As far as I know, I've been writing blog entries since 2006, where I started with a free blogspot account. I remember the account details, which is ginhan.blogspot.com. It still exists apparently, with the same color theme, font type, the entries, and it even still has a picture of me in there!
I remember starting to write journal entries and articles sporadically since I was very young, maybe around 9-10 years old, where it started off as a mini-project by one of my aunties who recommended me to journal my holiday trip back to my hometown, so that I can capture the memories. I agreed, and started on it. I think it was during my school holidays (in Malaysia, as school children, we would get about 1-2 months holiday at the end of the school term from November and December, and then start school again on the 1st of each year, assuming it'd fall on a weekday (yes, Malaysia didn't recognize the 1st as a holiday then).
My first assignment, which was to write on the holiday trip back to my hometown in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, was no easy task, as there was so much to see and write about. I roughly recall writing about cars, roads, food, people, and emotions. As I experienced each moment, I'd wonder if it'd be suitable as a 'captured memory' - if it were, I'd stop what I did to write it down, if not, I'd just continue doing what I did. I think my parents were really happy with the project (come to think of it, it helped them to distract me and keep me off their back, I guess =p) as it took a lot of my time to sit down and think, recall and write the events that had happened.
Later, as I grew older, I still utilized journalling, but I used it primarily to understand my problems, or to write down my "pain" so that I can understand and accept it, or to look for solutions that I tend to overlook, being crushed by problems. I write through my relationship problems, which helped to ease my pain of break-ups, betrayals, lies, and the like. It didn't take away the pain, though the actual process of writing did distract me from the pain somewhat, but what it did was to help me consolidate my thoughts and emotions into a coherent understanding, and that helped me to move on from whatever pain or mess I was in.
Even as a student, there were several assignments where the teachers/lecturers gave us journalling assigments where we were to journal our experiences, thoughts and emotions as well as lessons or things that we can take away from our experiences - these became formally-evaluated journal experiences to something that I was already doing, though it was very problem or pain specific. With the journalling assignments, my repertoire of journalling as a learning tool expanded to also include pleasure/discovery-specific situations, which is not-painful, but instead pleasurable and to find out what I enjoy...or not. Good, because it gave me insights on what I like and not like.
Only in 2006/2007, I 'discovered' the world of blogging and set my eyes and hands to create my own blog where I journal my entries of my life, to look for clues for problems and pains that I have, and to look for understanding and wisdom when there is none, and to document life lessons, both pleasures and pain, to help me move forward.To be honest, more of the initial entries were more about pain, things I don't understand, things that hurt me, people that hurt me. Only as I grew in my maturity, in personal development, when I realized that there is much more to life than to focus on pain and suffering and misery and being misunderstood, that I started to focus on things that I think and find which is more important -
The world of blogging exposed me to another aspect of writing - readers. When I found actual people and readers had been reading/read my blog entries, and some commenting how a solution had helped them, or they shared their solutions that helped them in a situation similar to mine, it felt good.
It was interesting, because it was something I didn't expect, but upon experiencing, something I enjoyed. In way, perhaps it's because I am validated to a certain extent, or in a way, because I think and feel that I am making a difference with every post I publish. It became a community of readers, and I started reading the blog entries of other bloggers, and started to comment on some of theirs too, whichever resonated with me.
If I could sum down to one sentence why I like writing, it's this:
It heals. It helps me to consolidate all my thoughts, emotions and energy into one coherent, actionable plan/action - be it a lesson learnt on how I can move forward better, or something that I can change now/over the course of time to be a better person to my self, my God, my wife, my family etc. In fact, this skill becomes better over time, so I started developing an awareness and consciousness of sort, as I live and experience life from moment to moment. I am able to consolidate my thoughts, emotions and energy on the go, even without pen and paper or my laptop, which work wonders for conversations, negotiations and just living life day to day.
I live more consciously because of it. I have more awareness of what I like and what I don't more quickly, and without having to take a long/good 'time out' just to 'figure out' if I like something or not. I have more confidence of my consciousness and self.
Better still, it becomes something that impacts people who are looking for answers, or seeking like-minded people. It's good.
That's why I write. And blog. And that's why NigelChua.com will not go away. It'd be here.
What about you? Would you like to explore writing? Writing as definitely helped me, and if you like, you can actually make it "private" so that no one can have access to it (though it can still be hacked but the odds of that versus its benefits, in my honest opinion, it's still better to write).
If you want to write, you can start from a free platform first from WordPress or BlogSpot. I started there, but slowly shifted to having a self-hosted one by buying my own domain name and web hosting through BlueHost. Your choice.