I want to tell you why I’m here, and why you’re here (because you know, he who has a why, can bear any how).
A long time ago, I used to blog, but never really kept up with it. I actually found it the other day (it’s not very impressive): charlesjgao.blogspot.com
I stopped, not knowing what I was doing with it.
But then I caught the travel bug. I started travel hacking, and then wrote a blog post about how I got $7500 worth of flights for only $1500. I shared it once on Facebook and somehow a lot of people saw it, which really surprised me since I had zero traffic. A few random people even messaged me, asking me to tell them how they could do their dream trip to Thailand for free because they were a broke-ass student. I guess everyone loves the idea of getting something for (almost) nothing.
I didn’t continue writing about it, since I wasn’t really dedicating my entire life to travel hacking. I thought that a successful blog had to be about just one thing to attract a loyal audience. That’s what all the other blogs looked like to me.
But then there was a website called 750words. It would compel me to write 750 words everyday, and then my shitty essay would be stored online forever. It was gamified so I would get addicted to writing. I could see stats like the mood of the writing, if I was angry, happy or depressed. I think most of it was “depressing”. I kept at it until the “free trial” was over (the website wanted $5 a month or something).
I continued my writing habit with Evernote, typing away at my phone whenever I had a moment (it was liberating to express myself). I even experimented with writing in a journal. Now I enjoy writing postcards for friends, and letters for loved ones. But one foggy day, I discovered two articles that changed my mind about blogging, and writing.
This is the first article I read: https://taylorpearson.me/should-i-start-a-blog/
This is the second article I read: https://sites.google.com/site/steveyegge2/you-should-write-blogs
They both touch on how writing can clarify your thoughts. I think that’s a good thing. I definitely want clearer thoughts. Knowing that every week you want to write something interesting also makes you think about the world in a more interesting way. Unless … your goal is to write something completely boring and ordinary.
The second article touched on how maybe one day I might write something that the author would love to read about. And that singular possibility means that I should definitely write a blog. And that you should too! If you want to be convinced, he does a good job of going through a list of excuses and debunking them 😉
It’s all too easy to judge our experiences as “ordinary” when it’s extraordinary (not extra ordinary… ha.) to someone else (one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The grass is always greener on the other side. The man who realizes he has enough is truly rich. So many of these aphorisms only talk about men. Jeez.) What would it feel like to be a movie star? Well, to a movie star it would feel normal; to us, we’d probably poop our pants every time we got in front of the camera.
I thought it was funny how I randomly happened upon both of these articles in the span of a few days. It felt like a sign from . . . god? Writing has a purpose for me now, to give a bit more oomph to the quality of my thoughts. Make them more real. And maybe I’ll help some people in the process. It doesn’t matter if only one other person in the world reads what I write. This is just for me. And I’m happy you’ve come along for the ride 🙂