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my blogging journey reflections

Some Important Reflections on My Blogging Journey in 2023

Writing (here: blogging) has become a passion for me. It was not always like this, though! From my early schooling days to my bachelor’s, I have come to disdain everything to do with English Grammar. To be frank, I sucked at it. However, something thoroughly changed at Delhi University (DU) during my Masters.

I wrote things more confidently. I also wrote in a manner others could read and enjoy some time. At the time, I remember gleaning through Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis—Samsa and his existential crisis; Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment—the Raskolnikov and his regretful life; re-reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984—a dystopian world of thought control; and coming to appreciate some of these writings.

At this time, I had also come to appreciate writing as an art, and a writer is an artist. A good book is always a creation of a good artist, in a sense. However, until then, I had not thought of seriously writing a blog.

This is not to say that it is the first time I am writing anything. I have written things that I came to dissociate from. Having studied in the Army setup, the overenthusiastic jingoist in me had taken over my writings initially. But, after my postgraduate studies at DU, I was much more politically aware, appreciative of other’s views, and had things to say to others and thoughts to pen down on. All these things happened relatively late.

Come 2020, I was freshly out of my postgraduation in DU, jobless, thoughtless, and clueless, or perhaps a mix of them. The year was interesting! I was politically active in terms of voicing out against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, walked out once a while to Jantar Mantar, got detained at Metro Stations in Delhi, and wrote an article on CAA and Hindu Nationalism.

And a few months through, the COVID-19 disease spread globally. Months of self-isolation, quarantining, masking up for grocery shopping, survival instincts kicking in once a while, flatmates getting sick, you getting worried about being infected with the virus, sitting at one corner, alone, idly, and growing fat, all this.

At this time, I thought to myself, why not write things—and if things don’t turn out as they have, then probably there is a record of what happened at the end of the world.

a typewriter image to feel cool, about being a blogger! | Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Therefore, when you look at some of my first few blog entries in this, you will find them to be around COVID-19. Some of these articles include: COVID-19 and the Surveillance State; Loneliness and the Social Media; Morality of Saving Lives and COVID-19 and Living Like Epicureans Amid COVID-19 among others. While the pandemic was a propelling force for me to think and write, I also had to do something substantial to earn my livelihood at the time.

I was home soon after my postgraduation, and I was already done with all the banter about ‘How much more you want to study?’ and ‘Now, work!’. So, I gave in and began applying around for jobs, without much luck, I would cold email people (sending my CV and waiting for them to reach out). And after two months of soul searching (along with the whole job searching), I ended up at a job with predominantly data entry work.

Although the work paid me a little to sustain, I was content with myself and enjoyed all that I did. I thought, like another corporate entrant, I would be disciplined. I woke up at 6 am, went for a run, took a shower, made an Omelette, and sat in front of the camera and laptop from 9 am to 7 pm (once a while).

And on Saturdays and Sundays, I would either watch something on Netflix or write a blog. Over the next year, I wrote one essay every month. I wrote once a week sometimes, but that was a rarity. And very soon, say after six months, I was bored to death with my job. I couldn’t sustain myself there anymore, so I decided to plunge into academia.

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now a pen and paper to feel cool! | Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Academics read and write, and pointlessly talk about things no one cares about. All that I enjoyed, and thought to myself, maybe this is it, maybe this is my real calling, maybe I should apply for a PhD in JNU. Soon, I left my job. And prepared for the entrances and applied for my PhD. Thankfully, I got admitted into the course and the place I wanted to go.

Now, there was a catch. By this time, it was already the end of 2021, and I had almost put an end to my blogging. I barely wrote anything. And even when I wrote, I had other things running through my mind, mostly. There my blogging journey was prematurely over.

In January 2022, I was in a PhD program at JNU—the gruelling coursework and the assignments and readings just swamped me into them. I almost forgot that I once used to write at all. Perhaps, not as good as I am writing now, perhaps, not even as good as I hope to write in future, but I wrote—and I had forgotten about it, suddenly.

Come September 2022, the PhD coursework requirement was over. I, then, thought I should restart my blog: (so I purchased the domain, platformed it on WordPress, and hosted it on Bluehost). I was finally free to write whatever I liked, so I wrote. I wrote haphazardly, occasionally, without any proper commitments.

I wrote things without meticulous thinking. As I wrote things, I was back looking for jobs in the job market: no jobs, no money, no livelihood scenario. But, at this time, I thought, no matter what, I should just write. I should be better. I should write appreciably. And I should be regular.

