What started out as a diary that spared me the discomfort of hand cramps, quickly blossomed into something much, much more than I had anticipated. I've made friends, I've tried things, I've wandered out into the depths of the blogging world, and I have shared a piece of myself with a community that I never imagined existed.
Now, five months later, in the depths of winter (I'm currently typing this with my UGGs firmly on my frozen toots) and at the start of a new year, I've decided to take some time to reflect on what I've learned from my adventures in blogging.
- In the vast world of the interweb, you are not alone. I've spent hours searching and searching for one little thing that I can't seem to find, and all I want to do is press a Help button. Isn't there someone out there? Anyone. The answer is yes. Blogging has put a human spin on my experiences online as Facebook quickly begins to feel more distant and impersonal.
- You do, in fact, have things to talk about. The most daunting thing about starting a blog is the lingering notion in the back of your pretty little head that there is no possible way you could have something to talk about every day. Even a few days a week. But you do. When I was sick, I literally wrote down the first 12 things that came to my mind. And you know what? I enjoyed it. Sometimes the challenge of coming up with what to write is the very best part of blogging.
- You can take days off. My great fear aside from having nothing to write was that if I didn't post something every single day that I would be ruined. Blog over. But that is simply not the case. My readers (and yours too, surely) come to hear what you have to say. And when you have nothing to say they don't abandon you, rather, they assume you're off on a wonderful adventure and they can't wait to hear all about it.
- You're just as ____ as you think you are. If you think your post was funny, it was funny. If you wanted to touch the hearts of your readers, you did. Blogging is about you. It's your outlet. So no matter what the comments may say, it is your perspective that matters most.
- It's perfectly fine to be yourself, no matter what you may think. In the past few weeks I have read a variety of blogs that have outraged me, disgusted me, and made me simply shake my head. "How can this be on the internet," I wonder to myself. Well, for the same reason that I'm allowed to log on every day and type away - because we have the right to speak freely in this great country. While I am a full proponent of there being limitations, I am also glad that we are able to have this wonderful space that we can fill with our ideas, that inspires discourse, and that allows us to share ourselves with the world. This freedom is protected every day by our Armed Forces, and I intend to utilize it to the best of my ability.
It's been a great first few months, and I can't wait to see what lies ahead!
What have you learned from blogging?