Last week's prompt for Blogtember was How has blogging or social media changed you. When I read it, a million ways flooded my mind. There were too many to put into words and so I just sat here. At the keyboard with a blank page. How do you count the ways that blogging, simply self publishing your words, has changed you? It's almost impossible.
Recently I've been going back and reading some of my posts from my first year blogging. Let me tell you, it's been an experience. Some of the posts are so very long. Some ramble a bit. There have been typos, and run on sentences. Rookie mistakes. It was also refreshing, as I could plainly hear my voice. The one I'm still using today. The one that many of you comment that you love. So while many of my posts are riddled with poor spacing, unedited photos, and mismatched fonts, it's very plainly me.
Sadly, as I go though my second year of blogging, I see the blogger I didn't like. The one who was concerned with the numbers game. The one who wanted in on every giveaway, wanted to sell lots of ad space, the one who was looking for any gimmick to grow her blog. It was sad. Pathetic. I was so lost, and regrettably so was my voice. Looking through them I'm surprised I got any comments at all, that I had any traffic at all. Because who really wants to listen to someone go on and on about products they will never use again, ad space they are so desperately trying to sell, blog hops that will "maintain" their readership?
So here I am now. Close to three years into this gig. I still make zero money on this blog, save the occasional product review, the occasional partnership with another blogger. I still have the same amount of followers I had close to a year ago. Holding steady in my GFCs (which are useless now), and once in a while gain a reader or two on Bloglovin. But those numbers don't mean much anymore. Now I find meaning in comments and interactions. Now I find meaning in making new friends and helping them grow their blogs and shops.
I've also found new meaning in words. What I write. What I say. I've found new meaning in my voice and staying true to it. I've become more confident, writing with my heart on my sleeve. Bringing brutal honesty to an entirely new level. Much to my husband's dismay I might add. Confidence that has allowed me to drop the occasional eff bomb. Confidence to admit the cracks in the exterior. Confidence to be me, and continue to explore the new me. The one that is still an imperfect mom, the one that is still not the best wife, the one who is still trying to hold on to her type A personality, in a type C (for chaotic) life. Confidence that allows me to live this life, as imperfect that it is, and to share this life with you. To show you that we all have similar stories. That we are mostly on the same page. To show that you and I are not alone in the journey that is motherhood.
Oh, how blogging has changed me. Not just as a writer and a blogger, but as a person too. I'm a better mother and wife, because I can share personal failures here. Only to find they aren't that bad. I can share stories that aren't really funny, but find a way to laugh at them anyway. Blogging and writing has a great way of pointing out the silver lining. Which is great, because most days I need that.
I was so afraid to start a blog way back when. Which seems so silly today. But like with anything, there is always a time, and always a place, you just have to get there. Blogging is now the thing that saves me. The thing that motivates me. The thing that brings me great joy and satisfaction. Because every time I hit publish, I've done something. Made something all my own. With words, and a voice, and a feeling. With passion and emotion. With honesty and sometimes sarcasm.