Who is Arvind Passey?
Listen, in his own words…
“Seeing the world in words and lines is what went on in the past and what will go on in the future for me. This obviously includes poetry (a few published in journals in UK and India), short-stories (more than half a dozen have been published in anthologies), articles (many have been published in national newspapers and well-known portals like Huffington Post), and blog posts (on subjects as varied as travel, technology, politics…). Must add here that lines also include both paper-n-pen as well as digital doodles and drawings. It goes without saying that writing invariably follows reading. Reading isn’t limited to books but also forays between the lines in newspaper reports, daily interactions that seem boring and repetitive to most, and thoughts that have a habit of flying in or zooming out unannounced. Besides this, I’m just a regular guy in his sixties who loves to think he is still twenty-one.”
Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
No niche. No pounding of just topic. No attempt to proclaim that the blog is some sort of a passion turned into a profession. I say this because there was never an attempt to earn money out of writing posts on my blog. This then is the reason why anyone surfing through my blog will discover articles on technology hobnobbing with those on travel, photography, and even art. There will be politics dating poetry, book reviews sipping coffee with social satire and texts penned to tickle the funny bone. The tone is conversational in most but doesn't mind a bit of statistics and acknowledged research thrown in. Ina single word, my posts are: READABLE.
Describe how you first get into blogging?
The credit goes to Indiblogger and its inceptor Renie Ravin. To some extent, the primary stimulus also goes to Samsung for selecting me as a prize winner in a contest which brought me nearer to some serious aspects of blogging. Thus a prize or two definitely helps. Encourages. You may read this post on my blog: https://passey.info/2011/09/ravana-lost-as-he-never-had-a-samsung-tab/ In the initial period, all I did was to write posts for every possible writing/blogging contest on Indiblogger… and ended up winning quite a number of them. There were other posts too because articles that were yet on paper were slowly punched out on the computer and then uploaded. A nice comfortable start, i must say, but the acceleration was given by an inner urge to increase the daily writing target and to keep it consistent.
How would you describe your blogging style?
Easy-going. Conversational. Full of short sentences. Almost like the poetry of Emily Dickinson… though, funnily, one editor in York described one of my poems having reminded him of William Empson! Well, what is important is to write more and more often as this is what creates one's own personal style. Writing is never happy when writers try to copy styles. By the way, those of us who attempt to pick up styles that do not come naturally to them through continuous writing, end up dumping one style after another until they just fade away.
What type of networking do you think is better to enhance your traffic to the blog?
I have done no networking at all… unless sharing the post URL on social media platforms counts as one.
What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to their readers?
Know your subject and try to give an analysis that is experiential. This is true for non-fiction articles. Fiction obviously is all about imagination. However, I must add here that I have blended the tenets of fiction writing even in non-fiction posts. As an example, most of my technology reviews have a story built around objective facts.
How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
Write every day. When you do this, time falls in line.
How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
I have been busy for around an year with the renovation of my house and then the process of moving… moreover, I'm also busy with my grandson. All these things mean that I will need quite a bit of inner strength to hop back onto the habit of writing daily. My target is obviously to get back… one reason why the daily writing ritual has suffered is also because I was dealing with a major ailment in my Surface Pro IV. Things are now limping back to normal.
What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from that?
Every article ever written always has a lot of work that could be done. And yet, we move on to the next and the one beyond that next leaving a trail of largely suffering pieces. My failure so far has been an inability to go back to my older articles to make some qualitative changes.
Tell me about your proudest achievement?
Blogging contests have ended up winning a broad horizon of prizes which includes being a Brand Ambassador for Samsung to winning a Tata Tiago, from Expedia sending me to Sydney and then Cox and Kings packing me off with G-Adventures to explore Jordan. Hundreds of other prizes have come my way and I must really be thankful to have the Gods of Blogging smiling on me!
Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
No one. Writing is a passion that is self-driven and has no connection with someone else impressing or impacting abilities. But if you want to know what has impacted my blogging… well, it is reading. Read everything you come across and discuss whatever you are reading. Discussions help a subject appearing with more clarity.
What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?
A willingness to learn new things. Fearless willingness. Urge to get up and get going.
What do you do in your spare time?
Flow with the flow.
Where would you like to be in blogging five years from now?
I am already there. Now it time for me to write longer texts. They're called novels.
What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
There are never one or two or three challenging moments… every moment is a challenge. A challenge to go on correcting that sentence for a hundred times until it sounds right. The struggle to get the right word. The effort to stumble upon the right thought that may lead me to the right analysis and the right article. Every moment is a challenge.
Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
Have read hundreds of posts by other bloggers… and all that I can say is that one must reading how and what others write. Fearlessly comment on their blogs. Stop pestering others to come to your blog to read, comment, and share.
How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
It is the same as me getting up every morning at 0515 hrs for a long walk… a daily target of 10,000 steps is nearly the same as deciding to write every day. Yes, there is the question of will-power there and some may think it is a difficult thing to master. If that is the case, do what I have done… I decided not to eat pickles for an year and did it. Another time I decided not to watch movies for an year and I did it. I did not drink tea for more than a decade. All exercises to tame your will.
Can you tell me about a few sources from where you get products for review on your site?
No net-working for me. Let me give you an example. I review books. Authors and publishers send me their books without me asking them to do so. Tech reviews have also happened without me pitching anything to anyone. Just write well and if someone needs your kind of writing, they will come.
What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
If you think it is thinking of a subject… then my answer is NO. Subjects are all around us. They are staring at you from the newspaper, laptop screen, in the physical world… in short, everywhere. Just listen to the inner voice carefully and write. The most frustrating thing in blogging is not blogging but selecting one out of the tens of topics that tumble into your consciousness every day.
What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
One feels pleased. Ever time a post is completed, I celebrate.
Did you have any professional help or did you create the blog yourself?
No professional help.
How active are you on a weekly basis? How often do you communicate with your followers?
As I have mentioned earlier, it is time for me to restart. Write as much as you can do without getting your mind and thoughts in tangles. There is no other secret.
How much time do you spend blogging?
If blogging means writing… I'm doing it in my mind the entire day. You see, we're playing with ideas and concepts. Even a seemingly small moment like looking up to notice a cloud can trigger interesting thoughts that can later be transcribed into a short or long piece.
What do you think is the best social media strategy for getting more visitors to a blog?
Social media these days is not as attractive as it was a few years back… there is a surplus of paid and sponsored attacks on the senses and I doubt if there is anyone really waiting to be baited to read your blog-post. However, twitter and linkedin have been my favoured platforms.
Would you encourage other people to make their blog?
Yes. without doubt. Every blog has the potential to record history as it happens for the future generations. We would not want the future to wake up to read only politically motivated articles and text-books written with some hidden agenda to please political bosses…
Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
You must have guessed the answer by now.
A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog?
Stop running after money. If blogging interests you, fall in love with writing. This love will give you more than what cheques can ever give.