Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ten Years of Blogging

Yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of this blog, Reality and Fiction. It's only fitting that I use this platform to express what having this creative outlet has meant to me over the past decade.

Over the past ten years, I have written about various aspects of reality and fiction, as the title implies. The fiction bit was easy: reviewing books I've read. The reality aspect covered various things that happened in my life and in the world around me, including some ethical discussions of political and religious issues, reports of travel, concerts, and of traumatic events like fires, and some of the things I do online, such as watching kitten cams.

I never intended to make money out of this blog, and in fact I haven't, though I put up Amazon affiliate links to the books I review. Its purpose was different. I wanted this to be somewhere for me to get across my thoughts and reach readers. It combined two aspects: creative and public.

Creatively, writing this blog has been good practice for me. I enjoy writing essays about issues, and the length of a blog post seems to suit my style. As a writer, everything I write counts as practice and experience, so I was glad to have a place for my own writing. I enjoy thinking about what I want to write, then organizing the structure of the essay, sometimes in my head before I start writing, but more often I write and reorganize until it flows well. Editing my own writing has also made me a better editor and translator, so there's a professional benefit too.

In terms of making my writing public, this has also been a good experience for me. Knowing that at least a few people will read what I'm writing has made me try to see my words from the outside, as if I'm someone else reading them, without the context of my own mind. I've also received some feedback from readers. People enjoy both the contents of my essays and my writing style, and it gives me great satisfaction to know that I'm giving people some pleasure or interest.

Someone once asked me if I wasn't shy about having my personal blog read by strangers. I explained that this was the whole point, to reach other people and share my thoughts with them. As an introvert, I don't often open up to strangers, and very few people know me completely. This allows me to control what I want others to know about me, and to push beyond my shy comfort zone. It's good preparation for when I finally publish my books.

My blog's readership is usually quite small, because I don't really make an effort to promote it beyond my own social media. When I write on a topic that interests any of my groups, such as my reports about translation conferences or when I write about something related to the kitten cams I watch, I let the relevant groups know about the blog post and sometimes get a much larger readership. Sometimes people have shared my blog posts to their social media, or included links to specific posts on their websites.

While there have been times when I made an effort to write every week or so, there are often times when I don't write very frequently for various reasons. Realizing that the blog has been around for ten years has made me aware of how much I appreciate having this creative outlet and form of public communication, and I hope it will encourage me to write more frequently again. 

Readers, if you have been following this blog for all or part of its ten years, thank you for your attention and I hope you will continue to enjoy my future posts!