I had mulled over the idea of opening a blog for a long time before finally taking action. The problem was that every time I had got very close to actually doing it, lots of objecting voices would start bouncing in my head:

  • What if people laugh at your stuff?
  • What’s the point of opening a blog on languages when there are already tons of similarly themed blogs on the internet?
  • Are you really capable of delivering useful messages to the public?
  • etc.

Doubts like these had held me back. And I can’t say that I have overcome them. They still pop up in my head from time to time, but I have learned to live with them. It’d be great if people find useful messages in my blog, but it’s also okay if they don’t. Back in high school we used to be assigned weekly journals (with pen and paper, of course) to sharpen our writing skills. Why not treating a blog as something similar?

A blog can be like a journal. It needn’t be polished or eye-catching.

After realizing this, I felt relieved and no longer had the pressure to emulate others. I decided to use a blog to tell my own stories instead. Each person can have their own perspective, and so can I. A university classmate of mine used to have a “secret blog,” where she wrote about her life without giving any specific references to real people or events. Despite her effort, however, one day a lecturer suddenly told her that he had come cross her blog. Her reaction was like 😱. Nothing serious or consequential happened, of course; it was more like a “detective game.” In the end the lecturer and my classmate just had a friendly chat.

I’m not writing a secret blog, but my classmate’s experience reminded me that a blog could also be treated like a novel. The author can take real-life elements and rework them into a less realistic or even entirely fictional narrative, and some readers may have fun “deciphering” the reworked elements back to their real-life bases.

A blog can be like a novel. It just reduces the distance between the author and the readers.

Therefore, while I will keep my scientific points factual and precise, my posts will generally be mingled with my personal perspectives. I think this is how various blogs under the same theme can make a difference. It is also how blog writing differs from academic writing in sciences—the latter must be as “impersonal” as possible.

So, why do I want to start blogging? Because

  • I have some free time now and want to try something I’ve always wanted to do.
  • I want to practice my nonacademic writing skills.
  • I want to leave my comfort zone and learn to share experiences and ideas via writing.
  • I want to deliver some useful knowledge (about linguistics) to readers in need.

Hopefully I-Yuwen will help me achieve these goals. And hopefully it’ll live up to its name—by making readers love languages more! 🙏

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