Monday, August 12, 2013

The blogger reflects

I started this blog in August 2008. That makes it exactly 5 years to date. During that time, I wrote about my kids growing up, education policies, my thoughts on learning and other miscellaneous stuff. I started out blogging everyday and then slowed down gradually, to once a week (every Monday) for the past 2 years or so. I've always said that I will continue blogging for as long as possible and I think I've finally reached the point where I can no longer do it on a regular basis.

In the blogging hemisphere, 5 years is a pretty long time. Many blogs die a natural death when the blogger runs out of things to say or simply runs out of steam. I've pushed on because I always had rather opinionated thoughts on something to do with education or the other. I was also determined to record all the fun stuff my kids did and said while they were growing up as sort of a memory bank.

It has been great but lately, I've realised that the inevitable has happened. I started struggling to find things to write about and time to write them. There are a couple of reasons for this:

1) Both my kids are now in secondary school. Somehow, parents are most stressed out about education in Singapore at the primary and pre-primary school years. Issues tend to crop up then, less so in the later school years. Kids are also less cute (actions that might be adorable at age 9 become awfully annoying at age 12), hence, there are fewer interesting incidents to record.

2) I just got busier. My corporate writing business is growing. After 10 years, I now have four other writers on my team. Managing the projects and business aspects is in itself a full-time job, not to mention the actual writing that I do. As you also know, I recently tried my hand at book writing (out in October this year) and discovered that I really enjoy it. As a result, I'm going to pursue book writing more extensively which will take up even more time.

So I've come to the conclusion that something has to give and that something is blogging. To my fans, I want to assure you that I'm not shutting down this blog. It's not goodbye (which sounds so final).  It's just that I won't be blogging on such a regular basis. I've always believed that writing for its own sake is simply self-indulgent, so I'll only be posting when I have something to share, eg. updates on my upcoming books and views on education when they do come up.

At this juncture, I want to say that blogging has been a fantastic journey. Quite amazingly to me, this blog took on a life of its own. On several occasions, I was even recognised in public which is quite a foreign concept to me since I'm an introvert and generally shy away from the limelight.

The most recent encounter was a funny story. We were at the Marina Bay Sands Toast Box outlet having tea before going to watch Phantom of the Opera. This very nice lady came up to us and told me that she enjoys reading my blog. What she didn't know was that just before that, we had spotted Mr Brown aka Lee Kin Mun, also at Toast Box, and we were sneaking peaks at him. So when she approached us, we were a little taken aback. It's kinda like a voyeur suddenly realising he was being watched.

Anyway, I'm always happy when readers approach me (to the lady who came up to us, if you're reading this, thanks for making yourself known!) It's lovely to meet my readers in person. It's certainly much better than being silently observed, which is kinda stalker-ish and creeps me out a little.  So if you spot me, please do say hi! (unless you hate my writing, in which case, maybe no need lah, haha).    

A little marketing spiel: If you have enjoyed my writing, I hope you will continue to support me in my upcoming book (and maybe books). It's a new phase of my writing career/passion and I'm trying to see if I can make it work. Perhaps it's career suicide as there's definitely more money in corporate writing than book writing, but hey, I'm an optimist!

Meanwhile, I want to say, very sincerely, thanks for reading all my thoughts, opinions and ramblings all these years. At the risk of sounding totally cliche, the encouragement from my readers is truly what has kept this blog going for so long.


Anonymous said...

will look out for your book. Cheers!


monlim said...

Thanks, MD!

Anonymous said...

Hi Monica,
This is the MBS lady writing. I think I mentioned to you I am your fan - so imagine my sheer delight when you wrote of the encounter ;)

I have been your silent reader the past 5 years and really read only 2 other mommy blogs
so I would like you to know that approaching you the other day was a heartfelt gesture from a fellow introvert. Of course I now feel saddened that you will be scaling down your blog, so I thought I must let you know why I appreciate and look forward to your every entry.

I too am a mother of two - my boys are each two years behind LA and A respectively. I first stumbled upon your blog after my eldest received a letter for GEP selection test and I had to find out what that was all about. As I was never educated in Singapore, your posts continue to be rich source of updated, insightful information for me as my children are just a step behind yours. However, what sets your blog apart is the fact that I found an instant connection with you as I can really relate to your views and perspectives on Singapore education. Both my children too are very different. My eldest while bright and athletic, tends to cruise along and finds it hard to relate to those who have to try harder. My younger one struggles with school and yet has the most sensitive and kind nature. Although I know enough how important it is to value each child’s uniqueness, it is hard in a society like Singapore and finding a fellow mother who does not shy away from airing her convictions is really refreshing and heartwarming. So Monica, in short, you have been an inspiration/role model and I want to thank you for being a voice for mothers who need the extra support to hold on to our beliefs. I shall definitely be getting your book.

Anonymous said...

It is great that you can persevere for 5 years. That is about 1800 days. For some strange reasons, people are not so forthcoming in leaving comments even if they read regularly. I believe feedback and interaction is important to keep one in a sharing mode.

All the best in your future book writing journey!


monlim said...

