Three years ago: A reflection on my blogging journey. Everything’s a journey with me, ain’t it?

I had almost forgotten… until I remembered.

Cake & Cows was born three years ago today.

happy-cow-day-2

I did not start blogging three years ago, mind you, but Cake & Cows is my first “public” blog. And by “public” I mean I told people I know in real life (or IRL, as we used to say back in the day) that I blogged. Google, of course, knew – it always knew.

I won’t be celebrating any of the “typical” blog milestones this year. Ever since I quit social media, I have not been promoting my blog, unless people specifically ask about my hobbies (I may or may not mention blogging). Frankly, my stats are rather dismal. I suspect three-quarters of my “followers” are bots. But hey, if bots like what I have to write, I’m glad I am bridging that gap.

I won’t lie. Sometimes I think about deleting this blog. But what stops me is knowing that I will be back. How do I know this? Because that’s exactly what I have done since 2012. OMG, I have been blogging for close to 17 years! Wow. AND I have absolutely nothing to show for it, of course. You’re just going to have to take me for my word.

So, on this auspicious day, allow me to reminisce on my ~*blogging journey*~.

Way, way back in the day, all the cool loser kids created fan pages. I can’t for the life of me remember what they were called. Fan Cliques, I think? Google seems to have no record. Anyway, I was super into The Lord of the Rings. All the characters were taken, so I created a fan page for Gimli’s AXE. Yes, his axe! I am not kidding. And the title of the site was called, “…And my axe.” It is in reference to when the Fellowship was formed and Gimli begrudgingly joins the Fellowship after Legolas swears by his bow to protect Frodo. Dwarves and elves are sworn enemies and to have an elf pledge allegiance before, Gimli could not have it, okay? Knowing that this was the start of a beautiful friendship… aww, man. How can you not be crying?

And then I discovered a blog. Her name was Julie. The site was really badly designed, I say this in retrospect as they all were, but I thought at the time that it was the coolest thing ever. Julie’s blog was super popular and she wrote about her life! What? This was during my emo high school days, so of course I was intrigued.

Still during the drag-and-drop GeoCities days, I started my first ever personal blog called Precious Barnacles. “Precious” in reference to The Lord of the Rings and “Barnacles” in reference to my other obsession at the time, SpongeBob Squarepents. I was a 10th-grader obsessed with SpongeBob. Oh yeah, I had loads of friends in high school.

And then I got tired of that after a while. Went on “hiatus” for a bit and then came back with a new blog, more maturely and simply titled Precious. This is where the timeline gets a bit fuzzy. I deleted that site. Stopped blogging for a while AGAIN.

And then I decided to start another blog called Whimsical. “Whimsical” was not in reference to any fandom, but rather a nice way of describing my fickleness (if my blogging pattern was any indication). I had two iterations of Whimsical and I have to say I got a nice taste of popularity online that I so severely lacked IRL. I was dubbed the “PhotoShop Queen” by my blogging friends (and apparently, I still got it).  I also learned a lot about coding during this time. Whimsical was built from scratch – HTML and CSS, mostly. I never got around to learning PHP. It seemed too daunting.

But then when I started working full-time, I stopped blogging. I stopped doing a lot of things during this time, like wearing pants and listening to music. Definitely not the best days of my life. But then when I went back to (grad) school in 2013/2014, I started blogging AGAIN. This blog was called The Indecisive Planner. It was about my well-intentioned but naive path to becoming an Islamic Scholar. That didn’t last for too long.

And then I got married. Moved to Indiana. And felt stuck. Working remotely part-time. No friends. Couldn’t even cook properly without almost burning the entire kitchen down. So, what did I do? I turned to blogging once again!

Cake & Cows was thus born. And I’m still here three years later.

Though parts of me think of starting afresh once again, I’m older now. I just don’t have the energy of my youth (ha!) to start a new blog, think of a new title, create a new header for a layout I CANNOT EDIT (long gone are my days of coding; the technologiez have changed too much for me). I’ve learned to make peace with the overly optimistic title that is Cake & Cows and the current state of the blog. I’m at the point where my main motivation is no longer garnering a bunch of comments and followers. I write because I have the urge to type out my thoughts (there’s just something about the act of typing out words that is different from a hand-written journal; I need both). If the people – or bots – like what I have to write, then great!

Well, then, Happy Birthday, Cake & Cows! I will be celebrating by eating something sweet later today.

 

P.S. I was going to do it anyway.

10 thoughts on “Three years ago: A reflection on my blogging journey. Everything’s a journey with me, ain’t it?

  1. 17 years!! Wow, that is a record ma sha Allah. I, for one, love your blog and pray you never, ever delete it. Just keep writing about whatever because you have the knack to make anything and everything sound interesting. I LOVE the Gimly and LOTR referenced websites 😂 made me chuckle!

    Like

  2. I’m not a bot, but I do appreciate your stuff. Keep it up. There’s a sincerity that can be eroded when we consider stats, so I reckon it’d even be better to not even have access to them.

    Write for yourself and if others take benefit, it’s a plus.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. STATS ARE A LIE lmao and true readership & impact can never be measured that way! I love your blog and if it werent for this medium I’d never know there’s someone I’d love to meet if I ever happen to be in Indiana! Never delete it baji!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Rafia, I am not a bot — even though I was dead for so long as far as reading others’ blogs is concerned. I, too, have considered deleting my blogs but those are them dark, deadly lady days that call for such drastic thoughts. I always manage to swim to the surface. I had you bookmarked among the worthy blogger friends that make up my existence in the bloggerverse. You make me smile, even laugh! And when I decided to restart reading other friends, you were the top of the list. Please love, do not delete.
    I, too, have been logging in, vomiting my thoughts and sometimes not even that — just show and tell or compilations of my Twitter / Instagram posts — and leaving. The daily rut is terrible! But all hail Gimli’s axe! We shall survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh hai salaam Anum! How are ya, girl? I’ve missed you! Thank you for your kind comments. I have to admit that I am guilty of the same. Because you’re not on WordPress, I never get notifications when you blog. Can I subscribe to your blog via email? No, I shall not be deleting. Thank you for saving me from the abyss. You know, I just my days, too. Yes, Insha’Allah, we shall survive! Otherwise, what else would I do in my free time? ;)

    Like

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