First of all, tell us a little bit about your blog.
a. July 26 2015. I was sitting in my usual cafe drinking my daily dose of caffeine. After 8 years of living abroad, I was back in my country (note: I don’t call my country home). I was scared. I felt like failure – I dropped out of Medical school with only 2 years left. I had only 2 years left to be called Doctor X. But I dropped out. I was tired of studying. I was tired of myself; I simply loathed myself.
A few months before that day, my oldest brother passed away. I didn’t grief. I had to be strong for my family. I kept my feeling to myself.
So, I was in that cafe, loathing and hating myself. I was a failure. I didn’t achieve anything in my life. I always give up before the finish line. I never finish what I start. I have no hobbies. I have no goals. I don’t have real friends (because I don’t know the definition of a friend). I was living in my head.
b. The caffeine began to kick in. I ordered another cup of that black magic. I don’t know how or why, but I decided to start a blog. Not only did I join WordPress, I joined every social network you could name (but I deleted them all after a while).
c. Malcolm Gladwell coined the 10000 hours of practice theme (or someone else). Nevertheless, the 10000 hours idea was in my mind – to master something, they claim you need 10000 hours of practice. Whether that’s true or not; it’s doesn’t matter.
d. I decided to start my own 10000posts journey. I want to be remembered. I want to help – even if only 1 person came across my blog by coincidence and found one sentence to be useful, I can die knowing I’m not forgotten. I want to die knowing I was useful i.e. not completely useless.
What kept you going? What did you do to keep yourself motivated?
a. At first, I didn’t know what to do with this blog. The spur-of-the-epiphany I had in that cafe was suddenly gone. Here I ad another blog i.e. another attempt at something I’ve been trying since 2010. I didn’t know what to write. I don’t have nice photos to use with my posts.
b. At the same time, I didn’t want to start following random people and commenting heartlessly on their posts just to get some people to come to my blog. I resisted the urge to focus on traffic and likes and the number of followers. In other words, I tried very hard to avoid focusing on numbers. Still, I didn’t know what I was going to do with the blog.
c. However, I grabbed on to the blog. I deleted all other social networking sites that have the 10000posts name (Click here to understand what I mean).
Something about having my own infinite space comforted me. I rarely wrote anything from the heart – I masked my writings to avoid writing anything personal. I don’t want to be laughed at. I don’t want to be judged. I never told anyone about my blog (Only recently have I told my wife and another dear friend. I instantly regretted it, but I kept fighting myself).
d. I kept the blog because I genuinely wanted to change. I couldn’t get off the drugs, so I might as well try to change something else about me. 10000posts is an almost impossible never to achieve (unless I publish 10 posts a day for 3 years). I wanted it to be journey. My journey. A journey both within myself and in this world.
e. To keep myself motivated, I simply posted. If you check my archives, you can notice that I never skipped a month. I forced myself to post at least one post a month.
f. 10000posts was the first project I choose to do for me. I spent all my life living for others; my parents, family, and “friends”. 10000posts was all me. No one asked me to do it. No one knows I’m doing it. There’s no deadline. There’s no pressure to do it. There are no rules to abide except the one’s I choose. I can post a quote, a video, a few sentences about nothing, and so on. It was me. The blog was me – without the judgments associated with being who I am. This is what kept me motivated; no one was expecting anything from me but myself, and myself I can learn to tame and respect.
Why did you choose to be anonymous?
2 main reasons:
1)The “Intention Dilemma” i.e. why do I do what I do? Why do I write? Why do I workout? Why do I want to help people? Why do I want to help my family? Why do I do whatever it is I do?
The sad answer I got is the A’s and C’s (I refer you to my post #00046: A’s & C’s
After years of going deep within, I sadly learned the truth about myself: I want to be remembered like Socrates and Einstein – immortality.
I didn’t want to be a hypocrite i.e. I don’t want to do something for such selfish reasons. I want to do for the simple, pure reason of doing. I want to help because I want to help. No deeply hidden intentions. I want to write because I want to write.
Does that make sense?
2) Fear. I’m scared of being judged if I shared my real name or where I’m from. I want to be judged on my writings and not where I’m from or how I look like or what religion I might follow.
It’s nothing more than fear. If my blog sucked, then I’m shielded by the anonymity. If it was liked, then I hope it’s the content and not the author.
