Over a month ago, I posted some thoughts on my FB page addressed to fellow stay-at-home Moms. I wrote it using a mix of Tagalog and English– my first ever post with “hugot” (visceral) feels. I was surprised that what I shared resonated well with friends–some of them reacting positively and sharing their own thoughts and experiences as well. A number also shared the same post in their own timelines.

It is not everyday that I get to inspire others with my posts. When I started blogging ten years ago (in another blogging site), my sole purpose was simply to express myself–with no particular audience in mind.  I had always been a journal keeper back in my high school days, and I simply continued what I had always loved to do– this time on the web where I can preserve my writings without having to worry where I would keep them. Up until recently, I hadn’t cared at all whether I was read or not. My mantra has always been “write, simply for the love of it.”

Engagement (or simply getting others to respond to what you share) is, now I understand, what social media is all about. I initially thought having your written work float in the cloud was merely a modern storage solution to capture those voices in your head. I hadn’t realized that my writing could be a balm to an aching heart, or it could reinvigorate a weary soul. Only when I was told in vivid words that what I had posted resonated with another soul that I began to ruminate on the power of words to heal,  to revive, and to make an impact.

More than a passion, writing for me these days, is a responsibility. My ability to turn jumbled observations and random experiences into a coherent work of art preserved for reading and appreciation is a gift I am committed to nurture and share. That is, so long as the migraines don’t bother me often.

Comparing my old posts to the newer ones, though, I learned some things I will surely find handy as I continue to delve into the world of writing. Here they are:

  1. Specify your audience.
  2. Ditch the formality; write as though you were talking face to face to your audience.
  3. Use the language your audience can clearly identify with.
  4. Write from the heart.

So, is it really a choice whether to engage or to express?

I say the latter comes first. If you are able to express that which resonates with your readers, engagement follows. Like the example below: