Saturday, May 2, 2009

Given Up Yet??

Until a few days ago, there was a cozy nook in the blogosphere for a 16 year old to talk about his life. It was an amazing blog. The 42 subscribers of the Laptop Dairy will know, and so do I. I would often hop into Mohammad’s little space whenever I felt like taking a break. His posts entertained me, and told me so many stories. Those blog posts didn’t exist to glorify him, they were there to voice his thoughts. They talked for him. They taught, and retaught. They weren’t always about wry humor or random complaints. They were original, from the heart and very much special. The Laptop Diary has disappeared today with “One Last Story…” .Although the reasons for the blog closing down remain unknown to me, I shall say that there are many people who will miss his journal entries in the days to come. It feels like Mohammad left a story unfinished….

Many teenage blogs start out with so much optimism and confidence. Some of them gain popularity, and others melt into oblivion. Either way, it’s unfortunate that most teenage blogs die out pretty soon. They are discarded, dormant or neglected. But they all have something in common: Most of them start out with big dreams…sometimes, these dreams grow to unbelievable heights. The initial optimism associated with starting something new can colour a person’s thought.
For example, a 14 year old might dream of that day when a very willing and generous publisher chances across their little space on the World Wide Web and exclaims in delight upon a marvelous discovery. They might imagine their blog becoming that bestselling book—on the same shelves as your Twilights or Harry Potters. Or they might choose not dream. They might just take to blogging on a whim, and not care about what they write. Both species exist, but I feel that most young bloggers fall in the former category.

Why then, do talented teenagers give up blogging so easily? There are so many reasons which can hamper them from blogging on a regular basis. It might be the parents telling them that its time to give up on their hobbies once they enter 12th, the lack of encouragement, or even laziness. Looking back, haven’t I considered giving up blogging on so many occasions? When my brain couldn’t voice my thoughts as effectively as it once did, when that unknown uncle at a party said, “Aha, 12th, is it? Time to say good-bye to your hobbies, dear!” and when someone scribbled “Your blog is so much crap!” I felt like simply deleting everything and giving up! It felt frustrating to put up with all that, sneak in some extra time to jot something down here when I could be doing something better with my life. But I loved to write, and that’s the only reason why I continue to blog, irrespective of how many people are actually listening.

Sometimes, as I go back to read my older posts, I feel that some of them are pretty immature. I could delete them, for all I care. But I don’t. Preserving them is important because they reflect how I’m growing up. Many teenagers don’t do that. They are ashamed of the stale poetry they scribbled when they were fifteen-somethings:

“I like pretty butterflies,
I think they are so cute…
I like they way they flap their wings,
And go from flower to flower…”

That’s why some of these blogs close down. It’s the author’s decision, but a whole bunch of wonderful stories and poems are lost. Others give up when they enter 10th or 12th grades, and think that their life will be affected by blogging. Although this is arguable, I personally think that blogging doesn’t have a negative impact. Sparing something like 20 minutes per week will not ruin your life forever. In fact, I do not regret blogging all through my PU days. If I hadn’t, I would have forgotten those wonderful experiences which are so dear to me.

The next time you drop by that random teenage blog of that thirteen year old who scribbles three poorly constructed sentences with lots of smiley faces in between ( with 0 comments below her post), don’t just smirk and think she’s wasting her time. Drop a nice, “Hello…it’s nice you actually decided to blog, even amidst the thousand things that occupy your life! Happy Blogging!” Sometimes, encouragement and support is all it takes to make a fantastic blogger out of a shy and talented thirteen year old. It can do a little something to sustain such blogs.

As for me, I hope that there are no more “One Last Story”ies in any of the teenage blogs. I also hope that Laptop Dairy’s “One Last Story...” means “A New beginning…” somewhere else on the World Wide Web. For all I can say, blogging is an experience which is well worth the effort. It would be easy to give up, but it would fruitful to continue. I wish that these teenage blogs continue to stay alive simply because I feel that every teenager has a story to tell....

16 comments:

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

What a thoughtful, understanding and mature post. I am so glad you are preserving all your old posts, Lakshmi.

And oh, Lakshmi, it is not only the young, but the older ones, too, who keep improving with time.

Happy Kitten said...

"But I loved to write, and that’s the only reason why I continue to blog, irrespective of how many people are actually listening"

let this love of yours make you write more and more since your passion shows through ur writing...

AJai said...

Really nice post. For me blogging is an outlet. I'd tried it many times in the past. It's only now that I'm actually frequent with my postings.
Life doesn't stop because you are in 12th or in college or writing exams. I wonder why people think that way. I regret giving up my hobbies for studies. I hope that no one else has to.

praneshachar said...

abba adbhutha great and marvellous to read the post. I am delighted and felt like i am on the top of world as I know you. for the age your post here speaks volumes. hope mohammad will read this and so also many other budding bloggers. I fully agree with you on your views about the posts at beginning or poetry etc., they are the bench mark for seeing ones growth etc., I know u r really a very very matured talented and highly committed girl and kudos to you for your concern about teen age bloggers and also your respect for the authors decision still u have voiced your concern for the same.
It is a gr8 feeling for me and i am honoured to read such a gr8 post from you. kudos to you again for the same. look forward for your highly commendable post in Q to appear and I love to read all of them.
with all best wishes and hope some teenage bloggers will come live after reading this and start blogging It will be a great if this post inspires a few
pranesh

priya said...

I want to SHOUT-OUT your words to everyone around the blog-o-sphere!

I really believe in everything that you have said.

I myself have deleted so many of my posts because of my sad mood. There are still plenty of drafts on my dashboard yet to be published. I feel too dumb to post them sometimes, or just too depressed.

