What I learned from everyday blogging. #A2Z

What I learned from everyday blogging. #A2Z


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April was a hectic month thanks to the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I participated in a month-long blogging challenge three years ago (I think) and since then had decided to stay away from it. The thought of writing every day made me nervous, unsure as I was of my innovativeness!

But I decided to take the plunge this year as Metanoia was created last year and was, comparatively, new to the blogging world. It needed the attention a daily blogging activity could give it.

Thankfully, I came up with a theme and that made a lot of difference. I was prepared with the topics for almost all the letters, except V and X. But, thanks to my blogger friends, I could write on these, too!

Suffice to say, this challenge was not just nerve-wracking, but exciting and fulfilling, too. And, I am glad I chose to participate instead of giving in to my fears.

Blogging every day taught me quite a few things about myself. Of course, it did help me connect with some really wonderful bloggers, as well. And, we know how important that is for us all.

But –at the risk of sounding boastful–the stuff I discovered about myself makes my heart swell with pride! Sharing these with you all today; I am sure these will resonate with you if you, too, have participated in the A to Z.

Lessons I learned from blogging every day:

Writing is –after art– the most therapeutic activity I indulge in.  An activity that helps me stay sane amid the chaos that Life can often prove to be. The whole of last month there was a lot going on in Life. A LOT. But, it was only because of my writing that I stayed in one piece. Despite the hectic schedule of A to Z and the scene on the personal front, I enjoyed blogging every day!

I can write every day. Whether I am in the mood, or not. Whether I am prepared, or not. All I need to do is work on a topic, and then sit down in front of my laptop and begin to type. The fingers just dance on the keyboard!

Writing every day makes me feel good about myself. And, at the end of the day, it’s how I feel about myself that really matters! As I wrote every day and toiled every day, I actually felt good. Not every word may have made any sense, not every post may have turned out superb, but it made me feel proud of my writing. What more does a blogger want?

Writing on blogging helped me work on my skills.  Sharing tips with bloggers on different aspects of blogging gave me a chance to do my homework well. It gave me a chance to rectify the errors I made.  I learned something new every day.  So, yes, everyday blogging is definitely an enriching experience!

Expressing my thoughts in 500 words is now a blogging expertise!  Writing lengthy posts for A to Z ensures lesser visits. Ask me, I know! The last time I participated in the A to Z, I just let myself go.  My posts were so lengthy, I desisted from reading them myself! So, this year, I made sure my posts did not cross the 500-word mark. Phew!  it did take some ingenuity, but I managed.

So, there you go. This is what I learned from everyday blogging. And, despite being dog-tired and on a break to restore my peace of mind, I have been contemplating participating in the A to Z next year, too!

I have zeroed in on a couple of topics. All I need to do is work on them throughout this year so that I am readier next April!

How about you?

How was your experience blogging every day? Do you plan on participating next year, too?

Love,

SHILPA.

How everyday blogging helped me

 

Z – Zentangle — Meditation through art. #AtoZ

Z – Zentangle — Meditation through art. #AtoZ

 

Practicing mindfulness through art.Since some time now, practicing mindfulness, Yoga, and meditation have become the in-thing. In search of peace of mind, we turn to these for help. But, practicing meditation, as well as being mindful, can get rather difficult thanks to the thousand thoughts that swim in our minds, all day long.

Giving the mind a much-needed break becomes necessary, but looking for the tools that will help achieve that break can often lead to frustration. I mean, sitting in the lotus pose, with hands on the knees and eyes closed often gets you nowhere.

It is at such times that attempting an art form helps in finding that elusive focus. It was in 2016 that I discovered Zentangle. I would wonder about the name but it was only after practicing it that I understood the reason behind the name.

The few minutes when you are focused on making the drawing are the few minutes when your mind is oblivious to all that’s going on around you. However small or complicated the drawing may be, unbeknownst to you, it forces you to push out every thought from your mind and concentrate on the job at hand.

