A post reminiscing about the past should begin (fittingly) with recalling the post I was going to write for the ninth anniversary of this blog.
It never got written. (Incidentally, neither did the 8th).
And, further back.. the 1 year anniversary post of this blog?
It was 1 line.
At the half-way mark to this anniversary, I noted that I was at post #675. 5 years later, this is post #771. Barely 20 posts/year from what used to be ~70 posts/year. I actually made note of needing to work on this post back in August 1. Drafting began in September. And here it is, finally published at the end of October. Yep, I spent a month-plus on this anniversary post.
How many will read it? I wonder.2
In the decade since I started this space, “my blogosphere” has mostly disappeared. Heck, in the larger web, blogging has gone from cool to overkill to dead to a (sort-of) renaissance. My own community originally grew out of all the sites I found to try to pull readers to my own blog. There was the Blogger ‘random blog’ button. There were the blog-traffic sites where you submitted your URL and then “stumble” onto other blogs.. all so that other bloggers then stumble onto your own3. My link-list organically grew out of this internet — where people seemed to mostly go off in discovery mode. The “social” internet we know today barely existed.. discovery today is basically 10 people on your Facebook or Twitter feed linking to particular sites. The term ‘blogging’ itself was a catch-all for a bunch of internet-related activities — link sharing, commentary, long-form writing, editorials, what-have-you. The web has since supposedly “evolved” to having more focused tools for each of the above. Each of which then enables easier, more broadcast-able access to a (closed) community. I guess one could say that the blog itself has evolved, in its own way4.
Anyway, back to the future. When I started out on Blogger in 2004, it was literally a random exercise in writing. I had no idea if I could fill a blank page with random thoughts and musings. No idea if I could do it everyday. I’d spent a significant chunk of my college and school years writing in class, at home, anywhere. Sure, the stories never always made sense (in truth, some of them are pretty psychedelic reads when I go back to them today). But I’ve always enjoyed wordplay. My little attempt to push the envelope. Think about structure and story, with imagination5.
I had the time to blog. I decided to find out.
Starting out, one of my more distinct memories is of sitting in a bus stop on my way home, furiously scribbling a bunch of thoughts down on paper.. which I later transcribed (talk about passionate, I guess). Then, of course, the adrenaline rush of having 3/4/10 different people comment on a post.. and getting these completely unexpected interpretations based on what I penned. All said, though, I never did think my writing would evolve into this space. Arbit observations. Personal memoirs. Notes about things that strike me. Reviews. Philosophical frustration. And some fiction. It is actually a space that I revisit now and then, just to remember.
The 10 years of this blog’s existence incidentally signifies one other event: a decade since I left India for shores abroad.
10 frickin’ years.
So many things have happened in this time (expectedly, it is 10 years after all). Places visited, friends met, relationships established, and so much, much more. I’ve gone from student to trying-to-figure-my way to PhD to an actual researcher. From single to married to having a kid6. Rediscovered so many facets of my youth that I didn’t know were ensconced in my memory. So many different houses I’ve lived at, culminating in my current one.. which I can call ‘my home’.
From Blogger to FortuneCity to self-hosted WordPress to WordPress.com 🙂
So I can’t really come up with a reasonable summary in how much life has changed.. in, well, the most changeable part of life. Big surprise.
So what then for the next 10? Dare I think of a “next 10”? Will my (apparently) ever-filling schedule allow me to make the time to come back here and pen something that I can look back on to commemorate 20 years of this blog? I want to say ‘Yes’, but the recent past makes me… wonder. I’ve even gotten bored with writing posts lamenting my lack of posting. I’ve tried a bunch of different “post-types” to try to ensure a regular schedule. I’ve tried the weekly challenge here at WordPress.com. Kinda, sorta.. out of ideas.
But then… based on the time I’ve taken in crafting this post, it doesn’t feel like I’m ready to say goodbye. Or farewell, for that matter.
I wonder if I can think of a way to rejuvenate this space. Keep it alive.
To riff on Doctor Who, I guess its time to say something I never did say to this blog. Or to whatever audience this blog has.
- At which time I realized that Greatbong and I started blogging within months of each other. And to be completely honest, it’s pretty amazing that he has actually taken it to the next level (books, public writing etc.). Lets not talk about what mine has become, mmmkay?7. ↩
- To be honest, if I was doing this for the readership, I would have shut shop a while ago. But to be fair, the long gaps between posts probably made my readership think it was over. Until, y’know, posts like this. Out of nowhere. ↩
- Yeah, I can’t believe I used to have the time to do such things either. ↩
- Example: Svtble and Medium. Also closed. ↩
- The auld saying goes ‘There is a book in all of us’. I have no idea when my book will actually get written and whether I’ll ever publish it. But it’s something that’s been on my list for a long time. Someday. ↩
- A kid who will probably find this space one day. I wonder what she will think. ↩
- I was doing these manually with a little HTML snippets = pain. in. the. butt. Discovered Markdown support on WordPress.com, and here we are! Really need to keep up with WP developments on these sort of things more closely :) ↩