|Many have asked: Is it really just ten minutes?|
The Birth of "Ten Minutes, Tops!"
Before this I had only been an occasional blogger - I blog in starts and stops. However, my very first blog was born in 2003. After that, I have had a couple more, though most of which I had kept mostly for myself and my family. 2003 is a long time ago, so you could say I am not exactly a newbie. But to write for a bigger audience (and deliberately), that is what's new, and that's something I only began to do last February 2011, with the launch of my public personal blog called "Ten Minutes, Tops!". If you'd like to know why I named it such, I blogged about it here.
Many have asked me if I have really kept my writing to just ten minutes; the answer is, not always. Nowadays, I write to make sure you'll only have to read it for ten minutes, tops. I could have written or re-written it for more than ten minutes, add to that the effort to select and photoshop photos appropriate for the post. It's all to make the ten minutes you take to read my blog posts really worth your while.
I took blogging seriously not for any other reason than just to get myself to write - until having an audience became a very strong driving factor too. I discovered I had readers, and that sort of became reinforcing, so that from a weekly post, to a twice-a-week post, I came to the point of making blog posts daily. But that was exhausting (not to mention obssessive, hehe), so now I am down to a healthy 1-2 posts per week (although I would really like to write more often if inspiration were more abundant and there were more time). Honestly, when friends ask me they have been waiting or looking for my latest posts, I feel guilty for sort of letting them down. I know, that's absurb, but that's how I feel to a certain degree. That is how addicting blogging can be.
The Joys of Blogging
What I love about blogging is that I feel that I am better able to articulate much of my thoughts down. I admit more of my posts are probably on stuff I am the only one who give a hoot about - but that's okay. That anyone is reading is a bonus, although I find great joy in knowing that people actually do take time to read them. Based on analytics, I have learned that what people most like to read are posts on travel, and on controversial issues (or current events), and also, surprisingly (and pleasantly), on Jose Rizal. While it is nice to cater to what people will tend to read, I try not to make that my motivation, because I really want to write on what I feel like writing, on what I feel I really have thoughts to share on. The better motivation would be finding people who care enough about the same topics to make time to read them.
The process of coming up with topics to write (I have a lot on my list), composing my posts, revising, finding the right photos, lay-outing and publishing have all been very engrossing for me. It seems like a simple process (it is; most blogging platforms are easy to use), but it's also a lot of work. I love to write, but that is not to say writing always comes easy. It can be tiring too, and like with most writers, I have a whole ritual before I could get myself to write (procrastination is a ritual, hehe).
One of the other joys of blogging is that there is a whole community of bloggers out there. I have met many them on the iBlog7 summit, and then again on a movie screening exclusively for bloggers (Fast Five sponsored by Pilipinas Teleserv), and then again on a press launch for RunnersRunner.com where I invited some of them, and then again for a preview of the Mind Museum where I gave away slots to fellow bloggers. Last June 23, I got a chance to meet more of them, as I had invited over 35 of them to a food event called Bloggers Buffet at Carol's Texan 5 - an event that I organized. It is gratifying to meet a lot of bloggers as they are a bunch of friendly and fun people - and they come from all walks of life.
A Whole Lot of Blogging
An offshoot of my blogging and all the things I have learned in the process is that Bloggers Buffet event. I now maintain another site www.bloggersbuffet.com which shall be a food event and food review blog - a service I now offer to restaurants and food places who want to promote their business. The website is still a work in progress, but do check it out for more updates. I also maintain www.clubtravelnow.org which is a travel club blog for ClubTravelNOW! which I founded with a friend last September 2011. Aside from that, I have www.mountpulagadventures.com, a blog I've had since 2005 but which I revamped this year to get more people to climb Mt. Pulag with us at ClubTravelNOW!.
I have more sites under development - internet brands that I'd like to develop, all to give an avenue for my varied interests. I have also other sites that I am building for other people - clients, business partners, family and friends - to help them with their business and other causes. That too, is a result of my blogging.
Come to think of it, I have only been a professional blogger for less than 5 months, but I have already learned so much and I am excited about all the things I know can still accomplish. Like me, the blogging profession in the Philippines is still in its maturing stages, so there is still much fun to be had in all this process of discovery.
That, my folks, is my so-called Bloggers Life, so far. :)
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