What you draw may not appear artistic, but the peace of mind you attain is something you revel in.

So, as always, I would suggest you pick up your pen–any pen– grab a notepad and get going! You may doodle, or draw a flower, or draw some pattern that mesmerises you as you make it. The choice is all yours.

There are no rules in Zentangle. You only need to remember to focus. 

Sharing with you a few drawings you could try making, especially if you think you were born without any artistic genes. For as Elizabeth Gilbert says in, ‘Big Magic’,

Everyone is a born artist, a creative being!

So, do away with the nervousness, the diffidence and just create some art. Let your mind guide your hand and provide you with the necessary motivation.

My friend Rajlakshmi Boruah inspired me to take up Zentangle. She shared this link to ‘Tangle Patterns’ to help with the designs. And, I am trying to inspire you, in return,  to let go of your inhibitions and learn some mindfulness techniques!

Wish you all the very best!

Happy creating!

 

Starting with the easiest doodles…just let your hand move of its own accord.

 

 

Zentangle X'Mas Tree

These were just some examples of how and what you can do. Basically, you can do whatever you wish. Just remember to focus!

Visit Tangle Designs for patterns and designs, or play around with whatever comes to your mind.

You only need to remember to…ENJOY!

Love,

SHILPA.

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learned, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

Y – Yeah Write. #AtoZ

Y – Yeah Write. #AtoZ

A to Z Blogging Challenge

I discovered YeahWrite at Shailaja’s blog some years ago. She had written a post for the YeahWrite Weekly Writing Challenges.

Her post was flawless, as all of her posts always are. The language, the grammar, the tone of the post — all of it.

On visiting YeahWrite, I found how they have weekly challenges for fiction, non-fiction, and micro-prose, where you write for the one you are comfortable with and then share it with them.

The YeahWrite community helps you cultivate your writing; helps you polish your craft by critiquing and feedback that focuses on the areas you need to work on.

The first post I wrote for one of the challenges, I received a lengthy ‘love letter’ from them. And, it contained a detailed feedback that showed me where I had made errors and where I had scored.

That was my first such post that had been actually critiqued instead of just appreciated in the comments section as always.

It did come as a shock to me when I realised where I stood. I mean, I needed to work a LOT as far as my writing was concerned. It embarrassed me no end –that love letter– and made me think things over.

I needed to work on every aspect of my writing if I had to earn some brownie points from the YeahWrite team. I was ready to work, but at the same time, I was also intimidated by the whole ritual of getting the feedback for my work. A serious critique can pull you down from the pedestal you have placed yourself on!

It was Shailaja, who explained how criticism was necessary for me if I wanted to improve my craft. Without that, I would only be a mediocre writer!

Last year, I began sharing my posts for the Non-fiction writing challenges at YeahWrite. This time, though, they had done away with the love letters and instead shared the feedback in the comments section.

The thing with writing posts for YeahWrite is once you know what’s expected of you, you tend to put in extra effort into your writing. And, do you know what that does? It helps hone your writing to a degree you never imagined!

It holds a mirror to your work and shows you exactly where you err, and where you shine. And, that is what we writers need to know.

Our blogger friends will never point out our mistakes. Some of them are too sweet to even point out our typos! But, that’s the adulation we really do not need if we are to do well for ourselves.

So, if you are a newbie blogger, or an old-timer, and haven’t heard about YeahWrite, then I would suggest you pay them a visit. And, start participating in their weekly writing challenges. Yes, you will have to slog to present good work; you will also find it embarrassing having your mistakes pointed out in the comments section under your posts.

But, believe me, it will definitely be worth it!

Love,

SHILPA.

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learned, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

 

X – Why blogging eXcites me. #AtoZ

X – Why blogging eXcites me. #AtoZ

 

My blog, my baby!

I am addicted to blogging. In fact, the title of this post should have been, ‘Why I am addicted to blogging.’ I had to replace ‘addicted’ with ‘Xcites’ as this is a post for the letter, X.

