Hello world!

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh…

Welcome to my blog.

I have been ‘maintaining a web presence’ since 2004 or so, when I first came across a book on HTML in my college library. My very first website was hand-coded in Notepad as I didn’t have any knowledge of any other web development tools out there. In the intervening years, I have mostly stuck to using WordPress, with brief forays into Blogger, ExpressionEngine, Tumblr, Squarespace etc. I’ve also dabbled with setting up (almost) everything from scratch using Digital Ocean and Linode. Needless to say, both these attempts ended up in disaster!

The Lost Years

Like many other wannabe bloggers, I have had an inconsistent relationship with the actual business of writing and maintaining a blog. There were times when writing was easy, and I would churn out a few posts within a relatively short period of time. Then the ideas would dry up, or I’d just be too busy, and I’d leave the blog for many months—years even—without any new content.

Looking back, I think my biggest problem is a desire for my writing to be perfect each time.

I don’t mean this in the humble bragging sort of way either, you know, like how in a job interview someone would say their biggest weakness is that they often work TOO hard on any given task. Instead, I mean to say that it became a genuine problem, as nothing I write will ever be perfect. That’s part and parcel of being a writer, I guess. Unfortunately, this defect prevented me from writing consistently as I often ended up dissatisfied with the end result. Indeed, my blog posts seldom lasted more than a few months before I’d delete everything and start again from scratch.

A New Beginning

With the launching of this blog, I hope to get into the habit of writing consistently again. For the time being, I’m aiming for at least 1 post a week, although I’m also considering publishing a few shorter entries where I can just share interesting links accompanied by one or two lines of commentary.

I’m blogging first and foremost for myself, in a bid to achieve more clarity of thought and to prepare myself for the monumental work of writing up my DPhil thesis (in case my supervisors are reading this!). Secondly, I’m writing for my friends, colleagues, and students, in order to share my stories about:

  1. Being a student (again)
  2. Working as a doctor
  3. Life in general

I briefly entertained the idea of simply sharing my thoughts on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. The problem is none of them can offer me the same writing experience as I expect to get from this blog. For starters, none of them are really suitable for lengthy posts. This makes it difficult to convey the nuances behind many important (or even not-so-important) issues in life. Additionally, none of them really give you a sense of ownership of your content, something that I consider crucial if I’m ever going to make blogging a sustainable endeavour.

I’m not looking for ‘Likes’, or ‘Views’, or ‘Retweets’. Note to self: re-visit this line after a few months!

What I want is an avenue for posting my thoughts with the intention of starting a conversation with you, my reader, ideally over coffee in a nice cafe somewhere.

Thank you for making it this far. Feel free to say ‘Hi’ in the comments!