This is a very special post.
This is not an article. This is not a feature story. This is not a short story. This is nothing like what I have been writing on my blog these past few years. But this is a very special post indeed.
This one right here marks the 100th post of my blog. And I thought that it would be good to celebrate this occasion.
I know that a 100 posts might not seem like anything consequential to many of you. But for me, this is a significant moment. Significant because it took a lot of time, patience, and effort in reaching here.
When I began this blog, about six years back, I was extremely skeptical. I was a novice and was just about finding myself. This was the time when I had just taken up writing as a career choice and wanted some way to exhibit my skills. I was inspired by some of my fellow mates at my journalism college who had classy-looking blogs having a lot of visitors and many congratulatory comments. I too wanted the same. And hence ‘Burning Bright’ was formed.
I remember the first post I wrote on my blog: “While We Were Sleeping”. It came from a sour personal experience and I had just vented my frustration down in it. The feedback I received for it was largely positive. I was delighted that all my Facebook friends whom I had forcibly tagged in the post sang great laurels about my writing, and knowing well that this was my first genuine blog entry, I was welcomed with gracious words.
Suffice to say, I was thrilled. I wanted to explore more and began writing on all the various topics that affected me at that point in time: wildlife, cricket, a bit of politics and some personal accounts. I remember tagging loads of people, even those who weren’t remotely interested in reading and sending the links to my posts as messages to countless others. I would mostly receive good to great feedback and a lot of likes and comments on Facebook. Naturally, I was pleased.
However, with time I began to realize the difference between forced and genuine feedback and also gauged the true potential of my writing abilities. I developed a taste for travel and story writing and this opened up new avenues for me. I began putting in a lot of thought and planning into each post. I would let my stories completely consume me and would plan the title, the beginning, middle and end in my mind while going to sleep while traveling and even while walking. Planning and executing each post would pump me up and it is an exercise that has stayed on.
With each passing post, I could feel my writing developing. I would not rest until I would derive great satisfaction from completing a post. Sometimes I would even pat myself for a particular line I wrote. I made it a habit to re-read each write-up multiple times, to the point that my brain began getting exhausted. This allowed me to spruce the writing and also helped enhance my editing skills. This is another habit that I have not let go and which continues to help me grow as a writer immensely.
Another thing I do is to never re-edit any of my old posts, right from the time when I began this blog. I find a lot of grammatical and sentence construction errors in them and if I want I can easily polish them up. But I don’t. I let them be as they serve as a reminder of the progression I have made as a writer. With each passing year, whenever I have looked back at some of my posts from the year gone by, I have realized a substantial amount of progression in my writing. And this provides me great contentment as this was the precise reason for the creation of this blog.
Over the years, I have realized that my blog has been like my best friend. It has been my source of motivation and inspiration. It allows me the freedom to let loose the true writer in me and nurture it lovingly, with a lot of patience and without the burden of being scrutinized or rejected. As a freelance writer, I write countless articles regularly, almost mechanically. And while I enjoy doing that as well, it is only my blog that enables me to really open up and explore and challenge my true abilities as a writer. Sometimes I marvel at some of the pieces that I have written, the manner I produced some sentences and then wonder how I managed to achieve it. In times where I find myself feeling lost, these writings give me the boost to move on and refine my skills.
Through this blog, I have also found a few lifelong friends. These were people who I never knew. But they somehow chanced upon my blog and from thereon in went on to forge a great bonding with me which has lasted fruitfully over the years. A lot of unknown people from different countries, too, have often commented and even messaged me after reading some of my posts and have expressed their appreciation for them. It has truly left me pleasantly surprised and extremely overwhelmed.
Even now, when I find anyone reading some of my long posts (I do have a habit of piling on long ones) and liking it, I feel a tinge of surprise mixed with happiness. I can never thank those people enough, really.
And now, after about six years, I am writing the 100th post of my blog. I had often wondered when and how would I reach that landmark. Because I never post anything for the heck of it or to follow any current trending topic. I never wrote to increase my subscribers or my views. There are a lot of people who suggested that I should promote and campaign my blog on different platforms. I was shown the blogs of several top-notch professionals who write posts on a daily basis and have millions of followers. But frankly, I was never made to do all that. I feel uncomfortable in that space.
For me, my blog is now like an extension of my inner self. I scour my soul around to dig out the best of my abilities and then pour it out here in different shapes and forms. I take my own sweet time and patiently complete each post. I try and think of new and interesting topics to write on; not to impress anyone, but to challenge and please the writer in me. The views (1,33,000 plus at this point) have happened on their own accord. I have worked hard, very hard for developing my blog. Even though it hasn’t given me any monetary benefits, it has been a source of great fulfillment and has been the one thing that I always look forward to working on every month.
Sometimes, when a certain post which I had given a lot of effort into, hasn’t reached the desired audience, it has left me frustrated. But I have never given up. Even when the number of likes and comments from my friends from the initial days began dwindling, I did not give up. And I will not give up even when there is not even a single reader for my blog. Because writing for and reading my own posts in my blog has been very therapeutic. It helps me bloom. And I will not let it go.
I have worked on my blog like nurturing a plant. And to see it blossom the way it has today gives me a real sense of contentment. It is something I cannot really express properly in words. I am just proud that I have not given up on the dream I had when I started this blog – of thriving as a writer through it. That was the most basic, most simple and the initial thought I had when I ventured into this world and the dream continues to live on. Even as I write this, I have more than 20 topics lined up in my diary for my next blog topics. I feel excited as I keep thinking about how to go about their execution and feel really satisfied when I add a tick mark beside a topic I manage to successfully finish. It is an extensive and arduous but thoroughly fulfilling process.
We have both grown together, my blog and I. From ‘While We Were Sleeping’ to the present post, it has been a long and wonderful journey. In between the blog has taken different shapes and will, hopefully, keep evolving in the days to come. In these hundred posts, there have been various features, articles, interviews of varied personalities, short stories and tales of myriad kinds, along with some personal rants. Some have worked, some haven’t. But every single one of them has helped me in one way or the other. By the end of the next hundred posts, I would hope to explore some new genres and styles and bring in some fresh variety in my blog. That is the kick that keeps me moving.
For now, I just want to sit back and pat myself on the back for this accomplishment. Because only I know the kind of toil that has gone into the making of these 100 posts. So I congratulate myself on achieving this and sincerely thank each and every one of my reader who has ever taken out time to genuinely read my blog posts. Even when one of you appreciates my writing it makes my day; it eggs me on, and it forces me to shed off my laziness and work hard and keep improving.
So in the belief that there will be more intriguing writings and genres to explore, more friends to make, and, ultimately, more growth as a writer to be made in the future posts, I sign off. In the interim, I will eagerly look forward to the 200th one…