I have been blogging for so long I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t sharing our stories for the world to read.
I started at time when blogging was new in SA, the community was small but growing fast.
I was one of those bloggers that I think writes hate. I couldn’t write. If I read some of those old posts I want to cringe a little, I think what carried me through was the fact that I was sharing stories from my dating experiences and there were a few
weird interesting stories. (I do think I have gotten better though).
I have been super lucky to have not have first hand experience of the dark side of blogging. I have never received negative comments or horrible emails. I do know that that dark side exists and I have seen it play out. Overall my blogging experience has been positive and I prefer to focus on that.
Blogging has taught me so much.
It has taught me
That I can write. I have always wanted to be a writer but have never really believed that I can actually write until recently. I have now had articles published in a few reputable magazines, I get paid to write blog posts for this blog and for other online blogs. I am actually getting paid to write so I must be able to do it.
Determination. Blogging can be soul destroying at times. You pour your heart and soul into a post and no one comments. Not. One. Person! It does kill you a little bit inside. You have to keep going though. You have to keep trying, keep sharing, keeping being true to who you are.
No ones life is better than mine. You can paint a beautiful picture online, share lovely photos of your home, your beautifully dressed children and your perfectly prepared meals but then one day you share a post about your depression or your struggle with weight-loss or your husband who was unfaithful and suddenly equilibrium is restored. Everyone has their battles, everyone is struggling some demon.
Opportunities exist everywhere. I have been given so many amazing opportunities through my blogging. I have done things, been places and met people I would never have thought. I have said yes when others have said no and no when others have said yes – both have allowed me incredible opportunities.
How to build professional relationships. I have been working with brands and PR companies for about 3 years now, the lessons learnt from that is probably a post on its own but I have learnt how to build these relationships, nurture the ones that work for me and politely step away from the ones that don’t.
That I can make a difference. For three years I organised a Christmas party where all the gifts were donated from my readers. Each party was just as special as the one the year before and while it was a small gesture, I made the difference in the lives of a few children. I still get emails weekly from people going through a divorce who are looking for assistance or just want to say thank you for sharing my story. These are small things but they have made a difference in someones life.
I have also made some amazing friends through blogging. Blogging allows you to see directly into the lives of someone else. I have been so fortunate to have met a lot of the women behind the blogs on my blog roll and over the years we have shared some amazing experiences together – there have been births, marriages, successes and failures. We have sat in pews and watched as friends walk down the isle, we have pushed refresh 100 times waiting for babies to arrive. We have offered advice when babies wouldn’t sleep and we have celebrated birthdays together. We are, in so many ways, family.
It is not always easy and there are days I wonder why I still keep doing it but those days are few and far between. Blogging is a part of my life, it is a part of who I am. It is the one thing I have done that hasn’t failed. It is the one thing, next to my children, that I am most proud of.