Most of you know that I stumbled onto blogging unexpectedly and through my friend Michael. What started out as a temporary fill in became practically a vocation for me. Little did I know when I started blogging that it would go so well, that people would come and read and do so regularly and continue to do so. It still really blows my mind when I think about it.
The main reason I decided to start blogging was because I wanted the discipline of having to write everyday. For all the years that I’d written up to that point, that was the one thing I’d never been able to master. There were times when I literally went years without writing. I abandoned it many times, believing, or perhaps being convinced that it wasn’t an important or intregal part of my life. Wrong. Because it really is the core of me. And just as painters have to paint, writers have to write. If they don’t, a part of them dies and usually it’s a really good part.
So, with the phrase, “If you write it, they will come,” whispering in my ear I started out on this adventure. The demand and consumption of readers, plus the instant gratification of feedback, through comments, was a heady perfume for my writer’s soul and I blogged at a fevered pitch. The blog gods had their hooks in me and I don’t think I minded at all.
Soon, I had 30,000 hits, then 50,000, then 80,000 and recently have passed the 100,000 mark. Who knew? Not I, to be sure. With awe and wonderment, I simply couldn’t believe that so many people would want to stop by and read what I had to say.
Of course, at some point, life had to go and rear its ugly head and interfer. The job from hell, the this and the that. Always something driving my stress levels beyond what I was used to and ever wanted to get used to.
I started to view blogging with a wary eye and began to feel it was yet another obligation I had to fulfill and when I did post many of posts were so ‘woe is me,’ that frankly, it was embarrassing.
I started to rethink the whole blogging thing. Did I really need to keep doing it? Was it just one more thing that I had to fit into my harried and exhausting day? Are blogs just for kids?
So I backed off. I posted less. I let all the stuff that stressed me move front and center and concentrated on that. Blogging took a backseat. And I began to feel worse and worse and worse. I was convinced I’d lost my blogging mojo and that made me feel even worse. My finger was poised above the delete this blog button many times. It really was but something always kept me from pulling that final trigger. Something in me just wasn’t willing to let it go.
Then I realized something – of all the things I’d done in the last year and a half, blogging was the thing that had made me happy and had brought me the most joy. It had inspired me, been my mother confessor, the receptor for my screwy sense of humor and irony – and more than any force in the universe had made me write. Regularly and consistently. Day in and day out. And believe it or not had changed me in a good way.
When I needed to write a synopsis for my novel in order to begin the agent search, it was you guys who made me meet the deadline. It was you guys who cheered me on. When it was time to submit to the agents, again, it was you guys who stood on the sidelines, offering support and believing in me more than I believed in myself. And I know that without that support I wouldn’t have taken those steps, I wouldn’t have had the nerve.
And the list goes on – from bad jobs to life’s worries, you guys have been there for me – giving me the power to believe in myself.
And I’ve realized that I’ve been going at this thing bass ackwards. It isn’t time to blog less and relegate it to something I do when I can. It’s something to put back on my list of priorities. Without realizing it, blogging has formed a close, tightly-knit support systerm for me as a writer. How could I ever let that go?
And for all the worry that it would somehow take something away from my writing and writing time, that was a lie because without blogging, I’d never written any of the many words here on this blog. How screwed up would that be?
So, now I know. Blogging for me is part of who/what I am. It is the thing that gives me the power to connect with other people and makes me write and for a writer what power could have more value? None that I can think of.
So, I thank you for reading and commenting and coming back.