I have been thinking about writing a post about blogging for the last couple of weeks because I just really wanted to write about what a rewarding experience I have found it to be and today I have been given the perfect opportunity to share my newfound love of blogging by being made Blog of the Week by the lovely and talented Ailsa MacNab! Thank you so much Ailsa – be sure to check out her blog if you haven’t done so already.
I had always thought about starting a blog (ever since Ugly Betty started one. Yes really, god I loved that show) but I never got around to it and it took me a long time to work out how to actually go about doing it.
I started writing again when I was having my late twenties crisis (yes, you can have a crisis at any age) just before I left to go travelling. Why I stopped and why I started again would be a novel in itself, but to put it simply, I just felt I had to and I have never looked back. Travelling was incredibly inspirational and I met some people (two girls in particular) that I wrote poems for as a gift and then decided to write them a short story.
Nearly 3 years later, I am still writing that story and let’s just say that it is no longer short. It has inspired a lot of my submissions to the Weekly Writing Challenge (you can view them at After the Lights Went Out ) and it has helped me to develop my characters wonderfully. I decided to write many of the weekly writing challenges from my characters point of view, so although some of what is written in those posts will be in the novel, some of it is for WordPress only – as a space for my characters to come to life and for me, in this sense, blogging is a wonderful new tool as a writer.
Sitting on your own writing stories and poems and submitting them to publications and competitions is incredibly lonely and at times very disheartening. Writing a novel that takes up most of your free time is at times wonderful, but at times you do wonder if you are doing the right thing. When you first start writing, you have this fear that what you are writing is utter garbage and that people are going to laugh at you for daring to think that anyone would want to read what you write. A blogging community allows you to share your writing experience with other like minded people who appreciate what you are trying to do, because they understand. It is so encouraging and there is nothing more gratifying for me right now than to see that someone liked a post or that I have a new follower. I have to confess I have become a tad obsessed with checking my notifications and stats. It just makes me so happy when someone somewhere has read something I have written and either liked it or related to it.
Blogging allows you try different styles, to hone your skills and to get a feel for what things people generally like. What I have found is that the more honest and open I am, the more people like it. Sharing your writing for the first time is terribly scary, but after a few posts on your blog, you begin to really open up and your confidence grows.
One of the worst feelings in life is feeling alienated and alone. Although there are thousands of writers out there doing similar things and feeling the same things, in your day to day life, chances are you are not like your friends and your family and it is difficult for them to relate to what you want to express. I am a deep person, I like talking about the big things, I like talking about philosophy and religion and the meaning of life. Most of my friends accept this, but there are few who constantly want to talk about these things, so blogging has given me a forum to get all of these thoughts and ideas out there where I can communicate with people who are also interested in them.
What I also love is that you find that the people you connect with and who appreciate your writing might not necessarily have the same beliefs as you or have lived a similar life to you, but still you are able to find common ground and you can share things with them. You connect with people from all over the world and learning about their lives and how they feel about them is incredibly interesting. Reading stories and seeing photographs from all different kinds of lives is such a rich experience. It is a huge world out there and if we were all more able to share our feelings about those experiences, the people in the world would have a much better understanding of each other. Social media is often criticised, but I find it is like everything in life – it depends what you choose to focus on. Reading about other people’s achievements and happy moments gives me hope. I see a world full of kind, appreciative, engaging people, all just wanting to feel a apart of something and a connection to each other. I choose to see that, I hope that is what I put out there and that is what I get back.
On days when I feel a little lost, and I wonder why I am doing this at all, I ask for a sign, a sign that I should keep going, a sign that this is the right thing for me. Being praised and appreciated keeps me writing and for that I am truly glad.
Thank you to everyone who has liked or commented or read my posts, thanks to WordPress for giving my writing a home and thanks to Ailsa for your kind encouragement. It really does mean a lot to me.
Feel free to comment on what you love about blogging and keep writing folks!