The first time I got to know about blog space was about 14 years ago – when Friendster was still around. At that time, I used Friendster for selling stuff. From Friendster, I moved to Blogspot and tried a few other platforms before I finally landed on WordPress.com (not self-hosted yet). So, my initial purpose for setting up a blog was not for writing or sharing experiences but for selling stuff. But, I think I set up one blog before for writing purpose on wordpress.com. It just that I can’t find it anymore now.
Then around year 2010-2011, after I and my family got to travel more often, I got the idea to set up another blog so that I and my family can share our experiences and photos on the platform together for more people to see. Our plan was I would write in English and my Brother-in-law would write in Mandarin. Unfortunately, because we couldn’t find the right way to maintain it, in the end, we didn’t realize the plan.
Why I Blog?
Not long after the idea of setting a blog for family sharing came up, I bought a domain peekholidays.com. Because the initial intention was not for a personal blog, so, I chose a domain name that is not too personal. I explained here why I chose Peek Holidays. Since the plan wasn’t realized and I had already bought the domain and hosting, so, I thought I might as well try to do something with it. And that’s how I got started and here are the reasons why I am still doing it.
#1 Practice Writing
My first language is not English but Indonesian. I started peekholidays.com when I was still living in Singapore where English is widely used beside Mandarin. I tried to find ways to practice the language more and I thought writing would be a good idea. So, I started to write and share travel photos since then without thinking too much about who would read it – besides my siblings – my first few readers.
Grammar mistakes and spelling errors were inevitable. No grammar or spell check tools yet or someone to correct my writing, so, I just published it every time after I wrote it. You see, from writing a post that was only a caption long on Friendster, Facebook, then I moved to write on a blog that contains a minimum five hundred words on each article, it is clearly a big step for me. It was a true pain in the beginning but after so many years, I think I am getting better already. Read, learn, write, publish, and repeat – my secret recipe.
” If practice one time is not enough, then practice two times. If it is still not enough, then practice more. You eventually can do it. “
#2 Offload Thoughts
Tons of stuff were crossing my mind and sometimes I couldn’t control them. Not seldom, I couldn’t sleep well because I can feel that my brain is still spinning so actively even when I sleep. I wish I could make them stop somehow or at least pause them for a while. Especially after meeting people and having a discussion, or attending certain events, or reading some articles, I have that tendency to absorb the information and store that in my mind, with or without I realize. Those thoughts could be something that I find interesting or matters that I think it should be made known to more people or even it could be something that I don’t really agree with.
I find that by sharing the thoughts out helps to offload my mind burden. I used to have a diary or a notebook where I could randomly write down the things crossed in my mind. I usually keep those thoughts to myself unless I think I meet the right people whom I can share that with – which is hard to come across one most of the times. So, by sharing it up on the blog, I will not only offload it but also getting the right people to read it up willingly. A win-win, I think.
#3 Reach More People
” With all the social media channels available nowadays, aren’t they enough? “
I am certain that one of the advantages of having a blog is the ability to reach out to more people outside of our circle of friends. Once our blog is put up there, anyone can access and when people use search engines to browse for a particular topic and if our blog is related to it, our blog will appear in the search result even though that person who browses is not our friend! In my opinion, a blog is like an online diary, minus the privacy because it is publicly available for others to access.
By having a blog also means that we have the liberty to pen down topics that interest us. It is our own space. We can use it to share particular good causes, hobbies, or anything under the sun. The number of people searching for information online has multiplied many times nowadays. Use the privilege well, we will not only be helping people to obtain the information they need but we are also opening up ourselves for new opportunities to come. Although not many, Peek Holidays has landed me with opportunities that I would never think I would have if I never start blogging.
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When I started Peek Holidays, I didn’t plan to take it more than just a personal online diary. However, I can say that my turning point was after I joined Travel Blogger Indonesia, I decided to maintain this blog seriously. I no longer taking writing on my blog and sharing it as my personal affair anymore but rather as a platform, a tool, for me to be able to reach a bigger audience. To spread the words about loving nature, to show what Indonesia has to offer, plus, knowing that I can contribute in supporting good causes, and helping businesses to thrive in some ways, make an impact, are enough to keep me stay motivated in blogging until today.
I realize that I am better at writing than speaking. Many times in a prompt discussion, to finally deliver the points I want to say, unintentionally, I will make a big round full of words, mumbling everything related that crosses in my mind before I finally come to a conclusion. To those who ever had a discussion with me, they should be quite familiar with this situation already. Hehe…
However, it happens differently when it comes to writing – I can eliminate the unnecessary part and just deliver the conclusion, faster and clearer, no merry go round. Be it a betterment in writing or speaking, it is a lifelong process of learning, I think. We shall not stop learning. At least, I have started.
So, ever thought of starting a blog as well? If you already have one, what motivates you to keep on going?