These days I’m always online.
Either I’m blogging, promoting my blog on social media, reading about blogging or finding new topics to blog about.
If I’m not online then I’m working on a blog post.
I’m spending thousands of bucks on internet service and I’m getting even less sleep than I usually do.
And yet, I won’t give it up even if I had to.
So, what is it about blogging that makes it so necessary?
I’ve made little or nothing from it so far so it can’t be the truck loads of money. My blog isn’t even close to popular so it can’t be the limelight.
What is it about blogging that makes me sacrifice my money, time and sleep despite the slow coming rewards? What could a just-okay writer of little or no significance have to say about the benefits of blogging?
A lot, I realize now with some surprise as I stare at the twenty-odd bullet points in my notes.
The challenge, it seems would be keeping it under 10. Let’s see how I do.
Why I love to blogClick To Tweet
The beauty of an online platform is that you get to hide behind a screen. You can make yourself out to be anything you want. You can be instantly smarter, more successful, more graceful, prettier. You can lie about anything you want and not have to worry about anyone finding out the truth. The truth can be anything you choose it to be.
Ironically, I choose to be myself. And not the ‘me’ I have to be around people. Even with my friends, I have to choose my words carefully. I sometimes hide or buffer my opinions to avoid ruffling feathers. But on here, the mere futility of trying to please all 4 billion people who use the internet makes it completely unnecessary. I’m able to be myself completely.
Granted, sometimes I still get the urge to hide. I think it’s ‘the nurturer’ in me. Here, I used the word ‘word-gasm’. This was the word I thought in my head. I knew it was the word I wanted to use but I kept wondering what the people I knew would think if they read the post. It didn’t fit my real- life image. And so I was tempted to replace it with a more mellow word but at the end, why waste the rare gift to be myself.
How I sound in my head: “Oh, I’m Joanne. I’m fun and sassy and smart- most of the time. I love words and books and movies. I tell people I’m 5 foot 6 but I’m actually 5 foot 4. Shh… don’t tell.”
What actually comes out of my mouth: ‘Um…uh… hi?’
In person, I’m the very definition of awkward. My mind works so rapidly that most of the words are lost somewhere in my nerve circuits. Words get jumbled up. The true reason I avoid confrontations and arguments is because when I’m overcome with emotions like anger, the awkwardness gets worse. I literally start speaking gibberish. I end up walking away without making any points.
And it’s frustrating because I actually like to talk and while I’m not the smartest person out there, I think once in a while, I have something to say that might be worth listening to.
Thus it’s such a relief to write all the things I’m not able to say. To write exactly what I mean without being msitednpirerte misinterpreted.
Well, I guess I should confess right now that I don’t write as often as I should. More often than not, my novel gets stuck in the black hole that is procrastination. If I didn’t regularly (and I use this word liberally) update my blog then my writing muscles would have atrophied into nothing.
While writing a novel or even a short story can be daunting, writing a blog post is far less scary. I’m basically having a conversation with you guys. I won’t say there’s no pressure but it’s a different kind of pressure. And so, I write 2,000 words without even knowing. Of course, by the time I cut all the crap, it’s usually down to a modest 1,400+ words. But the point is that I’m writing.
This point wouldn’t exist without the previous one. Because I’m able to write often, I’m able to get better at it. The more challenging the post topic, the more I learn afterwards. I’m better at researching posts, I’m better at convening my message.
I’m just better.
This is one of the things I find most valuable about blogging. Perhaps the thing I’m most grateful for.
For as long as I’ve written stories, I have always written in someone else’s voice. I would finish reading a book written my one of favorite authors and with her voice in my head I would proceed to put words onto paper. Maybe it was that I didn’t realize I had a unique voice of my own. Maybe it was that I didn’t have any faith in my own voice. Maybe I thought that writing in her voice, a ‘real’ author’s voice would make my story more real. Likely it was a combination of all three.
It’s different with blogging. Perhaps it’s the honesty that is somewhat required to blog personally or the fact that I’m just having a conversation but there’s no pressure to be ‘the best’ but rather to be ‘the best version of myself’. There’s no need to hide behind the polished tone of a ‘real’ author. No reason to be anyone but myself.
Sometimes, I go back to read something I wrote earlier and I’m taken aback. It feels foreign to me and yet so familiar. It’s like re-acquainting myself with an old friend. This voice in my head that I’m so used to but which gets so lost in translation is coming to life.
With the discovery of my voice, is a more acute awareness of myself as a writer. I feel like I’m getting to know myself more. I’m starting to love myself, appreciate myself as a unique individual. It’s one of the gifts I’ll always be grateful to blogging for. I’m starting to realize that there’s no one out there like me and that I have the ability to touch lives.
There’s one thing that sucks about being an ‘aspiring’ author. There’s really no readable evidence. Usually. So for several years, I’ve shied away from revealing my hopes and dreams to anyone, even my closest friends.
But because I’m blogging, there is actual published evidence.
‘Oh, you call yourself a writer,’ an annoying classmate scoffs ‘What exactly have you written?’
I turn to her, raising my left brow. I don’t even say a word. I just grab her phone and type in my blog address. ‘Yes, that’s mine. I wrote it all, thank you very much.’
And with that, has come a renewed confidence in myself.
I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer.
And now, it’s actually true.
If you’ve been following this blog, you’d know that I’m not quite there yet. Try as I might, I haven’t been able to establish a posting schedule and stick with it, mostly because of school, uncertain internet service and…yeah, okay, I admit it…My laziness.
But still, so far, it has taught me how to halt procrastination and plan ahead of time. It has me actually drawing time tables and attempting to stick with them.
With time, I’m sure I’ll get this time management thing down to a super-power and hopefully before next year when school really gets hectic.
The biggest skill I’m learning is social media. I hadn’t the first clue about twitter or Facebook before this blog. In fact, I’m pretty much anti-social. But I’ve had to come out of my comfort zone and it has paid off.
The most amazing thing is that I actually love doing all these things. Not the social media- that’s still torture- but all the rest. I’m expanding my knowledge of web design and coding and graphic design. I might even like to do something with it later.
I would never have discovered my dormant love for these things without this blog.
You’re the new kid on the block, glasses on your nose and your books hugging your chest, threading lightly. A new school in a new town. You have no friends and know no one.
You walk quickly, intending to escape without notice but suddenly, you are surrounded by warm arms. Several warm arms.
It’s an incredible feeling.
Several bloggers encouraging me, telling me to keep it up, retweeting my posts even without me asking. Not even knowing how much of an impression they’ve made on me. I will forever be grateful to be part of this community of inspiring men and women, where we see ourselves as colleagues rather than as competition.
We inspire each other. We learn from each other. We build each other up.
I’m no expert on getting things right. But I do know all about getting thing wrong. I’ve made enough mistakes in life and writing to fill up several books. The opportunity to share those experiences and have people connect to them is humbling.
Whenever I open my WordPress dashboard and I see that little blue bubble that alerts to a comment. Even if it’s only one comment of a single word or even just an emoji, my heart almost explodes. I start to do a jig in my head. Because it means that someone read my post. And not only that, someone connected enough to it to have something to say in return.
It’s truly amazing.
So dear readers, you make this experience worthwhile. You encourage me. You keep me going even when I don’t think I have anything to say.
You inspire me.
So it was a great feat but I did manage to keep it to ten but the mere fact that it was so difficult is just another reason to love it.
What do you guys love to do and why? Hit me up in the comments.
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Alright, it’s the end of the post which means: