7 Oct 2010

Hundred Reasons

La Baguette Magique has just about got over its first birthday celebration, that a second landmark has crept up on us (not that we weren't prepared for it...). This very stepstone is also a very symbolic number - one hundred. Indeed this is our 100th post and I cannot help but smile while I am lolling back in my chair with some feeling of contentment.

When I started La Baguette Magique, I wisely had a couple of months' worth of written material already typed up. I was confident that I would be able to 'figure out' more stories to give this blog some due credit and lend it some mileage down the timeline, but I was secretly doubting whether I would be able to reach the 50th post without writer's block or some sort of disillusion. In truth I had fear: fear of the unknown, of not being up to the project and/ or getting bored with it, fear of not getting an audience and/ or disappointing them at some point... 

Things evolved from the original mindset, and this for a multitude of reasons that bloggers of the world will have experienced at some stage. First of all, I built up confidence with time and surprised myself at cultivating inspiration in the most improbable ways, be it while on errands, flicking through a magazine, chatting to a friend, taking photos, rummaging through a box of souvenirs...

Then there is no denying that life catches up with you - we're only human after all! - and takes your blog project off track for a while, be it with a new baby, redundancy or personal problems. In my case, I moved abroad and La Baguette Magique was forced to take a back seat for 4 months, despite me. Life emulates art and the journey of a personal blog is part and parcel of life's ups and downs...

If I were to give out some sort of advice borne out of my (modest) blogging experience, there it would be. In order for your blog to come out right, you need to realise that you have to be selfish (what a dreadful word!). As weird as it may sound, you need to write for you. Let me explain. A blog is a work-in-progress labour of love, and unless you are talking about topics/ things/ people that mean to you, you are kidding yourself and your audience will soon realise they are being duped, and then move on at a click of a mouse to the next best thing... In this respect I have always been honest with myself and my readership about what I talk about, and I have built in confidence my own approach and style. You see, why would I invent some sort of busy-PR-cool-cat-living-off-Portobello character when this is just not true. I believe that staying true to yourself and what you know, what you live, what you experience, gives you the distance and focus.

Blog standards out there are knee-shakingly high, some have reached cult status and showcase high levels of creative talent I am so admirative of. My blogroll is only a tiny sample of the talent out there and I invite you to browse through it at your leisure for further inspiration. Keeping abreast of the blogging community at large, and observing the trends emerging and gaining momentum, have helped me to benchmark my own narrative style and contents, identify areas for improvement, rebrand, perfect functionality and get down and dirty with HTML. Feeling part of the blogging community has certainly encouraged me to persevere when sometimes I felt like packing it in.

What I love about blogging is not just about writing, it is the whole package of starting a solo project from scratch and build on it at every single level: planning, researching, creative writing, editing, publishing, photography, SEO, networking, etc. [Eek easy Nat, your last name's not Wintour!] Hundreds of fun hours have been dedicated so far, and let me insist on the word 'fun'. I believe that the day you stop having fun on your blog is when you should call it a day and move on to something else. Believe in yourself and believe in your blog. If you don't believe in neither, how can you expect your public to believe? Remember that blogging is not a chore, it is about what you are passionate about, what makes you tick, what gets you out of bed in the morning, what gives you faith and fires you with positive energy.

I wouldn't go as far as saying that blogging has saved my life. However it has helped me ground my observations, look at things from different angles, and implement a thought process around other personal, more professionally-minded projects with a view to get them off the ground in the near future. Blogging has given me a digital identity, if you may, and a proactive part in social media.

Meanwhile thanks for reading, thanks for dropping by, thanks for your support. I am very interested to get the views of other fellow bloggers, so please feel free to leave your comments here.

Pict 1 Credit: Calling picture researchers... Sadly I am unable to authentify the above 'Imagine' illustration cut-out (part of my keepsake collection), so hopefully you might be able to help me. I've had it for the last 7 years or so, as a booklet cut-out believed to originate from either Manchester City Art Galleries or Cornerhouse Cinema... Any clues welcome!

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