I’m a little embarrassed to discover and admit that I’m closing in on my one-year blogiversary. Sounds a little odd maybe, but it’s true. I’m embarrassed because in one whole year, I’ve only managed to complete a handful of posts, most of which weren’t even put up until recent months. You’d think that a whole year would be more than enough time to really make something good, but in my case, it’s only near the end that I’m starting to get the hang of this whole deal.
But moving past the embarrassment for a second (actually, let’s just leave it where it is and move on), this one-year mark is still rather a big deal. Not because I’ve managed to reach it but more because I’ve learned and experienced way more than I had bargained for. (Cliche alert! But it’s not, I promise. Or at least I’ll try to keep the corniness to a minimum.)
I don’t remember why exactly I decided to start up a blog of my own. Wait, okay that was a lie. Redo. *inhale, exhale* I don’t remember the exact moment I decided to do it, but I know why I did it. To be completely honest, I’d been hanging around WordPress for a while and reading other people’s blogs like a
stalker shadow. And while I enjoyed reading, there would be times where I’d find myself itching to write and would reach over for my journal. But somehow, it wasn’t satisfying enough. I didn’t have the pretty layout or the option of deleting and starting over. I didn’t have the potential to reach people and interact with them. All I had was an overactive mind filled with tangent thoughts. And the more I read, the more I’d catch myself thinking, this writer makes some good points but I could do it just as well, if not better. I flattered myself that I was a decent enough writer to write interesting things and make people want to read. In short, a puffed up ego and self-complacency led me to the final “Create” button. Or whatever that final button is to get your blog up and running.
(I know what you’re thinking. Oh great, this chick turns out to be a self-absorbed know-it-all. But wait! Is that humble pie you smell? Absolutely. So bear with me.)
The first couple of posts were okay. Bland, but okay. All blogs get off to a slow start, right? But with each passing month (that’s right, not days or weeks), I started realizing something was off. When I went back to reread my writing, it felt oddly stiff and unfamiliar. Who is writing this god-awful stuff that’s trying way too hard to be witty and deep at the same time? Oh…. it’s me. And then I’d read other fantastic blogs that were funny, sincere, thoughtful, and filled with personality. I compared them to what was going on here and felt utterly ridiculous. Like some awkward teenager who managed to sneak into the cool kids’ party, only to realize she was in way over her head.
As I became more familiar with my surroundings and encountered more blogs, humble pie started getting dished up tray by tray (I ate all of it too. Not quite as delicious as normal pie, sadly). I was humbled by the sheer amount of creativity, inspiration, passion, talent, humor, you-name-it out in the blogosphere. And by how much love and dedication people were putting into their blogs. Who was I to think I could be like those people? And then I figured it out. THAT was the problem. In watching others be super cool, I wanted to be super cool too. But if you actively try to be super cool, you’ll always fail. So here I was, trying and failing to be super cool. Now what was I supposed to do? Funny enough, in realizing that I actually wasn’t super cool, I pulled myself out of that black hole and decided I didn’t care anymore. I stopped caring about whether a topic was cool or not. I stopped caring whether I sounded cool or not. But I did decide to care more about the quality of what I was putting out and to always make sure it sounded 100% like me. I stopped comparing, did more writing, and felt a lot better about everything. And I’m pretty sure people picked up on the positive vibe, because they started responding and even decided to stick around! You know you’ve made it big-time when you’re able to reel in strangers just by the power of your words. Literary seduction… I love it.
In all seriousness, I’m just really grateful for this experience. I didn’t think it would turn into an experience, but it did. And it’s still going on. Right now. I feel like I’m finally starting to understand what this whole blogging thing is about and the best part is getting to ‘meet’ other cool people who like writing too. I’m grateful for all the bloggers who share and write great things I enjoy. I’m grateful for every single person who’s ever read anything I’ve written. And I’m grateful for the people who took the time to show their appreciation. And now I’ll stop this ramble on gratefulness before it starts sounding like an Oscar acceptance speech.
So, to summarize? I swaggered, I fell, I ate some pie, I reevaluated, I ate more pie, I tried, I learned. And the learning part is by far the most rewarding. Not just about blogging, but about all sorts of things. In following a variety of blogs, I’ve learned (or can potentially learn) how to be a better writer, be a better cook, be more stylish, be more poetic, be more silly, be more compassionate, and just be more awesome. But the number one thing that’s still the holy grail of all things learned? Being yourself.
(How’s that for an epic cliche? But I really do mean it! Oh, stop rolling your eyes. You’ve gotta admit it’s a pretty neat ending, right? Right?)
Happy Blogiversary! May your own blogiversary be just as obstacle-filled and rewarding as mine!