Blogging has changed my life. It is right up there with getting married, going to college and starting therapy in terms of its profound life changing impact. Blogging has changed things about my character that I thought were unchangeable, permanent and irretractably set in stone. For a long time I have been ruminating on writing a blog post called “write a blog, change your life” and that is because I am constantly amazed how blogging has changed my life and changed me. The reason that I haven’t written this post before is that the longer I blog the more ways I experience the varied and surprising ways that blogging has changed my life and changed me and that the full impact of its effects can’t be known until I am done blogging and I am nowhere near done blogging. So that is why I am calling today Part I of what will clearly be a multi-episode series. For today I have decided to to document the four ways that blogging has changed my character.
Character Change Number One: Discipline
Three years ago no one was calling me disciplined. No one. Not even the people in my life who feel obligated to lie to me in order to buoy my spirits—the people who would tell me I was beautiful when I had a huge zit on my forehead and who would tell me I was smart when I had just made a really stupid mistake—and certainly not Kelly Valen who is the author of the soon to be released and must be read book, Twisted Sisterhood. I don’t mean to name drop here. I know it is unseemly. However I have to tell you what a BIG deal it was for me to wake one morning to see that Kelly, a person I don’t really know and who has no reason to say things to me that she doesn’t truly mean, had left a comment on my Facebook page in which she described me as “Disciplined and prolific”. Her kind compliment about my character as a writer motivated me to plug my lapbook into my printer and print her compliment about my character and once it was printed I then took a hard look at myself in the metaphorical mirror and I saw that I was no longer the undisciplined flibbertigibbet that I used to be. Okay, to be kind, that isn’t entirely true. I would and could and did get things done if an authority figure (teacher or boss) gave me a deadline but if I didn’t have an external deadline there was little chance I would get any writing done. Thanks to regular blogging I have developed discipline and that is a miracle. If only I could translate that discipline to my fitness regime.
Character Changer Number Two: Prolific
As I said above, I was lazy and undisciplined and that led to an embarrassingly low volume of creative output. In the course of a year I felt like I has really achieved something if I had managed to write a few short stories and an essay or two. However, thanks to the blog I have written over 700 posts (not all of them published) and most of those are on the long-winded side (thank you patient readers), two book proposals, essays and a short and shockingly bad stab at a novel. I am in fact a prolific writer. I don’t know how it happened or when it happened other than I started the blog and I stuck with it.
Character Change Number Three: Brave and/ or courageous
Before I started blogging I was a scaredy cat. I let fear stop me from taking all manner of risks. And truth be told I still have a good amount of fear. That said, if I had to tell you the characteristic mirrored most from those who read my blog is that I am brave and/ or courageous to write about what I do on my blog. Whenever I get this compliment (and o do get it a lot) I am always baffled by it. I really don’t get what is so brave about what I write. When people tell me I am brave I often say internally, “or I am stupid” as I just don’t get what I am doing that is so brave or courageous. However I have gotten this compliment at least 100 times so it must be true. I am here by owning that I am brave and courageous. I also own that I have no idea why I am.
Characteristic Change Number Four: Trust
I have trust issues that go waaaaay back. I had a therapist many years ago that told me that my issues go back to Trust vs. Mistrust. I so mistrusted her analysis that I got up out of my chair mid-session and left and never came back. So, yeah, I had some trust issues. But somehow blogging and having such wonderful readers has helped me with this core issue. I trust you even though I may have never met you in 3-D. I have shared some things with you that I wouldn’t share with my own family and friends. In sharing the really hard stuff with you I have had some big healing. One of the most healing days in my life, I credit to the blog and to my LOVELY readers, and it was in response to my post Cassandra Complex. Reading your comments was more healing for me than all my time in Al-anon and work with many therapists. Truly, I will never forget that day and reading those comments—it was a life changing experience. I will never be the person I was before that post and for that I thank you all.
Because of my trust issues I generally viewed the world as hostile and dangerous. This is no longer true. Now I tend to view the world, or at least the bloggy world, or more specifically the bloggy world that I am a part of as a very supportive, loving and encouraging place. I have made some true and life long friends through this blog. I have made the kind of friends that if I was ever in crisis, and Igor had left the country, I could turn to. I know if God forbid something happened to He-weasel or Lily that I could come to the blog and tell you what happened and I would get real, immediate and meaningful support. I know I could count on getting phone calls from bloggy friends around the world and that there are some of you I could even count on you to show up with a casserole and comfort even in the darkest and scariest nights of the soul and that is really saying something. You, my friends, have changed my belief that I am alone in the world—save my little circle of support—and for that I am eternally grateful. Just yesterday I got a handful of calls to check and see how yesterday went with Igor. Have I mentioned yet how much I love you all?
Well I do, even if this is your first time here. I love you for reading this far and giving a hoot what it is I might have to say. I have received so many unsolicited acts of kindness from my blogger friends that it truly helped change my sense of the world. Just today I was named the Blogger of Note (BON) over at Words of Wisdom thanks my dear bloggy friend Privilege who nominated me for this honour. Thank you, Privilege! Thanks, Words of Wisdom! And thanks to all of you who are here from Words of Wisdom. If this is the first time, for your benefit and , perhaps, reading pleasure, I am linking to three of my favorite( and perhaps life changing) posts as is part of the protocol of being a “Blogger of Note”.
16 Things You Don’t Say To Someone Childless Not By Choice
My Lot in Life
I would love to hear how blogging has changed your life. Come on, be brave and courageous and tell me your secrets. You can trust me and feel free to be prolific.