When I spearheaded my new blogging venture at The Champagne Supernova back in December of 2014, I freaked out every time I clicked the “publish” button.
What will people think?
Should I censor myself out of fear that sharing my truths will cause me to become rejected?
Will people see me as vain and narcissistic, an occasional stereotype of bloggers?
Why would other people care to read about my mundane life or my personal opinions?
As a result of freaking out, my first couple posts were pure garbage. I mean, they weren’t terrible, but they also weren’t my authentic voice. They were the watered-down version of someone trying to come across as polished, politically correct, and proper.
Those qualities are fine, but they’re not always me.
It’s been a bit of an evolution, like everything else in life, but here are 9 ways blogging is making me a better person:
Blogging Helps me Prioritize. Like other bloggers, I balance my hobby of writing with a young family, demanding career, and social life. When I started The Champagne Supernova, I had grandiose plans of publishing a blog post twice a week. Then, as I became more realistic and appreciated the amount of work and creativity associated with writing a quality post, those plans were reduced to once a week.
When I first started blogging I found it incredibly hard at first, I just wasn’t too sure what I had to. My friend luckily recommended that I use something like this best wordpress hosting site to make starting a lot easier. I just had a lot of learning to though and I had a lot of expectations when really I shouldn’t have worried so much.
Now, I’m lucky if I can pump out one post every week.
And you know what? That’s okay.
The world won’t stop spinning if I don’t publish a blog post. And for the Type A control freak in me, this is difficult, but I’ve just gotta let it go.
Blogging has helped me to establish a hierarchy of what must be done, what could be done, and what can wait for later.
And sometimes that’s blogging.
Blogging Keeps me Accountable. If I write on my blog that I’m going to do something, I pretty much have to do it.
This is exactly why I haven’t posted about my goal to completely give up coffee.
I’m just not there yet.
Blogging Helps me Grow Thick Skin. In the fifteen months I’ve been blogging, I’ve been attacked by internet trolls. One publicly called me a bad mother because I let my three-year-old wear pajamas to daycare. One was another blogger who accused me of hijacking a common phrase from one of her old blog posts (that I never read) and then using it myself.
The pre-blogger me would have called my friends crying and would have considered shutting down the blog for good. I would have responded to these people and tried to reason with them.
You’re gonna like me again, Goshdarnit!
The post-blogger me shakes it off and doesn’t care.
Blogging has helped me realize that other peoples’ views don’t matter. And there’s definitely a positive correlation between people who are critical (read: haters) and people who don’t have the courage to pursue their own goals. So, generally, I don’t care about other peoples’ opinions unless those people are my immediate family, a handful of close friends, or a person who enables me to pay my mortgage (e.g. The Bossman).
Blogging Taught me it’s Ok to Make Mistakes. After months of empty submissions to the blog for the Today Show parenting team, you can imagine my elation when one of my posts was finally featured and made its way around the internet. Read it here.
There’s a typo in the fifth paragraph. And while it was unlikely anyone else noticed, I noticed and I agonized about it.
Then I realized, like most things, life isn’t over because of a simple mistake. In fact, life just got better because I learned from the mistake. I make an effort to closely read all of my posts before they’re published to avoid other typos in the future.
You know what? It’s bound to happen again.
And it’ll be ok.
Blogging Inspires Creativity. One of my work colleagues, whom I deeply respect, once said that every person has an inherent need to be creative. Whether it’s painting, singing, writing, knitting, drawing, whatever, we all need to act upon our creativity, and we become unhappy when we can’t do that.
I can relate.
Creative expression sets my soul on fire. It allows me to be “artistic” in a way that my day job doesn’t.
And I’m so much happier now that I’ve pursued it.
Blogging Enhanced my Photography Skills. I bought a DSLR camera in 2012 when my first daughter was born and was painfully intimidated by the lights, buttons, and switches.
F stop. Aperture. Shutter speed.
Just keep it in the automatic setting, I thought. It’s so much easier that way.
Sure, it was easy. But it often resulted in pictures that were blurry, yellow, or dark.
If I wanted good pictures on the blog, I would have to learn how to use the camera in manual. And, just like everything else, practice makes perfect. It took about two years, but now I only use it in manual. And check out this sweet shot I captured last year in Italy, which totally would have been ruined if I was shooting in automatic:
Blogging Opens Doors for Connections. I have so many “friends” in the blogosphere who, even though we’ve never met in the flesh, I feel like I know. I read their blogs routinely, celebrate their blogging victories, see pictures of their families, “like” and “comment” on their Instagram photos, and would definitely have a glass of vino with them if given the opportunity.
These bloggers have inspired me to do better and enabled me to have fresher ideas, take better pictures, grow my subscriber list, and jump start my SEO.
Dang for those pesky geographic limitations.
Blogging Makes me be a Better Listener. In the blogging community, it’s all about the conversation. There’s no right or wrong, just a gathering of opinions focused on seeing each other succeed. It’s no longer solely about what I think or what I’m doing, but it’s about reading what other people are doing and understanding whether it is or isn’t working for them.
Blogging Helps me Help Others. Putting my honest struggles and vulnerabilities onto the world wide web, where it will stay forever, has an impact in ways I never realized. Last year after I published a post about my awful experience with the baby blues, a stranger approached me at Home Depot, sobbing. She was four weeks postpartum and was struggling with depression, discovered my blog, and found comfort knowing she wasn’t alone.
It felt so good to know I made her feel good without even trying, just by being honest.
What ways has your preferred creative outlet changed your life for the better? Let’s keep the conversation going.
If you’re thinking about following in my footsteps by starting a blog, this could motivate you to be on track with tasks at home and in the office as you’ll be uploading content daily for your readers.