“Spotted someone familiar in the papers?” 😀
That was the question I asked my Mom on Easter Sunday when, to her surprise, she found a feature about me in The Sunday Times.
I know my parents are proud of me, though they belong to that generation which will never utter words like “I’m so proud of you.”
They are also from that generation which have little idea of what Blogging is all about.
So what exactly do people think I do as a full-time blogger?
I have put together this illustration based on my life:
Blogging requires a lot of hard work. To be successful, you really have to possess a lot of passion for blogging, be willing to work your ass off, and have that little bit of luck in order for things to take off.
The reasons I love being a blogger are not the reasons you are expecting.
You can take away the advertorials.
You can take away the sponsored trips.
You can take away all the freebies I usually get from blogging.
And I will STILL blog.
I have come to realize that I love blogging not because of what I get, but because of who I become in the process.
Here are 5 reasons why I love being a blogger
1) I get to set life goals and actually achieve them
I am no longer someone with a ‘bucket list’ but with nothing concrete to show for it.
I have always loved reading books, and I have always wanted to write a book. When I was still working in a corporate job, with S$114,000 annual income, I had neither the time nor the inspiration for writing a book.
Two years after I quit my job to turn to full-time blogging, I authored and published ‘Blogging For A Living’.
I almost cried in a Kinokuniya bookstore when I saw my book placed just below a book about Lee Kuan Yew!
And on the Bestsellers shelf! Unbelievable!
Trust me. Dreams really do come true if you have the courage to pursue them!
*My book is the first of its kind – a book about blogging in Singapore written by a Singaporean blogger. Got a copy already? 🙂
I was even invited to write the foreword for a book by another bestselling author! That book is titled ‘Why Persevere? A Teenager’s Guide to Going the Distance in Life’. Read my foreword here.
2) I am now a speaker and trainer and train people who are almost three times my age to blog!
This picture ‘says’ it all:
It is TERRIBLY difficult to command the respect of people who are old enough to be your father or even, grandfather.
At this particular talk at SIM HQ, I chatted with those who arrived early. One gentleman (probably in his late 40s or early 50s) shook my hand, told me his name and what he did for a living. Thinking he was suitably “warmed up” already, I thought I’ll just pop an innocent question…
Me: “So why did you sign up for today’s talk?”
Him: “Oh, just to see what rubbish this is.”
Me: [still smiling] “Definitely. What I say might be rubbish to some people. [Pointing to the copy of my book that he was holding] So when putting together my book, I interviewed 6 other top bloggers in Singapore to get their input. I think you will enjoy reading it.”
Him: “Wow. You think very fast on your feet ah!”
Eventually, he gave this piece of feedback to the organizer after the talk: “Grace is open and warm. Very outstanding. Has engaged all participants, and is willing to share her experiences in blogging. Keep it up! Good Job!”
Blogging has not only opened doors for me to enter the speaking and training arena, it has also shaped my character. In the past, I would have been highly offended by his “rubbish” comment. Now, I respond to such things in a positive way. As that Chinese saying goes, 以礼待人, 以德服人 (Loosely translated as ‘Treat people with respect, win people over with your virtues’).
Because I now speak and train in places like SMU and SIM, I have to be ever more conscious of the way I conduct myself. I become a better person in the process.
3) Blogging allows me the freedom of time to ‘give back’ to society
I have been volunteering for a while now with the Health Promotion Board as a Health Ambassador.
One recent 4-hour volunteering session involved the distribution of Colorectal Cancer screening take-home kits. I had to approach people over the age of 50 to convince them about the benefits of (free) screening and early detection of cancer.
I had to reach the venue early, at 7.30am on a Sunday morning (13th April 2014). Come to think of it, yes, it is rather crazy. Which other 28 year old blogger would forego sleep on a Sunday morning to, essentially, do a thankless task with no payment?
But I know that colorectal cancer takes many lives every year, though it can be treated if discovered early. So in the process of volunteering, I may also help to save some lives (without ever going to medical school)!
I also learnt a little about interacting with seniors – one’s choice of words is very important. Instead of saying, in Mandarin, that “this is a colorectal cancer test kit” (the word “cancer” turns off most people), replace it with “this is a test for your big intestine” (most people love tests, but don’t ask me why).
4) Blogging has allowed me to accomplish what I had thought was “impossible”
Featured on The Sunday Times: 20 April 2014
Also on asiaone.com
I have also been featured on TV, radio and various other media. Thus, I also get to help my advertisers get featured too! 🙂
Back in 2010, before I decided to quit my job in the first quarter of 2011, I was working in Adam Khoo’s company. I thought only people like him would get featured in the media. All I could and should do was slog in the office, clock those hours, take the paycheque and spend it all on my next holiday. Life was pretty meaningless. Now, I constantly do what I would have thought was “impossible” in the past.
5) Most importantly, I feel like I am spending my dash the best way I can!
An excerpt from The Dash poem
“For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.”
It truly matters not how lucrative blogging can be, how enjoyable the overseas trips are, or how pampered bloggers are with freebies and sponsorships. What matters is what we do with our influence, our talents, and our efforts in making every day count. *wink*
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