I say *think* and not I “definitely will” because well, there was a time when I looked at videos of people in Beijing wearing masks because of pollution and thought, nope, not me, never!
But here I am.
Nobody knows what the future holds, but I’d like to think that if and as long as I’m able, I will continue to blog.
Fair caution guys, today’s post is a rather personal one. I’m about to tell you why I *think* I will always be a blogger. This is my story, and well, perhaps a story about providence too.
Like any kid, I dreamed of being many things. An astronaut, a teacher, a scientist, a doctor, an engineer. I had all of those in my family (except the astronaut,) and I hopped from one dream to the next.
And like most teenagers, when I reached that age, I was utterly clueless. I had no idea what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. After high school, I followed my friends to business school, and might I say, if I continued, I’d be a college dropout now.
During that first semester, as I was drowning in misery from Accounting 101 and some kind of intro to Management courses, I ran into my only friend – more like an acquaintance – who didn’t go to business school. He was majoring in Electrical Engineering. That day as we chatted over lunch, he told me all about how miserable his life was, how he didn’t have time for fun anymore, and all he could think of was his assignments and if he’d finish them before the submission deadline.
As I sat there and listened to him, I felt this weird emotion well up inside me.
I was jealous of my friend. Even though he was complaining about how much his life sucked, he wasn’t really complaining. Throughout all that, he was actually enjoying his life. The misery he was describing was different from the misery I was feeling.
While I felt like drowning, he was thriving.
I took a year off after that semester to apply to a different university, and the following year I was taking my very first circuits course.
It was hard. Really hard. Just as hard as my friend had described it, and just like my friend, I loved every minute of it!
You see, I never questioned the decision I made then.
I still don’t, and as far as I know, I find meaning in my work as an engineer, every single day, and will likely do so for the rest of my life.
But wait… what the heck am I even talking about? This post was supposed to be about being a blogger for the rest of my life… not an engineer…
You’re right… I’m getting to it. I just needed to set up the stage for you so you know where I’m coming from.
You see, while I never questioned my choice in my profession, and still don’t, there’s one other profession that I have been jealous of practically all my life.
I’ve been a reader my entire life. My mother was one, and by the time I was 10, I had read every single book we had in our home. Including (and mostly) the adult ones. By the time my mother realized what was going on, it was already late. I was hooked, and no amount of age-appropriate books did it for me anymore. My mother gave up.
She wasn’t too sad about it either, because after all, this was saving us money! She didn’t have to buy separate books for me, both of us read the same ones!
You see, I love books. I love reading. And I don’t look down on anyone. I read everyone from Vladimir Nabokov to Neil Gaiman, Fyodor Dostoyevsky to Dan Brown. Haruki Murakami to Humayun Ahmed. Rabindranath Tagore to Yoko Ogawa. I don’t judge. Deep books, entertaining books, classics and commercials alike, I love ’em all!
When I read an essay by Joan Didion, I think, well… F*CK!
You see, I always fantasized about being the kind of writer who can make others go “well… F*CK!”
But I’m a realist. I understand my abilities and my shortcomings better than anyone else. English is not my first language, and as it so happens, I’m even worse at my native language. I’ve always been weak when it comes to linguistics. I studied GRE English way harder and longer while I only solved a couple of practice tests for the Math portion about two hours before I drove to the testing center.
I knew I could never be a writer, and definitely not one who could make money with it. But damn, was I jealous!
Aside from engineering, writing was the only thing I ever wanted to do but never did because it wasn’t even on my radar. I never even considered it!
And then came 2016 when life took a turn for the worst and suddenly everything went upside down. It was when I started freelancing, and boy did I hate it!
You see, I enjoyed designing websites and developing them. I was pretty decent with it if I say so myself. But I hated looking for clients or working for my clients, and well, often I even hated the clients themselves!
Hate is a strong word. Let’s just say that I disliked most of them. Very much!
But well, providence!
As much as I hated the gigs or the clients, freelancing allowed me to see the world of bloggers more closely. As I tried to help my clients, I was learning more and more about this industry, and then finally, in 2017, I started to entertain the idea of starting a blog of my own.
And then, in June 2018, The Side Blogger was born.
Many bad things happened during that time, things that led me to make decisions I wouldn’t have considered otherwise, like ever! Good AND bad. But looking back now, I only feel grateful.
Sure, I will never be an essayist like Didion or write a short story like Moshfegh, or a novel like the ones Nabokov did. Heck, some of my favorite contemporary bloggers like Noah Berlatsky, or the Quibbits Trio are writers of a completely different caliber. (Monica Quibbits, Bennington Quibbits, and Rooster Quibbits… I still don’t know what their real names are, and I’m about 89.85% certain all three are the same person! Search for “Quibbits” on Splice Today, and you’ll know what I’m talking about!)
Even so, today, I’m a writer. Sure, the only things I can write are How to do XYZ or 10 Ways to do XYZ, but guess what? What I write is useful to some. People who always read my blog posts, they read them because they find these posts helpful. Sure, I don’t make them lose their sleep at night with my writing, nor do I make them become thought-leaders, but hey, if my writing can help people, then why not?
But more than that, more than being helpful or whatever… the fact that I can write and my writing is read by thousands of people every month must mean something, right?
It’s like someone is telling me that I should do it. Something I always looked at from the outside, something I never thought I’d actually do, but only fantasized about, something that I thought was so far removed from me is suddenly in my laps.
And that’s why, my friends, I think I’ll always be a blogger. Or at least, as long as I can. And to be honest, I feel as though I’m meant to! I feel that if I stopped writing, I’d be doing a disservice.
I know many of you are thinking of starting a blog. Don’t just keep thinking guys, start it! And if you need a little help, I have a free blogging boot-camp right here that will teach you to start a blog the right way, starting with picking a niche to setting up your first WordPress blog, to creating a plan for driving traffic, building an audience, and making money from your blog!
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