Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Reflection

The 14th of this month will be exactly one year that I have been blogging. I was actually going to save this topic for that date but a recent posting on Shan’s blog has prompted me to address the issue now, while it is fresh in my mind. Considering hers was the first blog I read daily and that is what prompted me to start a blog of my own.


So why start a blog in the first place? For me it was a medium to vent my excess energy and frustrations as well as an exercise to improve my writing and increase my vocabulary. At the time I did not have any friends with whom I could discuss books or writing and I really felt stupid. I have always enjoyed writing but it felt silly just writing my thoughts in a journal or typing fictional stories into Microsoft Word that I would delete after reading back on them after a few months. I never had the balls to show any of this writing to anyone either so I had no idea whether it was good or bad.


I found it commendable the way bloggers could so honestly and openly discuss their ideas and feelings and above that allow strangers and friends to analyze and criticize them. It was fascinating. Not only was the idea of blogging alone intriguing to me but also the secondary aspect of sharing. I thought I could never put my self out there like that and it took a few months of contemplation before I actually set up my blog and threw up my first post. Looking back on it now it seems as if I was hoping to meet other people searching for some meaning in life. I was also looking to share ideas that I was hoping other people could relate to.


I was blogging everyday and it was not too much of an effort either. The readers were all friends of mine, here in Jakarta and abroad. I had no image to protect in front of them and I rather took the opportunity to be more honest about my thoughts and feelings. Most of them congratulated me on my transparency and I even received numerous compliments regarding my writing style. Of course this was flattering and it motivated me to write even more. I even took the opportunity to write about political issues that angered me but this early one, which is one of very few, actually sparked a heated debate after which I decided to leave the politics to the less emotional critics.


Apart from being just a personal journal, I also wanted Indo Deamin’ to serve as and informative hub. I took and still take every opportunity to blog bars, restaurants, hotels, zoo’s, beaches, or any other attraction I visit. Should any thirsty travelers be looking for information on a location they are about to visit, I would like my blog to provide some overview at least. And looking at my statistics over the last year, more and more hits are coming in from search engines with key words related to my reviews. I have even received messages from total strangers at times thanking me for valuable information. It is rewarding to say the least. These postings also give me an opportunity to share with my friends where I have been and what I have been up to.


On the other hand I have also used this blog to experiment with writing and even amuse my friends with some fictional tales about Gonzo. These articles were very fun to write and although some people were offended, most of my mates had a good laugh. I also wrote and continue to write serious articles that reflect my personal point of view with a twist of my own humor. There are always some people who would leave negative feedback but I have always tried not to allow that to affect me.


I think blogging got frustrating only after this blog became a little popular. And by popular I mean I was pulling in maybe 60-70 hits a day which is not comparable to really popular blog’s like Kenny Sia who pulls in about 3,000 a day. You start to feel pressure and you believe there are expectations you have to live up to. You question if your postings are funny enough or honest enough. You are back into the whole drama that you started the blog to escape in the first place. We have to live our lives in a certain way to conform to society around us and blogging is an alternate reality where we can say what we really feel, but once we loose confidence in this alternate reality we have created then the task becomes tedious.


Also writing honestly make s you venerable and some things can come back and bite you in the ass. But for me this has been an exercise in honestly and although there are many people I would not want to read this blog, I still continue to write what I do. There have been close calls and even situations where I have met people who I have had no idea have read some of my posts. Initially I feel exposed and concerned but I tell myself that this is who I am. And no matter what people think or say, this is who I am and I have to be confident of that. If people wish to use this blog to weaken my spirit then I would only be allowing them to win if I stopped writing what I wanted to. And I can not allow them to win.


I am no longer really concerned with how many people read what I write. I know there are a few of my friends who really enjoy this blog and it has remained a medium for us to stay in touch. They always know what I am up and every now and then when they leave a comment I know they are doing well also. I don’t have to write numerous emails to all the people I know because whenever any of them wants to know how I am doing they just check in on my blog.


I have made some interesting new friends who are fellow bloggers in Indonesia and others around the world. Although we have never met I do enjoy the frequent exchange of comments on each others blog’s. I feel that by continuing writing and reading I am improving my English and hopefully my style of writing. I sincerely enjoy reviewing books and movies I watch because I feel as I write down my thoughts they become well formed and clearer in my own mind. I have a chance to sift through them and analyze what I really feel and think.


Occasionally I do not have any matter to write about at which point I will simply post a game or a joke. But I do not allow myself to be pressured into coming up with decent matter that will suit my readers just for the sake of posting. I think at the end of the day it is important to review the aspects of blogging that attracted you in the first place. To analyze why in fact you enjoy blogging. You will surly find that the benefits outweigh the negative aspects. Your really friends will always visit your blog daily weather you blog once a day or once a month. Not only because they enjoy your posts and writing but because they want to know what the hell you have been up to.


There are at least 5 sites I check daily hoping for new posts to come up but I can’t expect the people to write just for my sake. This is a free service here and no one is in a position to make demands. I can only hope they find the time and motivation that they need to put something up. This has been a pretty productive year and I am one of those people who changes hobby as often as some people change underwear. But I am glad that I have stuck through with this and it has been one hell of a ride. I look forward to many more interesting posts as I have more insane experiences and travel to stranger places. Thank you for keeping me company. Mahalo.

4 comments:

indonesia-anonymus said...

Happy birthday to your blog.

Keep on blogging !

AmitD said...

Stud, on a side note, there is this show I think you would love, if you haven't watched it already. It's called "Prison Break". Believe me man, if you haven't seen it, get it right now.
Happy Birthday in advance blogger....

Shan said...

Great post man - made me rethink a few things.

J said...

Hey... I like your blog... gives you lots to think about.
J