When I started blogging, I had only a few readers..like my best friends from school. They used to read my stuff and that would encourage me to go further. But everything stopped when I reached the 10th and 12th grade. I couldn't write anything at all.

Sometimes I used to get this urge to wake up at 2 in the morning and type my heart out. That, I've done.

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Raji maami: Thanks for the comment. The old need to learn too?? I guess some old ppl dont!:-) Some people know how to blog right, and you are a perfect example!!

Happy Kitten: Thanks for the wishes!! to be honest, I always thought blogging when no one's listening kind of made me look like a dork...aha, but maybe not! Im glad for your comment! :-)

AJai: Totally understand what u are talking about!! i gave up painting just because I thought I was simply too old for it! Your right, if you are interested in something, you'll continue no matter what...and Im glad u have, despite everything!!!

Mr. Pranesh: Thanks so much sir for your wonderful words of encouragement!!! :-) Let's hope that no one looses hope and may there be many many more teenage bloggers in the days to come!! Tell aashu i said hi!! :)

Priya: Let's SHOUT IT OUT LOUD!! May no one ever give up!! I can completely relate to what you are talking about...there are millions of "rough drafts" hanging about my desktop too. It's difficult to be a perfect blogger on a continious basis, dont u agree? There are moments where u simply cannot write...that happened to me, u knw...but writing when u want to is so important, esp if u love to write!! Keep up ur lovely posts too!! :-)

www.abhi'sblogspot.com said...

Hai!thank u for leaving comments in my blog.Please mail a msg to my ID
abhiram.ks10@gmail.com so that I can note down ur email ID or while leaving a comment in my blog give ur mail ID and from then we can be in touch. Keep visiting my blog.

Babai!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

www.abhi'sblogspot.com said...

Thank u.
Its calculated for 625 marks.
Because Kannada being 1st language is for 125 marks and the rest for 100 marks.

That means 599/625 i.e,95.84%
~96%!!!!

I want ur email ID.

ARJuna said...

Hello there, first of all I never got the chance to thank you for following my blog so her it is, A great big Thank You to you.
The post is beautiful, your emotions and thoughts are so perfectly captured in those words, I completely understand all that you mention there in your post because I myself am a 19 year old.
It is sad to see many teens give up what they love to do something that is given undue importance in our society (like the 10th/12th exams).
Kudos to you, Keep blogging.
P.S.-I checked out the link to 'Laptop Diary' however the blog had been removed. One request, if in case-anytime in the future-you decide to stop blogging then please do not delete your blog!

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Abhi: Wow, abhi that's a great percentage!! :-) kannada bere first language togondu...congradulations!!! Wow..nimma kannada thumba chennag irbeku...why don't you consider blogging in kannada also?
Arjuna: You are most welcome! :-) And my humble thanks for deciding to follow my blogs as well...yes, as a teenager you must know. the oh-ur-in-12th-your-life-means-only-studies look u get once in a while from random aunties! ;-) As a matter of fact, even I did check out the link to the laptop dairy and yes, it looks like its dissapeared...which is very very sad. I hope mohommad can somehow revive it someday! Im lookin forward to that...and yes, I won't ever delete my posts! That's a promise! :-) Hope you pledge the same too...let's keep chuggin' on!!!! :-)

Ashwin said...

Its really amazing to read the things you have written here. In fact, I look at you with envy as I never started a blog at your age :)

And the fact that you have decided not to delete your old posts shows a lot about your strong character. No, I am not simply praising you but telling this because I know it is a tough task to just retain old posts.

I don't know if you've read Gandhi's autobiography. He writes even about the parts of his life which most people would not even prefer to remember. Events such as smoking cigarettes, consuming meat without telling his parents etc. Even he wasn't perfect. Such writing requires strong will. I see the same point here in your post. The point is that everyone keeps improving with time and experience. No point in getting disheartened and quitting.

I wish to see more people write blogs like you.

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Ashiwin sir, thank you so much for the comment. I'm very glad you agree with my point...in fact, not many appreciate retaining old posts, but that's one of those things that I simply can't get rid of!! Well, I guess people should continue to blog, since its one of those things which gives them a lot of personal satisfaction...especially teenagers! :) Thx a lot for deciding to follow my blog! And i do plan to plant a sapling this time round if i come to India!!

Sreejith said...

Mature thoughts penned down most elegantly. Excellent post, Lakshmi!!

ZARDY said...

Hi, I'm one of the 24 followers of Mustafa's blog and I understand what you mean. I'm planning to take inspiration from his blog and start my own sometime soon. I'm really glad you took time to write this post. It's a nice one.

Mohammed Musthafa said...

Hey,
Dunno how to tell this but....Laptop Diary will be reopening on 24th May. Hope you'll be actively reading, and maybe commenting as well. Cant thank you enough. You're post made me realise what I was missing. Thank you so very much.

Check the link on 24th(The blog is unavailable till then...)

www.laptopdiary.blogspot.com

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Sreejith sir: Thanks a lot for the comment and do keep visiting!
Zardy: Yes, i remember u were. My adivse is u should...:-) def. blogging does have its advantages. Im glad u commented. :-) thanks
Mohammad: Wow, WELCOME BACK!! :D This is amazing news,and im serisouly glad that u decided to take up blogging again!! this deserves some blog-worthy celebration. Im glad ur talent didnt go wasted. You're an inspirtaion to many...and thanks a million to decide to restart ur laptop diary...makes this post more complete, it does! of course i'll follow ur blogs again (although not ananymously fr sure!) welcome bac!!!