Have you ever been really freaked out about doing something but you did it anyway and then realized it wasn’t as bad as you had anticipated? That’s happened to me many times over the past few years. For example:
- Giving blood
- Driving in Boston
- Going to an event where I didn’t know anyone
But you might be shocked when I tell you one of my biggest fears: Blogging.
As a writer these days, it is practically required to publish a blog so you can insert your “voice” into the constantly changing cyber-universe of digital publishing and show publishers that you have the ability to attract an audience.
I’ve started and subsequently cancelled several blogs because I couldn’t get over the fear of people either reading my posts and being critical or, worse, nobody reading anything I wrote. Plus, the thought of broadcasting my work without a “real” editor’s review was horrifying. I’d rather talk to a crowd of 10,000 people than publish a badly written blog post. So for the past three or so years, I thought about blogging a lot, but I didn’t blog.
Then, at 32,000 feet somewhere over the middle of the country on February 18, 2013, I gave myself a little pep talk while I downed my Diet Coke before the flight attendant made her way down the aisle with the trash bag. It went something like this: Stop being a baby and write your damn blog!
During the rest of the flight, I jotted down some goals:
1) Regularly write and publish short reflective personal essays around the theme of gratitude.
2) Learn how to use WordPress.
3) Connect with other writers and readers.
4) Focus on the process of writing instead of the result.
After hemming and hawing for about a month, I published my first post in April. This is my 39th post. Every time I press the Publish button, I feel a tiny bit nauseous. But I do it anyway. And guess what? Three surprising things have happened!
First, more than 474 people have signed up to read my posts. I don’t even think I know 474 people in real life. It seems weird not to personally know many of you who comment on my blog or inspire me to do things or consider things I might not if I hadn’t read your blogs. But I’m so glad that blogging has introduced me to your work. I’d like to have a party and invite you all.
Second, I have been nominated by fellow bloggers for numerous awards, which are ways that bloggers give recognition and pay it forward to blogs they find interesting. (At the end of this post, please see the list of blogs I am nominating for The Versatile Blogger Award).
Third, my posting about parenting advice I’ve screwed up was Freshly Pressed by WordPress. I had no idea what this meant until I started getting comments from other bloggers congratulating me. In the process of figuring out what I was being congratulated for, I learned more about WordPress.
Unexpectedly, I am having fun blogging. Every time I finish a post and hit Publish, after the nausea fades, I feel uplifted, like I’ve accomplished something. As I slog through longer projects that take months and years to finish, blogging has boosted my energy by making me feel productive. I was not expecting that. I thought it would feel like a chore.
Thank you so much to all of my readers for being interested in what I have to say!
Also, thank you to Jennie Saia, Three Magical, and Pour Me a Milk for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. As I understand it, I need to tell 7 things about myself and then introduce my readers to other up-and-coming blogs that I think are excellent.
7 Things You Might Not Know About Me:
- My favorite word besides Shit is actually not a real word: Lookit.
- Rice Krispie Treats are the one thing I cannot control myself with. They are the devil.
- I say that I like to improvise when I cook just so I don’t have to go to the grocery store to get missing ingredients.
- Once I wanted six children. Then my two little hell-raisers came along.
- My friend and I used to moon passing cars at the bus stop when I was little. One time a car passed us, stopped and started to back up. We ran back to my house and told my mom we missed the bus so she’d drive us to school.
- If I’m in a car longer than 20 minutes and I’m not driving, I fall asleep.
- I love to hip-hop dance even though I look like a a complete idiot.
I nominate the following blogs for The Versatile Blogger award. I think you’re supposed to nominate 15 according to the “rules,” but 15 is an overwhelming number for me. I think three is best. It gives these blogs the attention they deserve. So here are three great blogs to check out:
Morning Coffee For the Mind for very funny jokes and inspirational quotes.
My Dad’s Lunch for hilarious lunch photos one blogger’s very creative dad emails to her.
Espirational for short, inspiring, positive photos, stories and quotes that make me smile.