When I first started this blog over seven years ago, I was very nervous and had no real idea of what to expect. I wanted to write about the challenges of being “middle-aged” in the hope that others might be able to relate. I assumed my readers would be friends and family, and possibly a few people who happened to stumble across my blog by accident. I’d read that posting at least once a day was necessary for successful blogging, but I started with a more manageable schedule of posting once every four days. I figured that I’d eventually work my way up to the recommended daily blog post.
But as is so often the case, blogging turned out to be something very different from what I had envisioned. For one thing, I soon realized that not all of my friends and family were actually interested in reading my blog, but that some old classmates, coworkers, casual acquaintances and total strangers were willing to read and occasionally comment on my posts. I was pleasantly surprised by how encouraging almost all of the comments were, despite my fears of writing on a public forum. And as time went on, I expanded my blog’s focus beyond the issues of being middle aged and simply began writing about all the things that interest me.
My blogging experience may have turned out very differently from what I expected, but it’s actually been a very good one. I’ve loved having the chance to connect with wonderful people from all over the world, and being introduced to so many other blogs that I truly enjoy reading. And while I actually post less often now than I did when I first began (that daily post never did happen), I know I’ve benefited from writing on a regular basis for the past seven years. Writing is like almost every other skill: the more I practice it, the more confident I become.
Blogging regularly has also helped me grow, both intellectually (and yes, I know there’s lots of room for improvement there) and emotionally. It’s impossible to write well about any topic without first figuring out how I really feel about it, and why. I think that kind of self-examination is good for us, and goes a long way toward helping us discover our true nature. And I honestly believe that learning to trust our inner voice is a very good thing.
So I’m very glad that I took the risk and started this blog all those years ago. Like so many other times when I finally found the courage to try something new, I discovered that the rewards were definitely worth the effort. And since my natural tendency has always been to stick with what is familiar and safe, I make a point of reminding myself now and then that almost everything in my life that I value most is a direct result of trying something new. As the old saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained….”