Why a blog?
a. I’m scared of being judged, hence why I stayed away from anything visual. I had a Twitter account, followed later on by Instagram, and finally Snapchat. I deleted my Facebook in 2012 because I didn’t have 189734 friends and I wasn’t getting 389 likes. Some of my friends didn’t even accept my friend request.
Why a blog? I can only express myself in words (and I still manage to fail). When I was a kid, I would apologize to my parents by writing them a letter. I loved writing. I loved having that blank paper in front of me and being able to fill it up with my thoughts, how my day went.
My journal never judged me. It didn’t make fun of me. It didn’t question me. It listened.
b. But the blog was my way of expressing my thoughts to the world. I deleted my first blog because I didn’t have 892374 followers. I wasn’t famous. Oprah didn’t mention me. I didn’t win the Nobel Prize. I was simply a blog in the infinite cyber universe.
c. Then I tried creating other blogs. I ended up deleting every single one of them. I used to (stopped in early 2016) keep a journal. I shared it with no one. The blog is my attempt to share (albeit anonymously) my thoughts and experiences with the world, in the hope of making a difference, both for myself and everyone else.
You deleted your first blog, but not this one. What changed? Did you develop a certain habit around your blog? Did you find something to motivate you?
a. I deleted my first blog. I deleted my second blog. I deleted my third, fourth, fifth and sixth blogs. I gave on blogging for a couple of years. I kept myself to myself. My personal journal entries began to decline – in 2009, I had 2 notebooks. Between 2013 and 2016, I had 2 books. See the difference?
b. With every blog I delete, I lose respect for myself. I lose confidence. I hate myself more. I retreat back to my head. I go back to running away.
c. And then all the story happened that led to this blog – my brother’s death, my academic failure, fitness & diet failures, having no goals in this life led to the blog.
d. What changed? I changed. You see, I believe, life gives you so many hints before it finally throws you on the ground and teaches you that lesson. Steve Jobs put it nicely “You cannot connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards.”
e. I didn’t develop any habit. I don’t think there’s a specific thing that motivates me. I kept this blog because I wanted to show myself that I’m not a quitter. I chose 10000 posts as a goal because, to me, it seemed like an infinite journey.
f. I quit everything I start, but I usually start something for someone else. This blog is for me – me is a concept I only learned recently. I’m still young and I want to know what I like, what I love, what makes me tic. Hence why I’ll never delete this site. Ever.
Your posts, though personal, often describe the human condition; what it means to be human. Heartfelt and raw. Why did you choose to express yourself in such a manner?
a. I’m still a naive 7-year old deep down inside. I can’t handle arguments. I can’t handle disagreements. So I write what I feel, keeping in mind all the perspectives I could think about.
b. The few posts that got the most traffic are the posts I wrote straight from the heart. I shared how I feel. I opened up and exposed myself.
c. I don’t like being fake. I don’t write what people want to read. I’m a young man who is trying to understand life – the pure, simple definitions we follow. What is love? What is a friend? What is hate? What is home?
d. I don’t choose how I express myself – I simply express myself without any guidelines. My feelings and thoughts dictate how I express myself. And I let them flow.
When did you first start writing?
When I was 6 or 7 years old. I wrote short stories for my own amusement. Simple stories. Then I noticed that I express myself best after deep contemplation. When asked the simple question “how are you?”, I found myself dreading the template response “fine and you?”. I need time to think of the best answer. I need time to think of the right words. And writing allowed that. I would apologize to my parents, friends, and family by writing them letters.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you on writing?
a. April 2005. I was suffering from depression and severe mood swings. (I was officially diagnosed in 2012, but that’s another story). I was bored with life. I didn’t understand my feelings, so I simply labelled myself as “bored”.
b. I walk out of the room one night, and I found my mom in the living room. I was on the verge of breaking down and crying. “I’M BORED” I kept yelling at mom.
She looked sad and concerned. “Why don’t you write how you feel?” she said. “Just write”.
At the time, it was the worst advice I ever heard (I was 16).
c. The advice came in handy in April 2 2009. It was a Thursday and I was in Sheffield, UK. I was recovering from my first drug overdose. I wanted to be clean and was fighting the strong urges.
d. I walked into a book shop, bought a book and a pen, went to the part, and started writing.
What is the number one rule people should follow when starting a blog?
a. Post what you want to read/see/hear a couple of years later. Produce what will make you smile/laugh when you see it again after you’ve forgotten about it.
b. In simple terms: do it for you, not for them. And keep on doing it.