I’ve been blogging for five years now, and when you do something for five years, you’re bound to learn a thing or two. To begin with, I learned that time really does fly when you’re having fun, because it just doesn’t seem as if five whole years have gone by since I started this blog. I can still remember how I struggled to figure out how to create a blog, and how I felt both nervous and proud when I finally managed to publish my first blog post.
It wasn’t long before I realized that the blog stats I checked so obsessively really didn’t mean all that much, because they weren’t particularly accurate. I have many regular readers who don’t follow my blog, and I have even more followers who never read a single post. I also noticed that the posts I liked best weren’t always the ones that generated the most views. Eventually, I figured out that what made writing a particular post most worthwhile was when one of my readers was kind enough to let me know that my writing spoke to them. Because face it, if something we write touches even one person in a significant way, then that post was well worth the effort.
I sometimes have trouble embracing change, but blogging has taught me that change is not always a bad thing. I think all bloggers enjoy having a core group of “blogging friends” who read and support each other’s blogs, and I was lucky enough to find such a group early on. I’m not at all sure I would have stuck with my blog without their encouragement. But most of the people in my initial core group have dropped out of Word Press, and been replaced by other new friends who have ventured into the blogging world. The blogging community is constantly changing, and I’ve learned to accept that and be grateful for each new connection it brings me.
Blogging has also made me much less cynical, because it’s taught me that, despite what the news media would have us believe, most people are basically good. When I first started blogging, I was very intimidated by the fact that readers would be able to comment directly on my posts. I was quite sure I was going to have to deal with lots of spam and nasty responses. But 99% of the comments I’ve received have been positive. And they usually generate interesting discussions among people who seem to be both kind and intelligent, and willing to be share their experience and knowledge. That’s the sort of thing that gives me hope for our world.
Finally, the most important thing my blog has taught me is to be willing to take a risk now and then, especially when it involves something I’ve always wanted to do. If I hadn’t worked up the nerve to hit that “publish” button for the first time, I would have missed out on so much just because I was too afraid to try something new. And the past five years wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun…..