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)

 

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.

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)

 

 

Spellbound

My grade school teachers have taught me to mind my spelling. And over the years I would say that I became good at it, and I am particular that I don’t miss any misspelled words in my writings. My grammar may not be perfect (English is a second language to me), but my spelling is exemplary.

However, nowadays we have auto-correct and spell-check built-in in our computer programs, so it is not that hard to have a perfect spelling. Besides we are turned off reading an article if we see any misspelled words, and it is a poor reflection for the writer too.

But I have read a study from Cambridge University a few years ago that perfect spelling may not be that important to get our message across. In fact, according to the study, our brain can read jumbled words as long as the first and last letter are in the right place. Our brain interpret words not letter by letter, but by context. You don’t believe me?

I konw yuo’re cnotiniung to raed tihs aritcle and yuo’re now raednig jmubeld wrods. Preahps you cnanot beleive taht you are scnannig trhough tihs wtih esee, and undrestnading it wihtout mcuh prboelm too. It is qiute amzanig, rihgt?  Our brian can prefcetly decihper the msesage from this pargaraph even if it is a mses.

How can tihs mkae sesne wehn the wrods deos not mkae any sesne? I am not cetrain thoguh if tihs carzy phenmoneon is unviesral to all lagnuages. Waht if the wrtiten lagnuage deos not sepll wrods wtih letetrs, but uses chraatcers, lkie in Chniese? Deos any bdoy konw?

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I geuss spelilng may not be taht importnat afetr all. My taechres in elmenetray shcool will be upest wtih me, tleling you taht. But tihs is sceinitfcially porven. And myabe by now, I aslo mdae a beleievr out of you.

S1M1L4RLY Y0U C4N 4LS0 UND3RS7AND TH1S WI7H0UT EV3N TH1NK1NG 4B0UT 1T. SURP1S1NG H0W 0UR BR4IN W0RK5!

I am not syaing taht we sohuld not mnid our seplling anyomre wehn we wirte. I am jsut   prvoing a fcat on how our brian fnuctoin. So nxet time, dno’t feel so bad if you hvae wrods speelld incroretcly, lkie it is the end of the wrold. We can stlil udnersatnd you.

Hvae a graet day!

(*I have to turn off the auto-correct function in my computer to write this article.)

A Reason to Write

I know I mused in the past that I had not made any single cent yet in writing and blogging. Well, I am not expecting I will anyway. At least not for now. I don’t think I will be changing career anytime soon.

This morning in church, a relative of the lady that just passed away, who was dear to us, approached me. He read my blog about her late grandmother, and was very appreciative of it and thanked me in behalf of his family. He said it brought tears in his eyes while he was reading it.

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I also wanted them to know that it also brought tears in my eyes while I was writing that piece. And now it brought tears in my eyes, but joy in my heart to hear that my words mattered. I think this is more than anything I can be paid for.

This is the reason I write.

Creative Writing

It was 10 moons ago that I launched myself into the far-reaching space of blogosphere and it had been a wonderful journey so far. I have met people who are in different parts of the world, that I would never have the chance to meet except through the blogosphere. Again, my heartfelt thanks.

I don’t know what came upon me why all of a sudden I like to write (and blog). Perhaps the Muse of writing visited me while I was asleep one night and planted this inspiration bug in my brain.

Kiss of the Muse, 1859-60, by Paul Cezanne

Now I have all this crazy idea of things I should write about. Don’t be surprised if one of these days I will even write an ode to Periplaneta americana, or also known as the common cockroach. (Pati ipis imported pa sa Amerika!) And having my articles even published on a circulated national newspaper is beyond my childhood dreams.

During my school years, I was not fond of writing at all. I can spend a whole day drawing and doodling though, but not writing. I would be lying if I say that I like doing essays, book reports, term papers and thesis. I know I was not alone. And that’s why Recto is so popular among students who wanted to cut corners.

Which reminds me: if you invent a book report, is that considered creative writing?