This blog has been alive for 10 years now. 120 months. 3650 days. That’s a looong time, but to me it feels even longer – given the major life milestones that have occurred in the last decade.
It all started on 2nd June 2006, when I published my first blog post – a simple collection of pictures, taken from my phone. Things progressed, both visually and in writing, and I reflected on the journey five years later with this post.
The last five years
Now, five years after that milestone, I sit here feeling frustrated at my lack of output of late. I mean, in terms of blogging, 2011 and 2012 – even 2013 – were still relatively productive years – primarily driven by the inspirations of my Hajj journey. But after that fizzled out, life took over and posts have been few and far between. I barely bother to post picture collections much anymore – the type of post which I still enjoy compiling, yet doesn’t require my write brain (<- pun intended) to engage in effort.
Primarily, I think the lack of time has been due to the demands of life. With our second child arriving in that period, plus a more demanding working environment (one that actually engages my brain more than the job I was stagnant in for nearly 5 years), and a much bigger burden of life admin (finances, house, etc).
But I’ve kind of settled now, and find myself frequently having stretches of free time. Unfortunately, though, the desire to do something meaningful – for this blog – is rare.
I feel like the creative side of me is now extinct. Such expressions are non-existent. The best I can do, from time to time, is let out reflections on significant experiences that occur in my life – like Ramadan (2014 and 2015), longing for Hajj, death, the loss of a beloved teacher, and big birthdays.
I wish I could write poetry – like I did in the early years of this blog. But there’s nothing there. Or at least, nothing bubbling to the surface and gushing forth – like it did before.
New book in progress
One thing that has brought me excitement, though, is a new compilation I’m working on. It’s a collection of my most meaningful creative works over the last decade or so – incorporating poetry, written reflections, and possibly some photography. Many of the pieces include some background info or commentary, giving the reader a bit more insight into the words which – I hope – have made a positive impact on others who have come across this blog.
It’s been in the works since January this year, and I’m still quite a way off completion, so hopefully by year-end it will be ready. I previously published my Hajj Chronicles as an e-book via this blog, and this new book will probably go the same route: free, and available here.
I could go the route of trying to get it published in print, and also distributed electronically via sites like Amazon, Smashwords, etc – but I really don’t feel like going through all that effort just to get it officially published. In my mind, the point of the entire exercise is to share something beneficial with others, and going through this blog is the easiest way to do that – though I know my audience reach will be very, very limited.
But we’ll see what happens. If any of you are in the publishing field and would like to assist, please contact me to discuss it further.
Thank you, dear reader
Whether this blog will survive another five or ten years, I have no idea. I fully intend to keep it alive, God-willing, but whether my inputs will increase or dry up even more – I don’t know.
What I do want to say, though, is a big thank you to all of you who stop by here from time to time. I hope that the stuff I post here is at least interesting to you, and beneficial in some small way. And I especially appreciate when you leave comments, because it gives me some indication of what you think of my work…so please keep those comments coming.
I won’t use the cliché that I write / publish only for my audience – because that would be a lie. I write for myself. I write as a means of expressing what’s inside. It’s cathartic.
But over these ten years, I’ve been pleased to find that my writings have actually resonated with others, and had an impact on them.
And to me, that’s been the most amazing thing about blogging. That technology now gives a public voice to anyone that cares to share their stuff on the Internet. Reaching others is no longer restricted to the chosen few who can get book deals (for writers), or exhibitions (for artists).
The opportunities are available to everyone. And it’s free. And you can reach people in every corner of the world.
So I encourage all of you who aren’t blogging yet, but feel the need to express yourself, to take the leap into this world. The fickleness and superficiality of social media can never provide the depth and satisfaction that this platform offers.