No Swan Song

There is an ancient belief that swans sing a beautiful song just before they die. Whether this is scientifically true or not does not matter, as “swan song” has become a metaphorical phrase or a poetic term that means giving a final gesture or performance before saying goodbye.

A few weeks ago, I thought of ending it. Not my life, silly. I meant this blog.

After 7 years and 7 months of blogging, and after writing more than 700 posts, I just thought it was time for me to sing my swan song.

It is not that I have declining readership. In fact, last month was the most successful month with regards to number of visits, ever since the inception of this blog. It’s not also that I am losing my fire to write nor I am running out of ideas. On the contrary, my desire to write burns intensely as ever, and my ideas of what to write overflows from my brain like a bad bout of diarrhea.

But it might be those same reasons that I considered ending this blog. Seeing that my readership and followers are constantly increasing, I have this almost compelling urge to check my blog stats to see if I could break my previous stat records. Maybe I can get another 100 or 1000 more visits a day? Or maybe I can get another 100 new followers or more? I also experience intense anticipation of how many “likes” could I have on my new post or the next one. The craving to get more, more, and more.

I have not earned a single cent from blogging anyway, and I made that conscious decision to be that way. No sponsors, no ads. So that’s not even the issue.

Don’t get the idea that I am one of those elite bloggers who have a gazillion readers and followers. I’m not even close to that category.

Desiring to have a busy blog traffic and getting people to “like” your articles can be good, but it can wear you down as well. Like a bad itch or addiction. Plus the persistent pressure to outperform myself and the constant pursuit to please. Writing should de-stress me, not stress me out.

And that’s the reason, I thought I should end this blog. At least I am ending it on my own terms.

However, as I was writing my swan song, I realized that I still enjoy writing. Never mind if hundreds of people are reading my articles or it’s just me. Never mind if several readers push the “like” button or none. I don’t need to write for the approval of others. Never mind if my last post was a week ago or a month ago. No pressure.

I came back to the realization of my basic reason why I started this blog. I blog because I want to and for the simple joy of writing. Nothing else.

I guess my swan song article will remain unpublished. Together with some other 18 or so unpublished posts that will remain in my draft bin.

Swan song anyway, is just a myth.

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(*photo taken in Boston Common)

 

Seven Years

Seven years ago:

1. The original iPad was introduced by Apple. This revolutionized our use of tablet computers.

2. The tallest man-made structure, Burj Khalifa in Dubai was officially opened. It remains the tallest building to this day.

3. The XXI winter Olympics was held in Vancouver, Canada. One of the highlights was Canada beat USA for the gold medal, in an overtime game, in men’s ice hockey.

4. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake occured in Haiti, devastating the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince. With a confirmed death toll of over 316,000, it is the seventh deadliest on record.

5. Toy Story 3 was the top grossing movie of the year. It earned more than $1 Billion worldwide.

6. The commercial space flight project SpaceX successfully launched its Dragon capsule. This became the first privately created spacecraft to successfully return from low-Earth orbit.

7. The blog Pinoy Transplant In Iowa was launched. Though it is not as earth-shaking as the events I mentioned above, yet it is significant for me. This blog is still going strong.

I read in an article some time ago that the average life span of even a top blogsite is only 33.8 months. That is less than 3 years! It is also reported that the average life span of a blog is short, as 60-80% of bloggers abandon their blog within a month. I must be doing something right then.

I know we humans have a short attention span. We lose interest quite quickly. We may be engrossed in one thing today, but tomorrow we will be off to chase some other fancies.

Even in television shows, a TV series reports that most of the show even if they are a hit, last 4-5 seasons. After season 6 it is on a decline. And 7th year is like the zombie years. I hope that will not be the fate of this blog.

Last year, this blog site was visited more than 50,000 times, just like the year before. Though Philippines has most of the hits, with America a far second, this blog has been read in more than 130 countries. I am really humbled and grateful to all of you my readers (majority are not bloggers) who continue to visit this site.

I hope I can stay relevant, as I continue to blog away. I know I have not earned a single dollar from maintaining this site, and I intend to keep it that way, as your visits, likes and comments are enough to keep me going.

Again to all of you, thank you very much.

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I’m Back

After almost three weeks of absence, today I decided to end my self-imposed sabbatical from blogging.

I’m back!

