It doesn’t seem possible, but according to my calendar, it has been exactly two years since I started this blog. I can still remember how nervous I was about putting my writing on the internet where anyone and everyone could not only read it, but also comment on it. I spent weeks writing and rewriting several short essays about being middle aged, just so I would have something to publish even when writer’s block struck. I worried that no one would want to read my blog, and then I worried that lots of people would read it, but hate it. And tell me exactly why in my comment section. But eventually, with the constant encouragement (and occasional nagging) of a good friend, I sat down at the computer and wrote my first post.
Although I’ve been writing almost my entire life, I didn’t really understand what writing a blog entailed. I knew that blogging meant I would have to find the motivation to write regular posts, to read and respond to any comments that were made, and that I’d probably have to deal with a fair amount of spam. I knew I had to learn blogging terminology, such as widgets, tags, themes, etc. It all sounded very confusing, but I believed I would figure it out eventually, and I was mostly right about that. Above all, I knew that I was venturing into new territory and trying something that I had never done before. There was a very real risk that it wouldn’t work out at all, and then I would just have to hope that no one ever asked me, “Whatever happened to that blog you started?” I already had more than my share of failure in my writing career, and didn’t want to add to it.
But my blog didn’t fail. I wrote my posts on a regular schedule; a small (but very much appreciated) group of people read them and often left encouraging comments, and with each passing month, my confidence grew. I began adding photos to my posts and venturing out into other topics besides coping with middle age. Slowly but surely, I found the courage to share my real opinions, thoughts and experiences, and discovered how liberating it is to be true to myself rather than writing only what I thought others wanted to read. In many ways, that confidence has spilled over to other areas of my life as well.
Beyond that, the connections I’ve made through my blog have been a wonderful, if unexpected, gift. My regular readers include friends from my past and family who live far away, and I love being in closer contact with them. I’ve met terrific new people from all over the world, whose opinions I have come to value. I may not have met any of them in person, but many feel like friends.
Of course there have been the tough times, when something technical isn’t working with my blog, or when I stare at my computer screen and think, “Well that’s it, you’ve finally run out of ideas! Time to quit!” But I don’t quit, because my blog has become too important to me to abandon. I’m writing regularly and more confidently than I ever have before, and I’m interacting with many terrific people. Honestly, I like where my blog has led me so far, and I plan to stick around to see where the journey leads next.