Blog-a-ton has played a pivotal role in the chaotic evolution of my blog. I started my blog in 2008 as a social/political/philosophical blog. But after a couple of posts, I got stuck and realized that was not the way to go. So moved on to humor and that was an instant hit with Desi Pundit showcasing my Bride Hunt series. But then there is a limit to the number of humorous incidents in one’s life. So slowly the number of posts started dwindling and posts totally stopped after I was kicked out of my job. You can’t sit at home and write funny posts when you are unemployed, eh? I returned to blogging a few months later but by then all my regular readers had left me. I found myself unable to recreate the magic of the Bride Hunt series. I then tried reviews of books and movies. But my reviews found hardly any takers and I was not motivated to write any more of them. So my blog was suffering an existential crisis when I came across a post from our Marshal on Indiblogger about Blog-a-ton.
In hope of reviving my Blogging fortunes, I threw my hat into the ring in Feb 2010. The topic of my first Blog-a-Ton was ‘What-if’. I got so many ideas but I was tongue tied or should I say finger tied? I had never written for a prompt before. So I ended up not participating and decided that Blog-a-ton would not work for me. Then a month later, one Sunday I was feeling bored. Generally surfing randomly I meandered into the Blog-a-ton page. And it was the Blog-a-ton day. The topic was ‘Time Travel’. Somehow this topic lit some lamp inside my head. Within the next couple of hours; my first Blog-a-ton post was up.
That evening when I logged on to my computer, I was pleasantly surprised to see 6 comments on my Blog post. I was so excited I replied to the comments and then read their posts and then went on to read all the other posts. Overall the post got 38 comments, just 2 short of the Bride Hunt series and also 2 people – Mahesh Kallal and Vivek Nanda had voted mine as the best post. In those days participants were allowed only one vote per head. So getting 2 votes was a real big thing.
By reading the entries, I realized lot of Bloggers write short stories on their blog. I particularly liked 3 bloggers – Karthik, Vibuthi and Harsha. I started visiting their blogs regularly and came across an online story writing contest conducted by a website called IndiMag from their blogs. That’s when I wrote my first two proper stories – ‘The Lonely Bus Stand’ and ‘Mohiniattam’. My stories were well appreciated and I made lot of good friends on IndiMag. I had now entered the fascinating world of short stories.
Soon it was time for the next Blog-a-ton. I started thinking about my post even before the topic was announced going by the topic trends. And interestingly the topic turned out to be my own blog name ‘Fool’. I came up with one of my best works, a poem called ‘The Fool’ written in Victorian style. But to my disappointment there were very few comments. Those that were, were lackluster and I got 0 votes. So I decided to keep away from poems and this postponed my entry into the world of poetry by one year. I still wonder why it bombed so badly, though even now looking back I find it to be one of my best works.
By the time of next Blog-a-Ton, things were going bad in my personal life and I wrote a dark story for the topic ’Escape’ keeping with my mood. This was one of the best Blog-a-tons with lot of participation. I was happy to get 3 votes but I was not sure if many understood my story. It was a bit complex and blog readers generally have too low attention span. During this period, a few of the participants in the Indi Mag story writing contest came up with the idea of jointly publishing a book of short stories and invited me to join. I was very excited by the prospect. But sadly after a few days, the idea died a natural death.
But it was again Blog-a-ton time soon. This time the topic was ‘Hidden’. I managed a para normal thriller that was well appreciated. I wanted to build up the story into a novella. So I followed up with sequels the next two Blog-a-ton for topics ‘Wish’ and 'Return’. During this time I also came across another Forum called Ginger Café. Here I got to participate in an innovative team blogging contest called BPL (‘Bloggers premier league’). Though my team stood first in the first round, we got eliminated in the second round.
At this time I had to change jobs and my mother’s health began to deteriorate seriously. So my blogging began to dwindle again. I just participated in one more Blog-a-ton, where a picture was a prompt instead of a word for the first time. I wrote my first 55 Fiction. Around November 2010, my blogging came to a grinding halt. IndiMag had shut shop. Nothing much was going on in Ginger Café. And that was when Marshal announced that Blog-a-ton was also shutting down. I was so disappointed. I had missed my chance to become a veteran and to win Blog-a-ton. That was it. I decided to throw down the towel and wind up my blog.
By March 2011, the itch to write was catching up with me again. I had been through tumultuous times in personal life and was looking for some means to de-stress. Something told me that Blog-a-ton maybe up again and I decided to check it out. And guess what! Season 2 of Blog-a-ton was indeed starting. I was back to Blog-a-ton and blogging with ‘Change’. Seeing the quality of other posts that Blog-a-ton, I felt I might win at least a bronze that time. But instead I landed up with 0 votes again. But this time I started writing for other prompts as well and one of my stories ‘Space in her heart’ was selected as a Tangy Tuesday pick by Blog Adda. From there, there was no looking back.
I continued my Blog-a-ton participation as well. Soon I was on the way to become a veteran. Only regret was I was becoming a veteran without getting even a bronze. But somehow my mail to Vipul mentioning I had finished 10 posts got missed out and I was not declared as a veteran on my 10th post, where yet again I got 0 votes. But now seems like it happened for good. Now in my 12th attempt, I have at last conquered the Blog-a-ton Gold. So I become a veteran with a BATON gold in my kitty. Thanks to all those who voted for me to make this possible. I also thank aativas and SIS who served as an inspiration to me by winning their gold in their 18th and 11th posts respectively, showing that it is possible to go 10 posts without a win and still come back and win. And of course a big thanks to Vipul for creating this wonderful platform and Sid, Leo and SIS for reviving it. Thanks also to all those who have voted for my past posts and commented on my posts for helping keep my passion for writing alive. Last but not the least; I would like to thank all those people who have posted wonderful posts that have inspired my writing.
I wonder if anyone has got till here. If you have, thanks to you as well for reading patiently. My journey as a Blogger has been so intertwined with Blog-a-ton that I could not resist putting up a lengthy Oliver Twist kind of post, starting with how my blog was born and all that.