MBS lady: Hi there! So glad you decided to comment and it was great to meet you the other day :) Thanks for sharing your background and it's very encouraging to know that my posts may have helped you in some way. I always feel that if nothing else, just knowing that you're not alone in feeling a certain way makes that much of a difference.

Thanks for following my blog all this while and all the best in your children's education journey!

monlim said...

QX: 1,800 days - when you put it that way, it sounds incredibly long! It's so sweet that you wish for more comments for me. Actually, I think people are still commenting, just that they tend to do so now on the blog's FB page rather than here, cos it's simpler (no verification code to type in, haha).

Anyway, you probably are one of my most loyal and long-time readers, and I appreciate our sharing all these years. So for now, here's a GIANT bear hug for you and your dd. Keep laughing! xxxxx

rugs said...

awww. okay. thanks, i've enjoyed your opinions very much!

monlim said...

Thanks, Rugs!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the GIANT bear hug, Mon! :) Hug you back!

Maybe it's time for me to be connected on FB then... :) Just realised I am one of the few who do not mind verifying that I am not a robot each time I make a comment. ROTFL....


monlim said...

QX: Lol! I saw you just joined FB. Well, I'm very happy that you're one of the few who still comment here, somehow seeing "0 comments" isn't very good for my ego, haha!

Anonymous said...

Hi Monica,

I have been reading your blog for almost 4 years! But unlike the most of your readers, I'm not a parent... I'm a student who is still struggling in the system. Haha! (:

I personally think that there are also many blog-worthy topics about secondary school (and beyond!). But I understand that, as a parent, there would be lesser things to write about once your children hit secondary school age. After all, parents tend to be more "hands-off" after the PSLE. (:

Some future topics to consider:
- the (not so) recent change to the SYF system
- your thoughts about Lesley-Anne's secondary school - perhaps a summary post about her secondary school life after she graduates?
- Lesley-Anne's chinese! It would be nice to hear about this again, since she has to take chinese O levels at the end of the year.
- Lesley-Anne's transition to JC, when she gets over next year
- Your thoughts about JC and about project work
- Andre's subject combination when he gets older (as blog readers, we all know that Lesley-Anne is more inclined towards the arts, but how about Andre? It would be nice to see where his interests lie!)
- guest posts by Andre and Lesley-Anne. That would be great!

Those were just some ideas - it would be nice to see ANY (ANY!!!) post about education, Andre or Lesley-Anne on your blog.(:

The selfish part of me wishes that you'll still update your blog every week. ): I really do love your posts. But anyway, all the best to your new book! I'm sure I would enjoy reading it, just as I enjoy reading this blog. (:


monlim said...

GW: It's great to hear from a student, thanks for speaking up at last! Actually, I've been told that a fair proportion of my readers are teenagers but you're all so shy lah, never comment!

Wow, thanks for all the suggestions! They're all pretty good. I think I just need to find the time to compose my thoughts and then time to actually write them down. The end of the year would be a good time for these "reflection" posts as L-A graduates from sec schl.

Meanwhile, I hope you're enjoying your school life and finding balance. Thanks for following and reading my blog for so many years!

Anonymous said...

ok for friend's ego sake, I will continue to check if I am a robot here... :) It is also a good self-check that I have not evolved into a robot. LOL I was actually quite amused when I figured out how to decode the code.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Monica, for all the insightful posts over these years and sharing and benefitting all the mothers. I am a silent reader, who was just too shy to post :)

My daughter at p6 has started reading your blogs this year, and we had a good laugh on some of them.

May your writing journey continuing to be fulfilling for you and continue to enrich others. I will look out for it.

Best wishes,

monlim said...

QX: You are hilarious! Don't ever lose that sense of humour :)

MY: Thanks for your feedback, great to know you enjoying reading my blog together with your dd!

Anonymous said...

Your blog will be a lovely memory for your kids.

Secondary school is another phase of education and more of a black hole. In fact, I hope parents leave it as a black hole. I observe how parents are getting more and more involved in the primary school education system. I am so glad that my younger kid will be out of primary school system soon.

Your blog is part of my memory during the education journey with my kids. Thanks for it!

Your long time reader

monlim said...

SL: I will always remember you as the one who was super encouraging and telling me that andre will eventually boomz! (hasn't happened yet but i'm still hoping!)

Thanks for being part of my journey!

Anonymous said...

Er Dear Mon,
Gosh din realise my comment din go through when i read about your scaling back on blogging yesterday...
hope this goes thru
Thanks for the insightful and candid postings. Fun to read and help the rest of us to know that every other parent is also trying to survive in the system and attempting to make sense of all the labyrinths...and we are not alone.
Please continue to blog esp when the PSLE tweaks come abt since you are technically a PSLE survivor and can give a detached take of the whole thingy.
And yes, will wait to buy your book =

p/s pls go thru

monlim said...

Thanks Grace for trying again! Sometimes, Blogger is really frustrating - passing all the spam comments and stopping real ones!

I guess you can say I'm a PSLE survivor and like all survivors, I'm happy to see the back of it! Not sure I wanna blog about that again, let's see what happens :)

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