Time flies. It still feels like yesterday that Red Velvet made its debut. Has it been two years already? So much has happened in this time. It’s hard to believe I’m actually typing this post down.
Honestly, when I started Red Velvet, I had very little interest in it. I knew I wanted to write somewhere out of my 9-to-5, but I wasn’t too serious. Truth is, I do not have a techie bone in my body. And I can get notoriously picky with the slightest of things. Plus I’m lazy. Naturally, the idea of putting up a blog and being consistent with it was pretty daunting.
Tathagata being the troubleshooter that he is, came to my rescue. He did some technical whooshing, put the blog up, christened it and sent me the link. I was feeling pretty good looking at it, so I wrote the first post. It was about my wedding. In fact, I documented my entire wedding in eight blog posts, levelled them up and tucked them neatly in a category I called “Wedding Diary”. I figured you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
The series was very special to me. I wrote it with a lot of TLC. Beginner’s tenacity much?
That being said, I didn’t have a vision for Red Velvet back then. I didn’t even have a niche picked. So naturally, I wasn’t serious when friends and family called me up to congratulate me about starting the blog. Not even when one year went by. Talk about being a late bloomer.
It wasn’t until I started getting requests for more posts that I began to take stock. I realized that I had created something way larger than me. Red Velvet had grown from a blog into a community when I wasn’t even looking!
The Initial Days of Red Velvet
With Red Velvet, I had no intention of turning it into a side hustle. In fact, Red Velvet and business have been poles apart on my radar. So there was no pressure of building popularity, gathering subscribers, seeking backlinks, hunting down sponsored post ops etc. I just did what I do best. Write.
The best subject to write about at that time seemed like my life because I was going through a lot of emotional changes. I was just married. I had left my cozy bubble of a life with my parents to move in with my in-laws. It felt like I had landed in a party of more members than I have fingers in my hands from a three-member family. I was travelling a lot. I was exploring different sides of myself that I didn’t know existed. All of this was overwhelming, to say the least.
My favourite travel series: Koh Samui
One travel memory I hold close to my heart: Bali: The Land of Golden Sunsets
So Red Velvet became my cathartic outlet. A safe release valve. And I wrote in it everything that was happening in my life, the good bits, the bad bits and the ugly bits. In Red Velvet, my life turned into an open book. I could talk freely about anything under the sun without inhibition. It just came naturally to me. I didn’t have to think up topics for the next post. I wrote the posts in order of the events that were happening in my life. So I didn’t have to worry about keeping up the momentum. Gradually, Red Velvet became my very own memory bank. It became my time machine.
I remember my maternal grandmother (Dida) used to encourage me to write my travel experiences when I was a kid. So wherever I travelled (of whatever little I travelled) as a kid, I took a diary and a pen with me. In the evening, when I returned to the hotel room, I used to pen down the events of the day, the places I’d visited, the things that had piqued my interest, the food I ate etc. Dida used to tell me this diary will be my very own time machine, that it would be my secret portal to revisit these incredible places whenever I wanted. It sounded magical to me! That’s how my interest in writing was born. If only she could see me now..
How Red Velvet Empowered Me
Red Velvet gave me an incredible power without me realizing. It enabled me to tell my story. And include the world in it.
In Red Velvet, I had a platform to speak about my life. My experiences and my lessons. It gave me the courage to be vulnerable and lay bare my convictions that I had so carefully established over the years. My blog has kept me accountable. Whenever the going gets tough, I shuffle through my blog to look at how far I’ve come. I draw strength from Red Velvet and in many instances, it has helped me stay afloat and work through my worries. It is also a reminder that I have a long way to go.
Red Velvet is also one of my greatest teachers. To a great extent, it has helped build my character. It has helped explore myself, my interests, my principles, things I’m good at and add multiple aspects to my identity. I have discovered that I process my thoughts better when I write. It’s like finding pieces of the puzzle that I couldn’t solve before. I have had profound life realizations on this platform. I have put my anxiety, my ailments and the very fabric of my nature out there in the open. I haven’t had the fear of being judged because my blog has empowered me enough to write about my life as it is in reality. No hiding the frustrations, no soaking up tears and no airbrushed emotions.
