Remembering Why I Blog

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Remembering Why I Blog

Thank you to Hayley at Mission: Mindfulness for nominating me for a Blogger Recognition Award!

The rules are simple. Thank the blogger who nominated you. Done. Write a post about the award. In progress. Give a brief story of how the blog started. Read on. Give advice to new bloggers. Watch this space. Select 15 people to nominate (do I know 15 bloggers? Scroll down to find out). Comment on their blogs to let them know.

Recognition Award

How My Blog Got Started
 
Two years ago I had a one-year-old monster (I mean little boy). I had recently returned to teaching part-time. I taught EFL at a university in West Tokyo two mornings a week.

The university was one I’d worked at the summer before I was pregnant. Before my son was born, I taught at several unis in the greater Tokyo area. After my son turned one, I started to feel the itch to reclaim something for myself. The job opportunity came up, so I decided to take it. I only stayed for one year (but that’s another story) and I still worry my MA in Applied Linguistics is going to waste.

It was also around this time that I started a new blog; I called it Life in the Key of E (my son’s name is Euan). I had blogged in around 2004-2011 (I was most active in around 2005-6). You can find my old blog here: Fearfully Made.

The desire to write and blog never went away. But I had some demons to exorcise before I could reclaim my voice.

I blogged less and less because life was busy. Facebook got popular around that time too; I could connect with people back home through that. And also because a former colleague had read something and got upset by what I said and I got spooked. I didn’t know colleagues were reading; I got super paranoid about it. At my new workplace, there were unkind things said about someone else who kept a blog. I didn’t want anyone talking about me behind my back.

I still struggle with the thought that people are reading and judging what I write. But I’m learning to care less. There will always be people who judge, but their opinions are not relevant. Blogging allows you to connect with like-minded individuals. The opportunity to encourage or even inspire others is more important than what a few small-minded people think.

But I digress. I wanted a creative outlet again, and I started Life in the Key of E.

To be honest, I struggled. I had forgotten how to write a blog. The online world had changed a lot. Now there were all these “experts” telling you how to blog and what you should or shouldn’t write. I also realised that I didn’t enjoy teaching any more, so the promise of making a living online was appealing to me.

I got lost trying to figure out my niche and worrying about SEO or affiliate marketing. I didn’t like what I saw regarding online marketing though. Making money online felt sleazy and beyond me. But I still wanted to write.

I was aware that I needed to hone my writing skills. I set myself the challenge of getting guest post opportunities. I tried to get published on websites that would pay for my writing too (My Writing). Everything was going well, but then my son stopped napping during the day. My daily writing time vanished.

Anyway, somewhere along the line, I changed my URL to Kamsin Kaneko. I toyed with a few name changes. The blog almost became The Slow Path, but now it is Journey Essentials with Kamsin Kaneko. I developed some themes about which to write. I wanted to write about my daily life with a small boy in a foreign country. I also wanted to write more about my journey to be more mindful and to become a peaceful parent. And last but not least I wanted to write about my journey as a writer.

Somewhere along the line, I had forgotten why writing and words matter. I forgot to connect with people. I forgot about building relationships with other bloggers. I forgot about the social part of social media. (Side note: I’m an introvert and HSP and although I love people too much social anything can be overwhelming for me.)

Then I reached back in my memory to 2005. I remembered linkys. That’s where the blogging fun has always been. I started joining several each week.

Then I got tagged for this blogger recognition award. And I’d totally forgotten just how much fun this kind of thing is!
 
Two Pieces of Advice to New Bloggers

1. Don’t worry about what anyone else says, or what they are doing. Write about whatever is in your heart and mind that needs to be expressed. If other people don’t like it or don’t get it then too bad for them.

Work on your craft as a blogger. Tools like Grammarly or Hemingway App can help to make your writing clear and easy for other people to read. But don’t let anyone else censor you or tell you what you should or shouldn’t write about.

Be true to yourself, and you will connect with like-minded people who will want to read what you have to say.

2. As an HSP all the social media stuff can get overwhelming to me. I’m not great with Twitter; I do the bare minimum, so people don’t think I’m rude. I can only manage so many linkys before I get lost in comments and reading other people’s blogs. I love Instagram, but I don’t do it every day. My Facebook page is woefully neglected most of the time. Social media is fantastic, but it can all get to be too much.

My advice is not to get lost in all the extras that social media seems to ask of us. Don’t try to do it all. When I get on linkys or Instagram or Twitter, I no longer try to read it all or respond to it all. Instead, I remember why I am there. I want to find other people who I relate to. I scan the photos and the titles looking for people who seem to have a similar worldview to me.

Blogging can help you become a better person, and the community is a big part of that. Finding other people who connect to your message gives you a reason to write. I started because I had a creative itch that needed scratching. But there’s so much more than that. Your words might be exactly what someone else needs to hear.

BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD: RULES

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

2. Write a post to show your award.

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

I am tagging:

Jo’s Writing Space

Muddled Manuscript

Marija Smits

And anyone else from the old What I’m Writing Community that wants to play along. If I have time before I hit post, I’ll come back and link to some more of you!

What My Fridge Says

Biride by the Sea

Rhyming with Wine

Life Love and Dirty Dishes

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  • Lisa Pomerantz

    Mazel Tov and congrats! Bravo for remembering why you started, and reigniting the fire! #thesatsesh xoxo

  • Sumra Hassan

    Congrats to you! Love this award. #thesatsesh

  • Lucy Fisher

    #thesatsesh wohoo what a lovely blog and totes excited that you have nominated me 🙂 going back to our core is essential at times to our progression. As always I’m a huge fan of your little world in http format and feel richer for finding you and sharing your journey / challenges and triumphant moments.

  • Mindful Mummy Mission

    LOVE how you have approached this post – it’s a beautifully crafted ‘tag’ post with lots of wise words. Thank you for doing it. It was really nice finding out a bit more about you and what a seasoned blogger you are! I totally get what you mean about how the ‘add ons’ can be overwhelming – I am very sporadic on social media too! #thesatsesh xx