I think, therefore I write. (我思,所以我写。)

Cogito ergo scribo

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Random thoughts on blogging

[Alert: super long and random post ahead.]

When i was in kindergarten, i collected stamps. Now i do not know where those stamps are anymore.

When i was in primary school, i collected nice letterhead and envelopes. Now those papers and envelopes are deep in my drawers and i use them to scribble notes.

When i was in high school, i learnt guitar for a year and now i do not know how to play it anymore. I was in the photography society (during those days with film camera) but now i don't even own a DSLR and do not take particularly good photos.

I had taken swimming classes before but i didn't complete the lessons and so i do not know how to swim even till today. I had attempted to learn cycling before but did not manage to pick it up and so i do not know how to cycle.

I am a fan of Peanuts cartoon and collect all kinds of Peanuts-related merchandises and books. My huge collection is still on display in three cupboards at my home but i have stopped collecting them and am thinking of giving them away (except the books).

So, i am not a person who keeps to a hobby for very long, well, at least not for life. I seem to get tired of doing something repeatedly after a while, and of course some can say that this is a lack of perseverance in my character. Maybe, even though the same does not seem to be applicable to the way i approach my study, work and past love life.

Anyway, besides being a Peanuts collector, another thing i have not given up (yet) for years is blogging. That is actually quite unexpected.

I started this blog back in year 2005 and i have written several times about why i started blogging and why i continue to do so even though i've considered stopping it. I am not gonna repeat them here, and i would not discount the possibility that i would indeed just stop it altogether, or i may just close this down and open up another one without anyone knowing, or just switch the blog permission to private and restrict it only to my friends.

After all, now blogging is just something i do for... passing time? Hobby? Fun? Entertainment? Seriously, i do not know for sure what it is for anymore.

But i do know what is is NOT - it is not an obligation. If one day i start to feel that blogging is such a drag, or it adds to my unhappiness, then it is time to abandon it. Unlike those famous bloggers who do blogging for a living, or get income and endorsements from their blogs, i do not really get anything material out of it. I did not even bother to add Google AdSense onto it even though it is just a few simple clicks to add it to the blog template. So i should at least not get something negative from it.

The first few years when i started blogging were quite fun. At that time, this online activity became more and more popular in Malaysia. Led by a few prominent bloggers, the blogger community was really active. We even made Christmas and Chinese New Year songs together before, and i befriended a couple of them too though we never met in persons.

Now, if we put aside those blogs with a purpose or for generating income (such as those about politics, technology, food, travels, etc.), many of the bloggers from those days have stopped blogging since years ago. Even those who were very prominent then have been quite lax in updating their blogs and their readerships have also fallen greatly (based on the number of comments they got from their posts). In fact, i have also stopped reading the blogs that i used to follow too. Instead, i follow some famous YouTubers now.

Yes, what have become popular now are FB and YouTube. Blogging is still a popular, if not essential, social media on the Web. Yet, normally majority of the casual social bloggers would not last very long, especially those who write random content about their personal lives unless you are a celebrity.

The thing is this - people need motivation to continue doing something. The motivation can be anything, whether it is money, recognition, joy, hope, anticipation of those, or whatever that floats your boat. We gotta get something positive out of the thing we do, or at least have the hope that we will get it eventually, in order to sustain it. If all we get are just miseries, then we won't be able to last long - of course unless you are into the S&M thingy, then it is another topic altogether.

Once, i got myself into a little bit of trouble because i wrote something about a volunteering work and, unbeknownst to me, i was supposed to keep absolutely hush-hush about it. That incident actually served as a negative reinforcement for me and for a second i thought about quitting this blog. I wrote about it and why i still continued on with blogging in this post.

Casual bloggers do not really get much sustainable motivation from their blogs. What normally motivate us are our friends who read our blogs and the interest in writing. Well, at least it is so for me.

FB may be a place to post updates about my life, but i do not normally write deep and long thoughts there. It is actually not really a platform meant for such purpose anyway (despite the Notes feature). Only a selected few who know me in person know about this blog; those are close friends whom i want them to know about some of my inner thoughts and who know me so well and understand that what i put on my blog is simply a tiny glimpse, and sometimes somewhat distorted persona, of the real me. Sometimes during gathering with those close friends, we would talk about what i wrote on my blog and even the comments from some unknown readers. This can be a motivation for me to continue writing.

