Writing has always been an outlet for me. At a very young age, my mother instilled in me and my siblings the love for books and soon, I was immersed in a wonderful world of stories, lyrical proses and spell-binding poetry. A little after, I wasn’t contented in just reading and accepting stories that are not my own, I wanted to try my own play of words in a paper. I would often carry with me a long yellow pad with unfinished stories scribbled using my stubby pencil. I feel inspired by books and writing. There is so much joy when I am holding a new book or I have some time to jot additional words for my stories, poetries and essays. But somehow time (or the lack of it) and probably, practicality made me neglect my long reading lists and ignored my passion to pour out words into a certain medium.
However, in the fast-paced and technology-driven society of today, I have found another source of inspiration in reading glossy magazines and blogs. I was so happy when I discovered Bianca Gonzales‘ blog long before blogs were recognised as a powerful influencer of society and a big marketing tool. I enjoyed her entries on her food discoveries, travels, her favourite things and her thoughts & musings. Her outlook in life fueled me to open up to what the world has to offer me. I soon discovered other blogs from KC Concepcion‘s Multiply account blogging about her life in Paris and Patty Laurel‘s blog & her fun trips. As my fingers itching to start a blog myself, I am hindered by my ambivalence to keep my private life private, my lack of life adventure, and my insecurity that I could ever ignite any source of interest & inspiration for people to read it. I felt I am not worthy to have a place in the blogging world. But after my World Youth Day trip to Sydney, Australia, I was encouraged by my new-found friends from my trip to use Multiply to keep in touch with each other. The now-defunct Multiply is a wonderful social media along the time when Friendster was the “in” thing. It has a lot of wonderful features besides adding friends, chatting and commenting. It also has great feature to write longer entries without word limit and the ability to add in photos. Yes, exactly what a blog is. I started writing about my experience in Sydney and then eventually I was writing about my food discoveries and book reviews. I later was propelled by my sister to import my Multiply entries to blogspot. I continued writing intermittently there, with no plans of promoting it to the public.
My boyfriend (who is now my husband) was the biggest instrumental factor why I persistently and committed myself to blogging. He read my entry about Dinagyang Festival and he read some more, and he fell in love with my little stories. He encouraged me to keep writing, to keep blogging. He would remind me if I haven’t been blogging for sometime or he would often ask me what is my next blog topic.
And one day, in one of my occasional moments of introspection over coffee, I realize what makes me feel alive to when I am inspired and I inspired someone else. I feel happy with my little life discoveries and when I share it & someone thank me for sharing it.
Pretty things, lovely photography, (I just have to add coffee, too) and encouraging words make me smile. Our surroundings, our loved-ones, our hobbies, our ideas and the world around us are wonderful catalysts to evoke that sense of purposefulness. Social media is a rich source of inspiration. Rappler‘s CEO, Maria Tessa said, “Social Media is just your physical social network without the boundaries of time and space. If we can collectively harness it, we can change behaviour. If we collectively act, we can change the world”. How beautiful is that? We all have something good to contribute and share. Also to quote Walt Whitman:
“O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here — that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” – Walt Whitman
So I given myself a goal this year to improve my blog to fuel my life motivation : To be inspired and to inspire. I asked help from Martine De Luna to steer my blog to the right path and contacted Miss Patricia a.ka. Fancy Girl to prettify my blog home. First comes intention then slowly, I was surprised brands collaborations and blogger invitations were coming in. It’s nice to be recognized and noticed by businesses and brands which somehow authenticates me as a real blogger. You get to meet like-minded people, fellow bloggers, celebrities, and business owners. You get perks and privileges. You even earn a bit from your after-work hobby. However, there are times when blog post deadlines and back-to-back events can be very overwhelming. When did blogging which supposed to be a source of sanctuary and outlet became
stressful work. Then you paused. Are you blogging to be famous? Are you blogging to make loads of money? Are you blogging to get a sense of validation? Are you blogging to uplift your professional career? I realized I never care for those things, like the number of followers or likes or being a famous celebrity blogger. I just love to write and share my discoveries and take pretty photos to feel inspired and hoping I can also drizzle a bit of sweetness, positivity & inspiration to those who visit my blog.
Though my objectives may be unambitious and less driven compared to my more motivated blogger-friends and contemporaries, it doesnt mean I would compromise the quality and integrity of my blog. There was a recent article that says Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can achieved through social media. And that the highest point of the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which is Self-Actualisation can be achieved through blogging where you can achieve creative fulfilment, personal growth and peak experiences. I will still continue to improve my blog brand, my writing style and photography skills to uphold to the manifesto of my blog: to inspire people to explore life’s surprises… And hopefully, amidst life’s stresses and challenges, I can inject a little bit of sunshine and sweetness in their life.
Photos in this blog post are from my recent workshop with Blogging Your Way, where I learned to use natural light, take photos in different angles, create a mood, knowing & sticking to your brand and using our blog as a catalyst to live our best life. For more of the e-courses, head over to their website.