Is there a specific point in time when your blog is officially legit? You know, like a point in time when you realize:
Hey, I actually like blogging; I oughta keep this thing going.
If there is some sort of blog bible out there, I doubt it would indicate a specific time frame for this kind of thing. But coming to the realization that I really, really enjoy blogging hit me just a couple weeks ago when a) I published my 100th blog post, and b) I said to myself:
You know, this blog of yours is
kind of a big deal actually being read by real people — not just spammers.
All you bloggers out there know the hardships involved with blogging: coming up with fresh content, taking photos to accompany posts, editing photos to accompany posts, writing in a way that entertains and keeps the reader’s interest, etc. Some of the big bloggers out there know that’s only a smidge of the duties blogging entails. And if you get to be as big as the big bloggers, it can easily become a full-time job.
I’m nowhere near that level of popularity, but the time that I do put into blogging is extremely rewarding for these three reasons:
- You put your magnifying glass on the world. It’s no doubt that blogging changes the way you look at the world. That’s because you’re always looking for something to write about. You keep your eyes peeled for any nugget of an idea that you can blow out into a blog post. And on top of that, you have to have your camera ready for documentation (thank you, iPhone camera). But once you’ve got your nugget and you sit down at the computer to blow it out, there’s a lot of deep thinking and reflection that goes into whatever you’re writing about. How often do you really have time to sit and reflect about something, anything? When you blog, you do it pretty often.
- You surprise yourself. Sometimes when I’m struggling with a post, there’s a voice in my head that whispers, this post blows. Nevertheless, I push through it. No point in quitting on a post when you just spent 30 minutes (maybe even an hour) crafting it just to sit in your Saved Drafts folder. After I hit the Publish button, I walk away. And later, I see the rather decent number of hits, the site stats, the likes and comments on Facebook and WordPress. As it turns out, some of the posts I worry about or wrestle around with are the ones that are most successful. It’s a sign to go with your gut, trust yourself and kick the Debbie Downer voice inside your head to the curb.
- You get wheels turning. There’s obviously a lot of thinking that goes into blogging. But there’s even more thinking that comes out of it. The ability to question yourself or reflect on yourself ultimately gets others to do the same. And what I love most is that in this day and age of blogging and tweeting and Facebooking, people can show their support (or their disdain) with a like or a comment or a retweet. The feedback is probably the most rewarding for me. To strike a chord with someone you may not even know or get someone to feel something even if your views are as different as night and day is a pretty cool thing, in my opinion.