As for the other FB friends, this blog is to be kept away from them, as they are just casual acquaintances whom i do not want them to really know about my deep thoughts or my pain from the past.

You may be asking: why make this blog public and open myself up to the people whom i do not know then? Well, the reason may be contradicting and hard to grasp.

You see, i do write about stuff that i want random people to read about, and i do want more people to read my writing. Yet, the unknown readers are random strangers, and strangers do not matter to me and do not affect my real life. They can read about what i choose to share here on my blog and form an opinion of me, but those opinions do not really matter because, well, they are strangers.

So, what really prompted this long rambling this time 'round?

Over these few weeks, sometimes when i received emails from Blogger on the comments, i got this question popped up in my head, "since when did i step on someone's toe?" (“诶,我是招谁惹谁了啊?”).

I seldom reply comments, as sometimes i forget after reading the comments in my emails instead of on my blog, or i intend to write about it in future post, or i simply couldn't be bothered. If someone is to throw pies at me through the blog comments, well, i do not really get dirty in real person and hence the more i do not bother to retort.

I don't do cyber spat, as it is a waste of time and energy (even though i have a lot of both now while idling at home). Sometimes certain remarks and words can be a sore to the eyes and incite an immediate feeling of indignation, but there is a reason for the birth of the abbreviation "DNFTT" (do google for it if you do not know what it is).

Even though i can come up with hundreds of responses to counter the remarks and may even almost want to do so on impulse, what i eventually really did was just a snicker, a shrug and a soft utterance to myself, "whatever". I am not gonna respond to each and every single spiteful comment in order to explain myself to a random stranger. What i am doing now is really just a single one-off response here.

I have an analogy here, a bad one perhaps. You go to a restaurant and everything there is bad - the food is awful, the service is horrendous and the prices is exorbitant. Would you choose not to go there anymore for the rest of your life, or would you still continue patronising it and then complain about it every single time?

You know, you do have a choice and freedom not to read the crap i write, as much as you have a choice and freedom to continue commenting, and as much as i have a choice and freedom to do whatever i want with my blog. The bottom line is this - this is my space and i can do whatever i want, whenever i want it. For all you know, i can even just publish a post with a single sentence that means nothing, and that is still my blog and the way i like it.


Year 2005 was explosive year of blogging, indeed many famous bloggers sprung up during that time. It's really hurtful and disgusting to have own chamber of thought nobly share to other readers being hijacked to incite, provoke insensitively. Words, words, mere words? Just because being accessible to public does not make it opens to criticism, especially unsolicited and unaffect to others livelihood. Respect others as being respected.

Pinpin, please don't be discouraged to stop writing. Write when you feel to write, to share experience and insights you wanted to share. And you are right this is certainly not obligation, you are not to entertain and it is your readers who are the ones enjoy your writing. Do keep that in mind, gal.

By the way, you shouldn't have stopped playing guitar. If you keep practicing, play the song you like and if possible compose songs with simple chords, you would be less moody. Let me guess, you shelved the guitar, hence does not have the itch of it. If only you let it on sight ... I'm actually a learner (at very beginner's level), too bad that work and procrastination got into their way .. Excuse huh :)

Stay positive pinpin.don't write if you are in foul mood, it frames the ugliness instead of your true character. Wish you happiness and success in upcoming career, oh first, your newly signed up course. Cheers :) -hy-

Share your cogitation

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 @ 3:19 am: Farewell gifts
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 3:13 am: Upgraded
Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 4:46 am: Power Searching with Google
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 5:26 am: Second wave of change
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 4:59 am: MAB Charity Treasure Hunt - KL to Melaka
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 @ 7:15 am: Treasure Hunt - KL to Muar
Friday, September 14, 2012 @ 11:35 pm: Going to KL
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 5:43 am: Another new toy
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 2:16 am: In SG again
Saturday, September 01, 2012 @ 3:47 am: The day again