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blogging after my Sunday morning run

Here’s what happened while I was out:

  1. The day I posted that I would take a break, I got a spike in my daily stats, and got more than 200 views that day, which is more than my average. I guess, some of you were concerned that I would be saying goodbye for good. To this I say thank you.
  2. This site still averaged more than 100 visits everyday despite having no new post for 18 days. I believe some of you are expectantly waiting for my return. Again, thank you.
  3. My older posts (even from few years back) have been viewed more since I took a break. I think many of you dug deeper into my storage chest, while waiting for a new post.
  4. I even had a few new followers to this blog since I took a break.
  5. Lastly, I learned I also miss writing and blogging, and I miss you all.

Here’s to another 72 months, and more, of blogging. Once again, thank you for your continued patronage.

Rest Mode

Consistency is arguably one of the key ingredients for success for any endeavor. That includes writing. After 72 months of continuous blogging, and after producing 610 posts, that amounts to at least 2 posts every week. Of course there’s no taskmaster that compels me to write, nor do I have a contract to keep. It is all self driven.

I also have not made even a single cent from keeping this blog, and in the contrary, I am even paying more, to ensure that this site is free of any advertising. So I keep this blog for the mere joy of writing and for self catharsis. But a greater satisfaction comes when I learn that my posts have made someone to smile, laugh, cry, be inspired, or even just read it. That is more than any money I can get.

For all my readers and followers, I thank you all for keeping this blog worthwhile. In the past several months, this site averages more than 150 visitors every day. For this I am humbled and grateful.

Rest and repose, however, is also an ingredient for success. This is why many organizations or business corporations hold retreats. It is not just optional, it is vital.

For this reason, I am going into self-imposed sabbatical in writing and blogging. I am not quitting. I am not abandoning ship. I am just taking a break to rest and reflect.

I hope that you still be here, when I come back from my blogging retreat. Again thank you very much.

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(photo taken with an iPhone)

Amazing Run: 6 Years of Blogging

After 6 years, almost 600 posts, and approaching 190,000 visits, this blog is going strong as ever. In fact, this last year, was my most successful year with regards to the number of visitors.

I know, this is not a race, but still, what an amazing run!

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Thank you for your continued support.

(*photo taken somewhere in Palawan, Philippines, on one of a featured site of the Amazing Race)

 

5 years of blogging

A few years ago, I started on a trip all by myself.

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Then, a few of you followed.

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Later on, several more joined in.

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An adventure that has taken me to sail back to where I came from.

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And to soar to places I thought I can only dreamed of.

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After 5 years, and after more than 500 posts, and more than 130,000 visits, I am still enjoying this ride.

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For all my readers, followers, and even for the chance passengers, thank you for joining me on this journey.

(*all photos taken with an iPhone)

 

 

From Where?

“It’s a small world after all.” 

That’s what the theme from a popular Disney ride attraction claims, which features different countries. Yet it is the internet that made that statement a reality.

We can now go to places that we never knew existed before, with a simple click of a mouse or a flick of a finger, even though how distant or remote that place be. Or we could also be seen and heard (or read) by someone from a place we never heard before, as we broadcast ourselves through the world-wide web.

A few days ago, I looked at my stats and the different countries of the readers who have visited my site. As I counted them, there were a total of 144 countries that have wandered (on purpose or not) in my blog site.

It is kind of humbling, considering that many of the articles I post were even written in my native tongue. Please forgive me, but I initially intend my site for Filipinos as my target audience, being an expatriate of the Philippines. But I do appreciate all of you (even those from Mars and other aliens) who stopped by.

For the past few days, there was one country that was a frequent guest. A country that I would say I know nothing about. Until now.

The country is Azerbaijan.

Unless you live in that country or live close to it, I am sure you don’t even know where to find it in a map. Just like me. Or maybe I am just bad with world geography.

But now I know where it is.

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photo from exploreazerbaijan.com

To my reader in Azerbaijan, I would like to thank you for visiting my humble abode. Are you a native of that country? Or maybe a Filipino expat? I would like to hear from you and learn more about your place.

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P.S. I have more hits from Azerbaijan than from China. Go figure.

Two years and counting

It is two years.

What has begun as for my own musing and amusement, has turned into 280 posts and obtained about 23,000 visits so far. I am both inspired and humbled that people like you (yes, you who is reading this right now) would stop and read my rambling discourses. For this, I sincerely thank you.

If I have caused even one person to smile, or laugh, or cry, or be inspired, or learn something, or see something from a different perspective, or just pause and reflect, then I believe that the existence of this blog has been worthwhile, and not just cluttering the shrinking cyberspace.

But wait. I have done all of that. In me.

Mission accomplished.