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May 19, 2014

My journey: learning to blog

Today, I would like to write on my own and take you through memory lane of blogging experience in science. Let me try to connect you to a recent event. A week back, i attended a course on vaccinology, which was a great learning experience for me. There were about 100 participants from Africa and Asia - Pacific regions. Apart from talks on serious science related to immunology and conduct of clinical trials in developing countries, I enjoyed the talks on the role of communication, vaccine hesitancy and social media. I also agree, the component of communication is either neglected or not in the picture in majority of project that i am aware of. Even if this important component that relates directly with how we communicate or inform community on essential key information comes to managers only when something error or events come to the notice of public purview through local newspapers. I did not realize that vaccine hesitancy is to such extent that it is a global public health problem. I also came to understand that the confidence level for vaccine is eroded due to various reasons.

The reason, i am sharing this experience is simply because it made me think, what is my real intent of blogging? Actually, i started blogging in Nepal since 2009. I came to know of blogging for the first time from a visitor to a organization that i was working with. Being a surveillance medical officer, i was assigned to accompany a CDC expert, whose role was to assess the surveillance ongoing in Nepal. We traveled, i guess, for  a whole two weeks in hilly districts of Eastern Developmental Region. It was a great learning experience. We enjoyed as well as worked hard to perform what we were assigned for. After returning back to KTM, we shared our experiences and our expert shared his experience in a blog as a story with pictures taken during our visit. That was the first time i came across the idea of blogging. This opened me world of writing and sharing story. For a couple of months, i could post some pictures or short post, but I was not in a habit of writing regularly. Even now, i struggle a lot especially to write on some theme with story or message.

As years rolled passed, i tried  hard to blog regularly. However, i was not able to perform well in terms of blogging effectively. Now, i realize that it was due to simply not planning well or writing regularly as I was supposed to do. Also, i was not telling my stories with message or sharing important public health events of public interest. After, I joined IVI in the year 2011, i started to regain the lost or little interest of active blogging. It was only after getting in touch with colleagues from communication or even serious writers, i came to realize that in order to survive in a world of academic i need to religiously start writing in whatever capacity i should. Over the months, the only problem with me was that idea was overwhelming that i need to write but in reality, i was not delivering in terms of original write ups to share. This is bad, as always, only thinking but not doing what i am supposed to be in deed.

I was struggling to be a blogger. Somewhere in the mid of 2013, there was a workshop on writing science organized by Communication & Advocacy team. The trainer was a senior science writer from BMJ. He was one guy who kindled the value of any thing written if you have story to tell in whatever form and size you are able to. This was a turning point that i started to seriously blog and became a bit regular posting anything i was able to. Over months, i came to realize out of complacency, i was just posting in a copy and paste fashion. This was not any original writing with story except some videos or events from other websites. I asked to myself, it is like plagiarism or something of sort like laziness? Deep down, i was not satisfied. However, one good thing that was on track was the number of visitors or number of flags suggesting there were visitors from various countries. One the other hand, i thought, am i doing justice to visitor, who spend few second of their time to explore what my blog has to offer !! It is also important that " First impression is the last impression". Now, I seriously understand the value of originality and story to tell that has message.

Finally, these days, i am enjoying writing and I am happy, i have managed to come to this stage to realize the value of writing and sharing stories of whatever event or accident or outbreak anywhere in my country.

Mantra:

  1. Write Write & Write
  2. Read Read & Read
  3. Collaborate Coordinate and Communicate


Anuj in Himalayas

Hi i am connecting disqus with my blog for healthy interaction and open dialogue