I have always love writing since I was young, which stems from my love of reading books. I always own a diary where I enjoyed jotting down things that happened to me on that day, though my penmanship would turn into undecipherable scribbles because my thoughts were faster than my hands. When I was in medical school, there was a time when I thought of making excerpts of my day; my thoughts on this book or that movie or my indulgent daydream of pretending I was in a New York by creating well-crafted essays on my bulky personal computer. I didn’t write it for anyone. I just wrote for my own pleasure of putting my thoughts on a grammatically-correct, eloquent, inspired, lyrical paragraphs. I printed them out in bond papers and placed them in transparent pages of a red folder for my keepsake. I didn’t mind if any of my family members read it nor do I actively presented my entries to them. I was just happy writing them on quiet afternoons not even noticing that the sun has set and the room is dim except for the light from my computer. I didn’t realised at that time that what I was doing was actually sort-of blogging.
I have written before my apprehensions on blogging. I love my privacy and I am a quiet introverted person (I can be talkative only with people I feel comfortable with.) Blogging as an online journal scares the hell out of me. But after taking the plunge of starting a blog: first, at the defunct Multiply, then to Blogspot, the writer in me got hooked. I initially wasn’t consistent in putting entries into my blog. The privacy issue and laziness gotten into me. But the prime inspiration for my blogging was my husband who was my boyfriend at that time. He read my blog post on Dinagyang. He keeps me encouraging me to write more. My blogging heroes before (and until now) were Bianca Gonzales, Patty Laurel and Cat Juan. I was also reading blogs of Daphne Osena and Frances Sales. Those times when I was in my groove to blog, I started to follow a lot of young (way younger than me) fashion and beauty bloggers. My blogwriting was unknowingly influenced by them. Frankly, I didn’t know who I am as a blogger. I was all over the place with a very vague
clueless niche. Somehow a hunger in me creep through wanting to be recognized as a real blogger. I was still a resident doctor in the Philippines living in a province with not much brands to tap my blog (though my blog traffic is not that competitive to be recognised by brands to start with.) I decided quite hesitantly eventually to put a Facebook Page. I tried to do blog giveaways to gain more readership and followers which left me feeling like an oddball in school trying to win friends with the cool kids by buying them gifts. No, I didn’t ask any brands to help me with a giveaway contest. The giveaways came from my own pocket. Later, I decided after 2 blog giveaways that I will only do it in collaboration with a brand or a co-blogger.
Soon, the blogging was not about writing anymore, it was all about the agonising ache to be recognized as an authentic blogger. I was obsessed on learning about seo and google analytics. I checked on my blog stats daily. It was a frustrating phase in my blogging life. Until I was resigned to the thought that I will never have the opportunities of bloggers who are in Manila or those who are celebrities already, like those TV show hosts, model, socialites, etc.
I got a work in Singapore by 2012 and I continue to blog in my new foreign home. On 2013, I decided to take the leap and got my own domain: www.littlemisshoney. No more blogspot attached and I migrated to WordPress. I blogged consistently and with an intent to improved my blog, I got Martine De Luna of wwww.makeitblissful.com as my blogging coach by the end of 2014. She gave my blog a focus direction and give me insightful critique to improve my blog. Early of 2015, I had Patricia Villa of Fancy Girl Designs, to design my site and turned it into a lovely virtual heaven. My friends and family or even new people who just met me who coincidentally see my blog would say that my site is so me. They throw words like ‘sweet’, ‘dainty’, ‘girly’ and ‘positivity’. I love it so much! Martine and Patricia were like my blog god-fairies because soon after they have done their magic on my blog, I got brands contacting me for sponsored post, events, food tastings and products to review. I would get around 2-3 emails for blog collaboration every week. I enjoyed the perks of being an influencer and meeting popular Singapore bloggers, some of whom have became my close friends. I get to earn more than I expected to earn. I was so happy to be monetizing my blog. I get to bring along my husband or friends in some food tastings. My contacts, collaborations and opportunities tripled. I also started to feature expats around the world through an interview format. I met similar women like me who are taking an adventure in a new land different from their birth country
But I was saying yes too much and taking on lots of blog projects which can be overwhelming for a full-time doctor and hands-on mommy like me. I started to feel burnt out and blogging started to be not fun anymore.
I eventually cut down on my blog posts and started to decline some blog invites. I wrote blog posts on my own pace. Recently, Martine gave a free Blog Therapy workshop which lead me to reassess my blog again. I reread (skimmed on some) my blog posts from start to present. I saw my initial hesitancy, my naiveté and my amateur-ness. I saw also my desire to search for who I really am. I saw how lost I was. I saw my passion and my hunger. I saw a phase when I have became a sell-out and I was not writing for mysef already. I have lost a bit of soul and I forgot my real reason why I blog in the first place. I have to go back that it is ‘to inspire and be inspired’. That was just it. I don’t have plans to relay on blogging to earn for a living. I have no intention to be a celebrity. In fact, I get scared sometimes of the information I put out there and the photos of my family that I share. I just blog to inspire and be inspired. I feel happy when I write & it gives me sense of satisfaction after I published an inspired post. And I do hope in turn I would drizzle some sunshine and inspiration too to those people who happen to visit my blog.
I see clearly now that my blog is my outlet and my source of inspiration. I will accept blog projects that only aligns to my blog vision. I will blog meaningfully and intuitively. I will blog for my own pleasure and not to gain popularity. Going viral is far from my blog objective. I just blog out of pure indulgence as a writer, a lover of beautifully woven words. I now know that my direction of my blogging journey is towards sharing of my experiences as an expat, a woman exploring life’s surprises. I am in an adventure in life, living in a foreign country, with my husband and two sons. And who knows where life would lead me and my family in days to come. Stick around, if you want to find out.
Are you a blogger too? Do you want to start a blog? Share with me your blogging journey too…