So, for starters, my blog is my baby. I created it, and so, am proud of it. I have quite a few aspirations for it, just like every other parent. And, doing the best for my baby has become a passion, an obsession.

Secondly, my blog is mine. MINE. I won’t have to share it with anybody. Okay, that does sound rather childish, but aren’t we humans a possessive lot? Mine, mine, mine! We all claim proprietorship over anything and everything that belongs to our world. MY  home, MY spouse, MY children, MY friend. Just like that, MY blog!

My blog is what will stay with me, always. It won’t abandon me in my old age, unless, of course, I stop blogging in my old age! It won’t break my heart, or betray me. And, most importantly, it won’t stifle a yawn while I pour out my feelings to it!

Blogging gave me a chance to work on my writing. Else, jotting down random stuff in my diary was all the writing I did earlier; all of which really did not satisfy me. Connecting and bonding with some really wonderful people and making some friends I can trust, is what blogging gave me. Where else would I have found so much joy?

Over the last year, I have become addicted to blogging. As the day begins, I am in a hurry to finish the morning chores and sit down at my table, laptop in front of me, typing a post, reading a post or deliberating over a post. That moment, when I am doing either of these activities, is the moment I am happiest.

At such times, nothing in the world bothers me. Be it a tiff with the hubby or a health problem, or even my terrible mood swings. Everything gets pushed to the background when I write.

I can’t think of any other activity that could give me such happiness, such peace of mind. Oh, apart from baking, of course, or playing with dogs, or my pet, Cookie!

Reading comments on my posts feels much more important than listening to my nephew’s chatter when he is at home. And, when a favourite post fails to receive the kind of response I expected, my heart skips a few beats, more than it would if nephew dear was to fair badly at some school test!

Similarly, if a certain post faired brilliantly with my blogger friends, then it feels like I have been nominated for an Oscar!

So, these are the reasons why blogging Xcites me! Why it makes me feel alive!

How about you?

Does blogging Xcite you? Are you addicted to blogging, too?

Do share with me what’s it about blogging that sets your pulse racing.

Love,

SHILPA…

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learned, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

W – #WATWB… ‘We Are The World Blogfest’. #AtoZ

W – #WATWB… ‘We Are The World Blogfest’. #AtoZ

A to Z Blogging Chllenge

I learned about #WATWB — We Are The World Blogfest — through my blogger friend,  Damyanti Biswas’s blog,  Daily (w)rite.  She is a co-host for the Blogfest that shares real-life stories of compassion and kindness. Stories that need to be shared as much as possible through social media which is so filled with hate and negativity.

So, in a bid to spread hope and positivity, this Blogfest invites people from around the world to share stories of real-life heroes.  Stories that are heartwarming and full of hope and love that we so need in today’s world.

I instantly loved the idea!

Each day, when we surf through news channels or scroll down any social media, all we read are stories full of negativity, hatred, and despair. And, the first thought that comes to mind is, “Where are we headed?”

And, at such times, when we stumble upon a snippet of positivity, a story of hope and love between people, we are filled with a sense of relief. A feeling that all’s not lost, yet! That there’s still hope. A light at the end of the tunnel.

I decided to stay on the lookout for any such positive story I came across so I could share it on my blog as well as every other social media I could, and do my bit in restoring hope and faith in humanity.

This Blogfest is held on the last Friday of every month. All you need to do is share a real-life story on your blog in 500 words.  A link to a story that shows there’s hope and love, positivity and brotherhood in our world.

We Are The World Blogfest

This is the badge you put up on your blog and share the link to your post on Twitter, Instagram, Google, Facebook and any other social media you use to spread the word.

Here’s one of the stories I shared. Do read and share. We all know we could use as much positivity as we can!

Metanoia being an Inspirational Blog, too, I felt sharing such true stories was the best thing to do here.

Would you like to join us in spreading some hope and warmth?

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learned, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.