I was just a reader back then and a post appeared on Facebook which spoke about virtual friends- the post asked people if they believed in this concept, did they have any virtual friends, since how long, did the friendships stand the test of time? My initial reaction was to shake my head and let out a lop sided grin. This thing can’t really exist, its fake I said to myself. When real world friendships can’t sustain, people who have been besties since school days and swore that they won’t ever part ways are seen drifting apart as they get drawn into more attractive things life has to offer, here we are talking of people who haven’t even met in person. How true can such friendships be?
I had no inkling that my conviction was going to be badly shaken and crumbled within a matter of few months. I started off my blogging journey in March 2015 when my daughter was 3 months old and within a few months of blogging on a parenting website, I struck a chord with this lovely Army wife and Mommy Meha. We used to often like and leave comments on each others posts, her writing style and content endeared to me and one day I messaged her on Facebook Messenger. Soon we got talking and that was the first friendship I forged online.
Gradually my writing quest introduced me to some really interesting, bold, intelligent, unconventional writers. It often started with interacting about blogs, the content, how do we increase the reach of our posts, which websites are good to write on. Slowly the friendships grew and we often discussed stuff other than blogging. At times I faced a parenting dilemma, at times it was about a conflict with my mom or a career related thing which was bothering me and I needed a second opinion. At times it was only about venting out, I needed somebody to hear me out. This bunch of awesome bloggers were always around for me.
We took a step forward by deciding to meet in person as 4 of the Mommy bloggers were in the same city. We met up for lunch in November last year and what a memorable day that was. It never felt like we were meeting up for the first time. There wasn’t a single moment of awkward silence. The constant banter and laughter continued for 3 hours, the restaurant had to turn off the air conditioning and switch off the lights as a polite way to tell us to leave.
2 of us met up once again to catch a movie and chit chat over chai. We spoke not just about the good and bad days of blogging but about our life in general- the daily struggles as a parent, our hopes and aspiration, career, life. At the end of the day I felt a sense of contentment having met Swati.
The best thing about this virtual community is that we are passionate about the same thing- blogging and we provide the much needed impetus to each other in the form of reading, sharing our genuine feedback, commenting and sharing each others posts which is a moral booster.
My blogging goal this year was to move beyond my comfort zone – not in terms of content as that I something I always do but to step out and network more in the blogging space by joining some of the blogging linky ‘s and blog hopping, joining Mini blogging challenges so that I can do the AtoZ Blogging challenge next year.
I joined Deepa and Amrita’s MondayMommyMoments and it was great meeting some enthusiastic mommies here. I also did the Blog-aRhythm’s 7 day blogging challenge which gave me a chance to meet some talented bloggers and interact with them. Then came Write Tribe and I hardly knew what this Festival of Words was, but I signed up for it. Once I read the email and knew that this was a continuous challenge for 7 days, for a moment I felt I have taken up more than my fair share of stuff.
Being a working mom, the weekdays is when I absolutely can’t blog. My toddler +work is what keeps me on my toes. I had to write all the posts for the challenge over the weekend. I managed 6 and it was really hectic. But once I started posting and interacting with other tribe members, I was so glad that I dint give up. Apart from my Alexa ranking shooting up like crazy, the comments and encouragement from the tribe members was heartening.
As a writer I always preferred to write what I felt about, I thought prompts will restrict me to think only around the selected topic but after my experience with these challenges, I have a different perspective. I am now hooked on to writing prompts, it gives me food for thought. Its nice to read how differently people interpret the same message.
Yesterday I had the chance of meeting 2 more mommy bloggers Tulika and Neha whom I got to know on twitter, It was the Women’s Writers Fest conducted at Pune and meeting these wonderful ladies in person was the highlight of the day.
Though I discovered it late in life, I am so glad to have found my true passion. Among the many perks of blogging, one of the biggest is the friends you make in this journey, some of whom become such an integral part of life.
The prompt for this week is ““No bird soars too high if he flies on his own wings” –
William Blake. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one.