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:
- Specify your audience.
- Ditch the formality; write as though you were talking face to face to your audience.
- Use the language your audience can clearly identify with.
- 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: