unintentional consequence, a reminder for what got me blogging to begin with.

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    1. Wow! You found me through a tweet! I've never gotten to know about any posts of mine that were tweeted, and when I looked for my Twitter account some time ago, I couldn't find it. I set it up a few years ago and set it up so that my posts got auto-posted there but never took to it and now I can't locate it anywhere!

      Thanks for letting me know how this post made you feel!

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    2. Sra, I tweeted just the link of this post without your twitter handle. I was not aware that you were active on twitter.. What is your twitter name? I will follow you right away. :-)

      Sharmi, you will have a fun time here. Trust me, Sra is known for her witty and humorous musings.

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    3. Siri, I don't Tweet - not in my blog avatar anyway. And even otherwise, I just started and haven't got the hang of it. :)

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    4. And thanks again :)

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  12. Congrats, Sra! And boy am I glad you continue to blog stubbornly, as you put it. I do read your writings, here and elsewhere. I enjoy your particular brand of humor and your play with words. I'll raise a toast to many more years of blogging for you!

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    1. Thanks, Manisha, for the nice words. It's nice to know. I hope I can keep writing and blogging too, and hope you're there to keep me company.

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  13. Congratulations on completing 7 years Sra. Love your blog. I am being guilty of not leaving comments but I love reading your blog. Keep them coming whenever you can.
    I have exact same feelings about blogging, I couldn't have explained it so beautifully. I don't have great pictures or good writing, but I still love sharing the recipes. Yes, the dropping numbers make me feel sad many times (more to my mom than me!! mom loves to read comments).

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    1. Shilpa, thanks! I enjoy reading your blog and always check whether it's your mom or you who has done the post.

      I was wondering if this post was overly self-indulgent or even a bit dramatic, but it seems to have touched a chord.

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  14. Long comment... didn't get [posted, again due to the proxy set up. Cannot repeat the heart felt words I wrote seconds ago but let me tell you, that I am one of the many who love your blog and read it repeatedly. Please, please, do not stop your unique style of blog writing and here is wishing you many many more years of blogposts.
    Also, let us take a pledge to be regular with comments and continue the blog camaraderie that had started 7 years back.

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    1. Sandeepa, done! Pledged!

      I wish I had seen your earlier comment - what is a proxy set-up?

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  15. Happy anniversary, Sra! I totally relate to your post. I feel the same way. So this year, I have been stubborn too and persistent, shrugging off the ever declining numbers and comments (can't complain there, coz I've pretty much stopped commenting too!) and have doggedly posted a few posts every single month this year, far more than the 6 years before! I do seem have to lesser and lesser to say though :(
    Wishing you many more anniversaries, and keep the posts coming. I enjoy your writing and look forward to more!

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    1. Vani, more blogging this year though fewer words - that's interesting because the number of my posts has come down steadily every year!

      Thanks!

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  16. Sra, Happy anniversary! 7 years is an accomplishment in itself. Maybe our lives are busier and we have less time, but I like to spend those precious free moments in company of friends like you. Wishing you many more anniversaries, I enjoy your writing and look forward to more.

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    1. Mandira, that's a lovely thing to say, spending precious free moments with friends. Thanks!

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  17. happy bloggiversary Sra...Now where do you want it to lead to???? I wonder.. I guess its the comfort of having your own space to put your random thoughts knowing fully well that whoever reads it, would never judge you!
    Wishing you many more returns of this day!! :)

    Shobha

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    1. Shobha, ah, I want it to lead me to many things, like a book, billions and a Booker, let's see. That's my slogan, say it often enough and hope the Universe will enable it - I'm hoping that theory works!!!

      I'm sure people judge what we say on our blogs but only a few of them will come out and say what they think. But I don't really bother - I always think mine is a small, inoffensive blog and not much to take exception to.

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  18. Hi Sra

    I left a looong comment here, which isn't showing. A lot of what you say here really rings true. Just to say that I remember starting to blog at the same time as you, and that while kids etc consumed me over time, you always remembered the blogiversary and checked in to remind me. I have always been inspired by your beautiful blog and am very grateful that it, in its own way, led to my book.

