I started reading and writing at a fairly young age. My parents had a small children’s books business which provided me with easy access to fiction books. Unlike other children who had to buy storybooks at schools’ bookfairs, we had a room with shelves along all walls stocked with the latest books. I read widely. We couldn’t afford many holidays hence reading gave me the opportunity to explore countries and cultures different from mine. To me at least, it was extremely cool to be seen carrying books around.
Do you remember any of these?
As I read more, I became interested in writing. I wasn’t topping the class in composition writing, but I enjoyed those assignments. At the age of eight I started keeping a personal diary. It was a secret I kept from everyone as I didn’t want anyone to know my thoughts and feelings (sadness, happiness, nervousness etc). I have always found expressing my thoughts verbally challenging as a child and so I started writing.
Now I blog on a regular basis for various reasons.
1. I want to be better at writing. If I don’t put my thoughts into words, my writing will never improve. Writing is just like working out. Without “working out” regularly, fats will continue to linger on the hips and I won’t be gaining any muscles. It is only with regular “training” that I will get stronger and better at it. If only I actually workout at the gym…
2. Be connected to people back home. Despite having FaceTime, WhatsApp and Facebook, I can’t remember when it was the last time I’ve spoken to anyone back home. Everyone is busy with their own life and I cannot expect people to be there when I want them to. While some might think I blog about every single insignificant thing possible, that’s my way of letting people know I’m alright and safe. With a blog, family and friends can “catch up” on what’s going on when they want to (or even interested) at their own time, own pace.
3. To help and be helped. Unless you’ve lived in a foreign land before without even the basic vocabulary to communicate, you wouldn’t know how helpless one can feel at times. Fortunately for me, there are always nice people who chance upon my blog to leave me valuable tips. I’m a busybody by nature so I try as much as possible to be helpful too. Be it a restaurant review, places to visit, how to house hunt etc, I try to share my experience as much as possible so that fellow expats have an idea of how things are done here. My experience isn’t necessarily THE way things are done here, but I believe people are searching for different opinions hoping to learn from others.
4. Marketing myself. How much does a CV say about a person? Not much, I reckon. I hope that blogging will open doors for me and also paint a better picture of who I am to potential clients. That doesn’t mean I “pretend” to be someone else. On the contrary, I write what I think without the singlish (as much as possible).
5. Sing me praises! I would be lying if I said I don’t like attention. Why would this blog be in the public sphere if I don’t like POSITIVE attention, right? Let’s be honest. Every time I get a new follower and like, I feel like I’ve been awarded a Golden Horse Award (a Chinese Film Festival award…not quite an Oscars, but still very prestigious!). Blogging openly also means subjecting myself to criticisms and many times, sarcasm. Criticisms don’t hurt me (unless it’s from my husband…but he never does it anyway). I believe that to get better at anything, constructive criticism is essential. Sarcasms are just great anyway. A major reason why I love the Brits because they are probably the most sarcastic race on earth and I’ve learnt a fair bit myself to laugh it off. I just have to consistently remind myself that sarcasm isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. In short, I’m thick-skinned. For those of you already blogging and have plenty of experience, I’m sure you’d agree that we should focus on the positives and not let the negative comments get us down.
Why do you blog?