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One image of a person sitting and typing, maybe a reflection! | Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

Like every other habit one acquires, blogging/or journaling is a habit that first needs to be regularised. You need to do it often as many times as you would forget that you are really doing it. And after all those times, writing a post is a cakewalk.

You don’t have to think of ideas to write, for there are too many. Slowly, I got regular with writing articles. I thought to myself that, at least once every week, I should publish an essay. A good one. And that way, I began in 2023.

Since the start of 2023, I have written extensively. I have written over 90 blog essays to date, and most of them written only this year. I put lots of thought into what I write, and I hope that each of those essays is readable.

These are my personal goals with everything I write—they must be readable, and enjoyable. Over time, I have come to hear from my peers, friends, and readers that they can enjoy what I write—and some have generously contributed to this endeavour. Therefore, thank you, everyone!

As I began working seriously on my blog in 2023, I would sit through breakfast and watch videos of bloggers talking about niche, SEO, writing habits, earnings, etc. Each of these stories told me that much of what people did was essentially copy/pasting (in flowery language), and then making good money over it. And for each of them, it was all about patience and perseverance.

Then, I thought for myself, if they could do it—I could as well do it, but with better content, perhaps. Blogging requires a lot of commitment. And once you are committed to it, and are regular, it isn’t all that difficult.

Now, a little bit about numbers. The total number of words I have written in 2023 alone is 1,20,553 words (and to put it in perspective, it is as big as one PhD thesis and an MPhil thesis). The total number of blog articles I have added in 2023 is about 66 entries (which is about 5-6 articles per month, and that is one article per week!).

The blog has so far received about 30k visitors, and over 46k views. On Google Search alone, this blog has received over 446k impressions and about 7k clicks on articles. It is a nascent statistic, and over the period, this will only grow.

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Site statistics from my WordPress blog, December 31, 2023.

Blogging has both been an enjoyable as well as a learning experience for me. I have come to appreciate the difficulties one faces when one starts out in blogging—and it is not all that easy to sustain interests. Things change. And at times, you may be like what is the point of it? There are also times you feel lazy—and want to remain that way throughout.

This, however, does not just happens to noobs like us, but to everyone. Even those who have been writing blogs and essays, find it difficult to get up one morning and find that they have nothing left to write. And that it barely matters what I write.

So, now, if I were to look back and think what I would have done better, I would have so many things to do better. But that doesn’t matter anymore. There is nothing much you can do to change the past, but present—that you can control!

Every time I would sit and write something, I also used to think, am I doing it right? Does anyone really care? Does it make sense? Or do people really read it? All this, you have no control over. And I hope, the younger self of Adarsh was better informed.

Sometimes, we sit through things. We want them to be perfect. So, as some say, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. I know it is probably really scary to put yourself out there, but it’s worth it.

You may not always write things for an audience, and you may not really want to write for others, per se, but that’s okay too! The mantra to blogging is to begin doing it. And I wish I knew this a year ago, or a year before that. But, anyway, I have plenty of time to write things still.

Blogging is a practice. You hone it with time. There is no hard and fast rule to it. There are no rules at all in it, to be frank. However, consistency is the key. Like everything else, it takes time. It takes effort and energy. But, don’t overdo it.

You don’t need to become a Picasso in a day—and you cannot be. I always think of myself as growing to be a good writer, and I hope to keep saying that to myself over the years. So, stay humble.

Like, in everything else, in blogging too, you have your own journey. Just because someone else doing better, does not mean you aren’t doing alright yourself. Each of us has different priorities, different lives, and different ways of being, and come to appreciate it more. 😊

Now, since I have already asked you not to overdo it, I would also suggest you chart out a sustainable routine for your blogging. Create a structure and routine, you know you can follow. And always write what you are comfortable with.

rousseau quote on writing
if you don’t trust me, hear it from Rousseau himself!

For many of my peers in PhD, I have told them to write about the things they read every day. They don’t need to be revolutionary essays that would win prizes like Rousseau’s Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, which presented a scathing critique of scientific progress.

Write whatever you may have done today—and how it was different from the day before that and so on. It’s okay. That’s how we learn to write. For the next year in 2024, I hope to write more and write better.  

Cover Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Some Important Reflections on My Blogging Journey in 2023”

  1. “… I once used to write … Perhaps, not as good as I am writing now, perhaps, not even as good as I hope to write in future, but I wrote…” – if this doesn’t summarise the journey of a writer, I don’t know what does. Also as a wannabe writer, I love this.

    1. Yes, this always pushes me to think in terms of Foucauldian genealogy — to abstract from past, to think about the present, for a better future. I think all our journeys as writers usually flows in this very fashion. 🙂

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