I can’t keep calm, it’s my blog’s birthday! Yep! On this very date last year, I made my first blog post. What a journey it’s been! Joy, hope, disappointment, surprise, pain and hard work are just some of the ingredients of my experience so far. Join me in the celebration as I look back at it all…
Why do I blog? At the beginning of my journey into photography, a friend encouraged me to start a blog. This way, my work would reach a wider audience as opposed to only having a Facebook page. I hesitated for a long while because as you may remember from this post here, I didn’t want to be just another blogger. You know, starting a blog just for the sake of having one. My principle is to do things with a greater purpose behind them. Also, it took me long to start as I didn’t know what I’d be writing about (main theme). But my friend kept urging me to just do it and things would fall in place with time. To that friend (you know yourself) I say a heartfelt thank you!
Beyond my work being seen, I write to share the beauty of the natural world with my readers. Indeed, amazing riches exist all around us and this is especially true for Kenya. By now you know I keep saying that this country is beautiful- because it is! There’s so much to be seen and enjoyed here. I shoot and write about my experiences that you may also share in the same. One of my aims is to encourage my fellow Kenyans to explore these gems. When someone asks me for details on hiking/ camping at a certain place after reading my post, it fills me with joy.
A taste of Kenya’s beauty.
And now take a peek into my writing process… Before my fingers and keyboard connect, I think about what I’d like to write. Then I pray. I ask God to give me the words and that the post will be meaningful. I rely on Him for everything because truly without Him I can do nothing. At the beginning of the post I mentioned greater purpose: I hope to inspire, educate and challenge my readers. After prayer the actual writing begins. I just write as the words come, I don’t jot down a plan as such. Thankfully writing comes naturally to me- I’ve been blessed to be good at writing since childhood. 🙂
This doesn’t mean it’s not challenging though. I actually perspire while writing! The brain is in high gear and my metabolic rate rises. To take some of that pressure off I have Jazz, Kizomba or Classical music playing in the background. You should try this music, it is life! When the text part is done I proofread the story. Then comes selecting, editing, uploading and captioning of images. Next is sharing the post on my social media pages and to my friends on Whatsapp. Writing a post is not a joke people!
One of the photographers I admire said that running a business is like taking care of a baby. I can say the same goes for running a blog. You have to consistently check on it, feed it (with content) and keep improving as necessary. For your blog to be successful, you’ve got to build a consistent body of work. Post regularly. Have relevant quality content. Put in the work. I’ve come to learn that blogging isn’t for everybody. Only the most dedicated make it to the top.
This road has presented me with a sizable share of challenges. What my bro and I call masaibu (tribulations) chronicles. Until this year, I didn’t have home internet. So I had to go to a cyber café twice a month just to publish my posts. The horror of small, stuffy, cubicles and sticky keyboards can’t be overstated. You may find this hard to believe, but reliable home internet remains a myth for most people in Kenya.
Getting people to read my work has also been tough. Even those who are supposed to be my friends. At times some say they were busy, which I understand. But it still makes me wonder. I mean, you take time to send the direct link to someone’s phone and the only response you get is blue ticks. For several days. So I take the extra step of a follow-up text to inquire if they read the post. Some will have read, but others ask a question which I covered in the second paragraph of the post so you know what that means… WordPress provides a feature that shows you how many people have visited your blog that day. Sometimes it takes two days to get to 20 views. Sigh! Did I say blogging is haaaaard?
Edit: I was attacked and robbed of my phone yesterday so I’ll be away from Whatsapp and the ‘Gram for a while…sharing my posts just got harder. Another entry into the masaibu chronicles log!
This being mostly a travel blog means I have to regularly be out and about because I prefer writing from experience. There are times my purse is at level E but by God’s grace I’ve managed to take those trips and hikes. You may have noticed that I usually post twice a month. Coming up with articles regularly keeps me on my toes.
There are high moments too! Like when a new reader goes through several of my posts in a day. Or another thanks me for educating them through an article. And most recently, I’ve been offered a job as a Travel writer with a reputable magazine! What a way to celebrate my blog turning 1! A number of friends and strangers have told me that I’ve inspired them through my posts. I can only say mission accomplished and glory to God! I know greater things are coming.
To all those who have supported me, thank you. Those views, comments and shares are appreciated. I endeavour to keep sharing educational and inspiring posts with you. To those who’ve been on the other end of the scale…ahem. Mnajijua. Either way I hope this blog continues to be a blessing to many all over the world. Happy birthday to me! 🙂