Today, my blog has become my salvation. My retrospection. And I look back fondly at the lovely memories I’ve created and the honesty each of my posts portray.
Of what I have given to Red Velvet in these two years, Red Velvet has returned to me a thousand fold. And then some more.
When I began my blog, I never imagined the ripple effect it would cause. It has blown my mind to watch the appreciation Red Velvet has received. From friends. From family. And from new acquaintances. As the number of posts grew, so did my RV family. I’ve had people reach out to me and tell me how Red Velvet has inspired them, how relatable the posts are to their lives. I’ve met some incredible people along this journey who have helped shape and define my blog.
I started to see that there are many out there who are in the same boat as me. Not all of them are comfortable enough to talk about their problems but they find a sense of solidarity in my writings. In my posts, they know that they are not alone. So they reach out to my blog and wait for the next post to seek a common ground. It may be fleeting, hardly five minutes of reading, but what matters is that the common ground exists.
When I became aware of this truth, I realized that Red Velvet has broken its boundaries of being merely a memory bank to spread it wings on a journey of life. Of love. Of hope. So what started as just another not-so-serious lifestyle blog on the Internet had become a responsibility to my readers. I am now fully aware of its potential and try to be consistent in providing my readers with whatever little peace I can by sharing the story of my life.
You know who you are. A massive shoutout to you guys! Red Velvet is as much mine as it is yours. Thank you so much for the love! I couldn’t have done this without you.
Over the course of two years, Red Velvet has taken a few turns. It has gone through multiple makeovers. The most recent one is the work on the right sidebar (best viewed on desktop). I have added several sections to make it look more appealing because it needs to match up to your expectations. I’m experimenting with a ‘Countdown’ section that shows days (and then hours) left for the next post. I have added this primarily because I have received messages asking me when the next post will be published. So this section will tell you exactly how many days you need to wait. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure how long I will be able to keep this up because, like I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I do not follow an editorial calendar. My posts are as random as the domain name “Erratic Rantings”. But anyway, I’m eager to see how it pans out.
The closest I’ve come to a celebrity moment with Red Velvet is when I did an interview with a Canadian entrepreneur, Jerry Godinho. I’ll be forever grateful to him for giving me a platform to talk about my blog, my city and express my thoughts on some social issues.
Did you know Red Velvet has a YouTube channel? You probably don’t because I don’t promote it. Go here. Red Velvet has given me the opportunity to try out video making. I have made a couple of travel videos and uploaded them on the channel. All of them are botched attempts but I enjoyed making them.
What’s Next for Red Velvet?
While I try to keep an open mind with Red Velvet and let the natural momentum take it where it needs to be, I have an idea in mind. Guest blogging. I have been thinking a lot about opening up my blog to you. I want my readers to feel as empowered as I have with it. I want Red Velvet to be your voice as it has been mine for these two years.
I know each one of us has a story to tell. We just don’t know how to. That’s exactly where I’ve been thinking of placing Red Velvet. It can be your voice minus the discrimination. I don’t judge. We’re in this together, remember?
I haven’t made up my mind about guest blogging yet. Before I do that, I need to know what you think about it. You know where to reach me. If not, here’s where:
You can comment on this blog with your opinion.
You can Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m also available on Instagram. DM me. I always respond.
Red Velvet is very dear to me. I have watched it grow, take unprecedented turns, fall apart and then get back up. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Red Velvet has been my path to self-discovery. To living life to the fullest. For those who have stuck with me so far, THANK YOU! For those who are new here, welcome! Seriously, I love you guys! My blog wouldn’t have come this far without you. Here’s to another year of Red Velvet, yeah? I can’t wait to see what the next year will hold.