Talking about creative writing and blogging started with a quick mention about Google Adsense on one of our conversations on a Facebook Group Chat. What I like about my circle of blogger friends is the fact that when we have a very simple conversation starter, it will end up to either a fruitful argument or a dreadful misunderstanding. But what happened that night with my fellow blogger, Christoeffer John (a.k.a. Four-Eyed Laagan) was different.
I am not sure if it was a heated two-way exchange of thoughts or it was simply a random throw of ideas about creative writing and blogging that made me think, “I need to write about this, tonight.” So, here it is.
Four-Eyed Laagan As A Blogger
I cannot really assume when did he start blogging. However, if we try to backtrack his very first entry, it was dated March 2, 2016. Let’s say he started on that date. If you consider that datum, he has been formally blogging for more than a year now. He has very interesting writeups and entries on his blog about his travel experiences around the country.
But, let us all concentrate on a very specific post: his last year’s win at Best Cebu Blogs Awards. Among all bloggers who were there as finalists for different niches, Four-Eyed Laagan received the “Best Creative Writing in a Blog” award.
Currently, they are over 100 active bloggers in Cebu, and CJ, as what we commonly call him, is one of those bloggers I am not familiar about during those times. His win (which made me more curious what kind of writing style he uses and his niche) made me realize to expand my list of blogs to casually check. So, I went to my regular habit of blog hopping and arrived on his website.
If you’re wondering where did I get those photos of him during the awarding ceremony, I was there, invited by the organizers of the Best Cebu Blogs Awards as one of the honorary guests. I captured the event on video. Check it on my YouTube channel, or you can watch it below:
ALSO READ: BCBA Recognizes Top Cebu Bloggers This Year
The In-Depth Talk About Creative Writing
As I’ve mentioned awhile ago, the conversation started with a random thought. Then, we ended up an hour talking about it. From the details that I can remember (and re-checking the logs of our exchanges), here are the things I wanted you to learn about Four-Eyed Laagan’s point-of-view about creative writing in a blog and blogging in general:
Say “Thank You” When You Learn Someone Is Reading Your Blog
Recently, I have been telling him that I have read his blog sometime in a day. Instead of giving a fuss learning about it, he will always say, “Thank you” to you back. A simple thank you can mean a lot to your readers (most especially if you know that it’s a fellow blogger who reads your posts). From that moment, I came to realize that, tell you, this is very important. Expressing your utmost gratitude to someone from spending their spare time reading your blog is worth the “Thank you”.
What you achieve as a blogger can be attributed to those who are silently reading your blog. What more to those whom you learn that they read your blog and tell you about it. Since learning the fact that these people read and appreciate your work, it’s the right time to give them your thanks.
Thanking your readers for reading your work is one of three steps I have discussed to achieve your ultimate blogging goals. Read all about it on this post.
Be Open-Minded With New Techniques: Learn From Other Bloggers
I always mention this every time I do speaking engagements to workshops on blogging: learn from others and continue learning. I have told CJ some techniques that I think can be beneficial to his blog. His experience in blogging for more than a year and what he had achieved as a blogger is obviously overwhelming and exemplary. But, a blogger as he is who is very curious about new things (he works as a developer outside of blogging, by the way), his own curiosity leads him to want to learn new things to improve his skills.
As I commented on one of his videos on YouTube, I said:
Education is an experience that is very amazing, that others cannot afford or won’t get just because…
Educating yourself on new or acquired skills (either technical or logic) is very crucial to blogging. It is indeed applicable to anything as well, not just on blogging.
Things to learn can also be limiting. Whatever, whenever or wherever you have the opportunity to get one, two words for you on that: Grab it. Also, learn the skills to self-learning. As he said on one of his blog posts:
The best way to avoid disappointment is to not expect anything from anyone.
I strongly agree with what he said because other bloggers can be very occupied with their assignments, too. Then, you need to understand that “The easiest way to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.”
There Will Be Time That You’ll Get Fed Up With Your Current Style
Walking under a raincloud over your head lately? Bloggers can also experience that dilemma. Aside from the usual writer’s block, getting fed up can get in your way as well. Reasons can vary. It can be because you can easily get used to doing the same thing all the time or you get demotivated and the passion on blogging is slowly dying.
In CJ’s case (on my observation from what he told me during our chat), since his background is mainly in liking Science and Math at school (I hope this would not give you a hint that he’s a nerd, or isn’t he?) and he’s more into computer programming and developing (Nerd alert!), writing, in his case, is less likely one of his innate skills. But, going back to his triumphant win last year, he was able to surpass the hindrance in thinking that “Napul-an nako (I’m already fed up),” he said.
Don’t get me wrong. I have also experienced this stage when I started blogging in 2006. In between some years of my blogging as a hobby, I’ve been hiatus from March 22, 2011, until I returned on June 12, 2012. That’s more than a year. If you are able to read the “About Us” page of my other blog:
March 22, 2011, CebuFinest.com website was shut down due to outdated posts… June 12, 2012, marks the relaunching date of the new CebuFinest, and a new logo.
It can be painful, too. Just imagine yourself stopping from doing the very thing you like most because “destiny get in your way differently”. There are remedies, by the way, but take hid that these might not come easy for everyone.
To put the spark back from this experience, as long as you love to tell the tale as how CJ does, you’re going to be fine.
You Don’t Need To Be Good At Everything
Blogging can be a hobby. Blogging can be a science, too. It requires skills, research, and with a pinch or two of added passion, you can definitely start doing it.
In the long run, you don’t need to master everything if you wanted to start your blog. Spaces for improvement are advantages for you to learn new things, too. And besides, if you think you know everything, then, there will be no excitement at all.
As we went along with our discussion, this is the very striking words CJ told me that hit me big time:
I don’t want to force myself to write.
I need to agree with what he said, you know. I am telling you this not because we’re friends, but because I have the faith and trust on what he just said. Period. Forcing yourself to write is one of the many things that you wanted to do as a blogger (especially if you have lots of backlogs to finish). It can also be one of the demotivating factors why you wanted to stop blogging.
Forcing yourself to do things that you don’t like doing is a no-no. That is why you need to have a basic technique on how to write and always update your blog. Otherwise, you will get fed up and quit (and I am hoping it won’t happen to you).
You Don’t Need To Be Like The “Other” Blogger
He was very firm to what he wanted to tell me when we have reached to this point of our discussion. And since my blog post is getting too lengthy up to this point, I will be presenting to you, in bullet form, what we have decided to come up to share with you on this topic:
– There’s something you don’t know or inspired with;
– Don’t worry too much;
– Blog freely and don’t be afraid to write what you feel;
– Write something that can motivate yourself;
– Always remember that you need not be like the “other” blogger;
– Acknowledge that you have your own way of creative writing;
– Know that you’re still in the process of learning; and
– You don’t need to prove anything because you have a different style.
(Note: I would want to write and expand these 8 ideas
soon on my otheron this blog post.)
Even though I have the experience in blogging, Christoeffer John became one of my reinforcements in improving myself in my writing style. I am silent about this on him, but while reading his blog posts, snaps and ponders as he may call it, his stories opened up more the light of my imagination. It helps me venture to a fresher way of creative writing and storytelling.
I am setting aside his personality and behavior from this post because you might not know him in person. Since we are friends, I don’t want to be biased on how I came up with this very long write-up on my blog. From what we have discussed, serious or not, some points might be useful for you.
I would like to remind you, my readers, that no matter how expert a person is on a specific topic, not all points must be taken. Some might not work for you.
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P.S. He’s spirit animal is Pikachu. Enjoy!
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