    As long as you can keep hold of your passion, nothing else matters

    M
    xx

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  19. Hi Mallika, thanks very much for this comment, and you put it very well in the last line. I'd hate to stop writing here, even when I don't do much I never think of letting this go. And I miss our earlier community of bloggers which was more active.

    Your earlier comment didn't come through, must have got lost!

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  20. Wow, 7 years of blogging.. congratulations! I think once you start blogging, it is addictive and a great way to express yourself. It is a bonus if people read and comment!!
    I found your blog through someone else and liked the way you write..and it doesn't matter if you update once a month or once a day..only if you enjoy what you are doing..keep it up for another 7 years :-)

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    1. Thanks, Amelia. You know, I didn't look at comments last two days (I forgot - can you imagine) and then when I saw three comments listed here today, my heart sank, wondering if they would be spam - but luckily, they were all valid and lovely ones, like yours.

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  21. Hey sra.. happy blog anniversary. Well, I'm glad you blog. I like that your food is normal, not always perfect. I like the writing. Even that doesn't have to be perfect. Thanks for staying at it! Adds a bit of fun to my reading-life! :)

    -SSwhorarelyblogs

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    1. Thanks, SS. Love what you said, am grinning widely. One more average photo coming up soon!

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  22. Happy Blog Anniversary Sra. Thank god you are still blogging even if it is infrequently.... i continue to read the first set of bloggers i followed before i began blogging, yes a lot of them have stopped... some i know only by their blog names and not even their real names... i come here each time i am lost for words... i am one of those lazy readers that doesn't always leave a comment.... i realise how that feels when my posts don't have comments but sadly that hasn't made me less lazy! I missed most of my blog anniversaries... but i hang onto the friends i have made via blogging.... Cheers!

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    1. Arundati, apart from school and college, the aerobics class, work and the blogs have yielded me many good friends though many of us have left one or the other of these groups. Here's to long-lasting friendship!

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  23. 7 years -whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ! continue writing the way you do sra - keep us amused and the average pics- well bring them on too ! love & hugs

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    1. Thanks Priya, for your affectionate comment!

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  24. Hi Sra, I am a lazy blogger too (and tardy-- as you can see I am late in wishing you) but I always enjoy my visits to your blog and your witty writeups. Here's wishing you many more years of blogging!

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    1. Vaishali, and I'm sorry to be replying to your comment so late! Thanks for your wishes!

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  25. I've been along for the ride for most of your 7 yrs and the camaraderie amongst bloggers you speak of , I've witnessed. I didn't start blogging until only recently. But all these years of reading your and most of the commenters' blogs gave me the push I needed. 6 months into it I'm facing all the same challenges as you but once you blog you can't go back. It's just becomes part of you - for better or worse. I hope you keep blogging so I can keep reading (not that that's enough reason :))

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  26. Archana, thanks for putting it so nicely. Off to visit your blog!

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  27. Dear Sra ... congratulations on your 7th blog b'day. All I can say is I love your blog. And you too ... you are one of those very few people who had taken me into their fold when I started blogging and have encouraged me always.
    Do keep on writing and wishing many more bloggie b'days to WMSCA!!! :-)

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  28. Thanks Sharmi, for that affectionate comment!

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  29. I am so glad I stumbled upon this post. I feel like I could have written this post and I find it moving and beautiful as it is sad and wistful. I am so honored that you have a link to my writing post. I see so many in the blogosphere just blogging for money, as a business, with no creative passion. It is sad and it makes me often consider stopping. But there are enough readers and enough of a like-minded community for us to continue and we should. I love your idea of your blog as a sanctuary and that is how I feel about mine. Congratulations on 7 years... and do keep on blogging.

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    1. Jamie, I found your recent posts on writing through Aparna's links on Facebook and identified with a lot of what you said. I started this blog as an outlet for the kind of writing I like and want to be known for. It's not even about the food, really, which I maintain is a prop or just an excuse for this blog to be.

      Thanks for the nice words.

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  30. This post brought a smile on my face :) keep on blogging I love to read ur post

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