Monday, January 13, 2014

Things I've learned from blogging & "Best Personal Blog"!


OMFG...

My little bloggy-boo has won "Best Personal Blog" by reader's choice for Nepali Australian's Annual blog awards!!! I had some stiff competition and I really didn't think that I would win. In fact, I was so hopeless about it - that I didn't even vote for myself! But alas, my Madh readers pulled through!

A sincere thank you goes out to all of my readers - I love the interaction with each and every one of you! I originally started this blog as a way to free my expressions and thoughts, and it sort of became this public diary. I have been adamant about staying true to myself - no matter what - writing about literally anything that strikes a chord in me. I have often said that I do not write for others - but I am so thankful that I have dedicated readers on this journey with me! Some are silent readers, some are constant commenters - either way - I love you all!

Along this journey, I have learned so much about myself, I have learned so much about others (who I wouldn't have met otherwise), and by putting it ALL out there...it has made me more courageous.

So, in celebration of this award, I've decided to do a list of the top things I've learned from blogging....

1) Be original
One of the things I pride myself in is being original and genuine. I only write about things I'm PASSIONATE about. Some days, it's a serious topic about current affairs, some days it's about relationships, and some days it's a recipe post. I like to post on a variety of things because that way it shows my well-rounded, complex nature. I really couldn't care about what is a controversial topic. Oftentimes, the things I've been most scared to write about are the posts that help others. Many of the other Whindian bloggers have gone "Indian-style" and only talk about the good stuff so as not to offend their inlaws (which many are still winning over - it's a long process!) Well...been there, done that, next! Eight years in, and I'm ready to talk about it all. 

2) There are others like you
Have you ever wondered - are there others out there in the world, who have gone through things that I have? YES. There are!!! And the others are looking for you too. I used to wonder if there were any others out there, like us - Whindian couples, Tamil Iyengars, blended families like us...who can understand the complexities of Indian family dynamicsWas I the only one? Hell no....there are thousands of us, all across the globe, and we are all trying to find each other. We are all so connected to each other. Not to mention, I also discovered others with common interests like feminism, a love for India, other married couples, and fellow parents. Thank you, internet...! It has become my little online community of MADH-ness!

3) Let your haters be your motivators
With all my Madh fans, there are, of course, a few haters. The good thing is that they are few and far between. We have gotten racist death threats against us and our child (with every single post I do). But alas, what people say and do - is a reflection of their own reality. And if anything, these internet trolls make me feel more grateful for our wonderful family (because they want what we have), and more confident in myself (because I, and I alone define who I am). If I choose to pause writing, it will be of my own accord - of my own free will - and I refuse to live in fear. I will keep telling my story, keep sharing my pictures, keep living my life - nobody's going to stop me, especially not some armchair assholes! Instead, I live thankful every day. And as my readers already know, I couldn't give a crap about what people think! 

4) You can't please everybody
Somebody, somewhere, will be getting offended even if your writing has nothing to do with them. You can't please everybody, and there are many people out there who will disagree with you AND take it to a personal level because it may trigger something that has happened in their life. You can't please everybody.
"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” - Cyril Connolly

5) People won't always agree....
It's great to hear from people with different opinions because it can make you think about a different perspective. It's another way of embracing diversity!

6) .....But don't tolerate disrespect!
One thing I am firm with is that I allow disagreements - but NOT disrespectfulness. However, a lot of people simply don't know how to do that! Not my problem...!

7) Getting out there in the real world gives you something to write about
You can't experience life from behind a computer screen. Getting out everyday and having an adventure gives me endless material to write about. It's important to limit your writing time so it doesn't affect your living time. Only write when you absolutely feel like it, and get out there and live your life for the rest of the day. Continually having new experiences = personal growth + processing life = writing and reflecting.

8) Unplugging for insight
When I first started furiously writing, it all just bled out of me. I just wanted to get it all out. I just wanted to tell my story so bad, and I didn't know where to start. Being in recovery has taught me to set limits for myself, and create lots of moments that help balance out my life. Our culture (both East + West) glorifies being busy, goal-oriented people - but what good is all that if we cannot rest and process our life? I've grown to love the quiet moments where I just unplug from everything and breathe. You can get so much fortitude from quieting your mind. Taking writing breaks are as essential as writing itself. 

9) Discovering the self
Each post I do is like a letter to my self. I feel like I'm continually discovering my true self with each post. I really have no filter, at all (who needs a filter, anyway? totally overrated!!!!) It is interesting to look back and see how far I've come, within months even. Life is continually changing - continually blooming. Sometimes I re-read old posts and I can't believe that I wrote it. I think - I kinda like this girl! It's a vehicle for me to also get to know myself better and grow.

10) Sharing your story can help heal others and yourself
Sharing my story as it unfolds has been one of the most terrifying and liberating things that I have ever done. Every time I write my story, I feel freedom, in every sense of the word. All my triumphs and failures; moments of strength and vulnerability. I am continually searching. I am an open door, with a series of open doors all around me. And I have a loyal audience, many of my readers give me such great feedback and insightful comments that it changes my perspective. We all heal each other...

11) On being brave
It is a brave thing to put your life on display - your personal thoughts - along with your name AND face. That is why a lot of bloggers are anonymous. That also has a lot to do with blogger's professional careers - but seriously - if any employer doesn't like my opinions, then maybe I'm not the right fit for them any way! Also I feel by putting a few of our personal pictures up - makes people relate to us more. Like, hey! My daughter looks just like Maya too!

12) There are no rules
Your blog is YOUR space. There are no rules....kinda like life, in a way - being that you make your own rules! There is nothing you can't talk about. Go for it! Be honest - readers know when you're holding back; and most importantly YOU know when you're holding back. Be true to your inner voice, or else what's the point? Fearless writing affects people.

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Fellow bloggers, what have you learned from blogging? Readers - what do you like about blogs, as opposed to newspapers and magazines, etc?

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8 comments

  1. I am glad to be introduce to your blog via the blog award. You have a beautiful blog and great way of writing. Love all your points and agreed 100%. You have great readers too :)

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    1. I am thrilled!!!!!!!!!! It feels great to be appreciated! :))))
      I try to write the way I speak...

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  2. Congratulations on the award Alexandra! I knew you'd win it! :D
    I am actually also writing a post about why I blog too so I can really relate to the points you wrote. Will be up for reading soon enough. :)

    Take care,
    K

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    1. Thanks K! I'll stay tuned! Your blog is one of my faves :)

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  3. Congrats on the award Alexandra. It can be a really difficult thing (for me anyway) to be able to open up about personal life and you do it very well. Keep it up. I too felt great when my blog post won best educational post, which is the direction I hope to head towards :-)

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    1. Thanks Amelia! I definitely don't regret blogging...I really love it.
      I love the direction of your blog! You have great tips!

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