IN THE BEGINNINGI've mentioned before that I started this blog with Absolutely.No.Idea about what blogging actually was, and how to go about it. I just jumped in and started typing away and learned the basics as I went along. I've never tried to turn it into a money making enterprise or a soapbox to vent from, it's just been a wonderful outlet for me and a fantastic way to meet and connect with people all over the world.
I'm a latecomer to the blogging party - some people I've "met" have been blogging for a decade or more. I am in sheer awe of their tenacity and adaptability, and the way they keep up with all the changes that have happened in that time. I've only been kicking around the edges for the last two and half years - but let me say this - "it's been brilliant!"
THE YOUNGER MEWhen I was in high school I loved English and writing essays. I loved expressing myself in what I wrote, and it was a lot easier to write my thoughts down than it was to stand up and state them aloud. The thing is, high school ended, I went into the field of dentistry where no creative outlet was required, and my writing stopped dead in its tracks.
When I was a mum I didn't know anyone who wrote anything either - Mommy Bloggers were a complete unknown in my world - probably because the internet wasn't invented and when it finally arrived, it was something our kids used at dial-up speed and it held very little attraction for me.
FOR THE LOVE OF WRITINGFast forward to my fifties and I suddenly felt the compulsion to write again. Not the little bits and pieces I wrote in my journal, that was more about record keeping. No, I wanted to write what was in my head. I wanted to put down some of the stuff that floated in and out and to make it real. I wanted to write about what had been happening in my life and use that to figure out where I wanted to go.
This is where I jumped online, found the first free blogging site I came across, signed in, and started typing. I don't think I've stopped since! When I'm not typing, I'm thinking about what I'd like to type. Sometimes I wonder what will happen when I run out of words, but that hasn't transpired yet. I've thought about all the different directions I could go in with blogging, but I keep circling back to my original reason for doing this - I just love to write.
FREEDOM TO DO IT MY WAYBecause I don't need to make money from my blog, I'm not compelled to write about anything other than what interests me. I'm not driven by how many views I get (although I love people reading what I write) and I don't have an agenda, other than having fun. There is no pressure to compete with others, there is no pressure to perform at a certain level, it's all on my terms and it fits in so well with my life.
I've learned so much about writing online, I've learned about a lot of stuff I'll never use - but if you don't know then how do you decide what works and what doesn't? I love reading other blogs and getting to know other bloggers. The camaraderie I've found, and the generosity of other bloggers never ceases to amaze me. A whole world has been opened up to me over the last couple of years and I'm so glad I found it.
WHY BLOG?I have friends who wonder if they should blog and my advice would be - go for it! I have others who wonder how I find stuff to write about and I think that if they need to ask then maybe blogging isn't their "thing". All I know is that I've discovered this wonderful outlet and it's brilliant! It has taught me so much, it has allowed me to discover myself and to express those discoveries. It has validated a lot of my journey because I've connected with so many other people who are travelling the same road.
If you've never written a blog and you wonder what it would be like, all I can say is - go for it! Start somewhere free - you can always change it up and spend the bucks if you feel like it has a future. I'm a very frugal person, so spending money on something takes a fair amount of consideration. I love the fact that I can do all this for next to nothing - on my own terms, in my own time, and still reap such huge rewards. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this "blogging thing" because it's been one of the biggest blessings to come my way.