You know, it dawns on me that I’ve been writing in some given way, shape or form since I was a child. In fact, my mother recently discovered a short story I had written and given to her when I was about ten years old. It was about 32 pages long and contained a story set in the far future involving cyborgs and fighting for freedom. Not bad, for a ten year old. I didn’t think anything of it and just wrote it for fun.
Through junior high and high school, I toted around a 300-page spiral notebook in which I spent class writing an exciting story about a subterranean world that was run by children. Think “Lord of the Flies” meets “Journey to the Centre of the Earth.” In fact, I had a childhood friend who used to read a chapter at a time as I wrote it. Despite getting caught by a number of teachers, they usually encouraged my writing and were supportive of it; albeit not in class. I ended up giving my friend the notebook prior to graduation when the story was finished. All things considered, I wish I had kept it.
But those things have always kept a fire lit within me to write. Even my chosen career has seen me develop the ability to research, take comprehensive notes and write explicit and detailed reports that would be used for legal and court matters. This is one of the reasons why, when things at work went awry and I got sent home (where I sit idle, to this day) I wanted to find a way to continue to maintain those writings skills, that ability to research and provide explicit and detailed writing. The end result is this blog.
I wasn’t sure what would come of it, when I started. I wanted to write about something I knew, hence the Buddhism, Karate and Diabetes aspects. If I’m being honest, I didn’t assume I would grow a readership and was simply writing for the hell of it to increase the above-mentioned skills. But as my posts became longer and more intricate, I started to realize that there was a significant level of satisfaction and gratification to seeing the number of views and likes I would receive on a given post.
Given that I’ve been a blogger for over two years now, I look back and recognize that some of my posts have been funny, informative, occasionally inappropriate and sometimes bordering on rude. But I’ve built myself up to almost 300 followers, which I consider to be amazing. I wouldn’t have assumed that this many people would take an interest in what I write. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet and communicate with people from around the world in a way I likely wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t started this blog.
Where am I going with this? Well, I’ve worked pretty hard at making all of this work. I research most things I write about and maintain reputable sources, usually citing them in the actual posts. I spend hours at a time in front of a keyboard, editing and changing until I feel it reads well. I recently started a YouTube channel related to this blog, where I can discuss topics that maybe don’t REQUIRE research and I can just pour out my thoughts. I’ve even overcome my personal dislike of mainstream social media and The Blogging Buddhist has its own Facebook page.
I consider one of the advantages of the current pandemic (if there really IS any advantage) is the fact that I’m home and can contribute all this time and effort to writing the posts I do. The flip side of it, is that I’ve been assuming that the pandemic has freed people up to READ as much of my blog as I write. But this doesn’t seem to be the case. On average, I get about a dozen people who read my posts on a given day. That’s less than 5% of my viewership. I’ve aired almost a dozen videos, with more in the planning stage and being edited but I only have 4 subscribers to my YouTube channel. And both of those are linked and cross-posted to the Facebook page on a daily basis.
Honestly, it’s been difficult to see other blogs and webpages that basically have nothing to them, with thousands upon thousands of followers. I don’t like admitting to jealousy and I dislike the thought of jealousy even more than admitting to it, but it can’t help but rear its ugly head in this situation. There’s a blogger out there who writes ABOUT blogging. That’s it. And the irony is that every few months, this writer basically repeats donation requests through PayPal to the point where it constitutes begging, because he doesn’t hold a traditional job and needs money to feed himself. Somehow this joker has almost 36,000 followers.
Everyone has their own journey to take, and I would never try to take away from the reason a person has for writing. It just irks me when you have someone working so hard on the one side while having someone who basically phones it in on the other, and the latter has over a hundred times the amount of followers. This is where some uncharacteristic bitterness comes in. I’m sure I’ll center myself and let it go, but sometimes you gotta vent. Am I right?
At the risk of making this post way longer than I intended it to, I bring all of this up for a reason. The reason is because today marks the 365th post in a row without missing a single day. This means that I’ve been posting daily content for literally a full calendar year, without missing a beat. I consider this to be a personal goal that I’ve achieved, and one that I’m happy with. At the end of the day, I write because I want to maintain my skills and share the information I’ve gathered over the course of my chaotic life. And because I love it. That’s got to be the most important reason. When the day comes that I no longer enjoy researching and writing on these topics, that will be the day I shut down The Blogging Buddhist permanently. Until then, I’ll just have to keep plugging away at it. One post at a time. Keep reading, folks! ☯