“And it occurred to me that there is no such thing as blogging. There is no such thing as a blogger. Blogging is just writing — writing using a particularly efficient type of publishing technology.” (Simon Dumenco)
I have heard some discussion about the validity of blogging. Is it really “writing” My answer is simple. “Of course it is writing.” The beauty of a blog is that you decide what to write without any advice from an editor, publisher, or agent. As with all “art” forms, some are better than others. Anyone can write and the act of writing makes you a writer. It doesn’t make you a good writer, just a writer.
My friend told me about Blogathon only a few days before it began this year. I was excited to try it. I have been blogging a couple of years but not on a consistent basis. Last year I participated in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. You commit to write 50,000 words in a month. It was much more difficult than I imagined. But Blogathon was relatively easy. When I look back at my blog posts, I am sure I came close to 50,000 words if not more.
I learned so much about myself as a writer during this month. I shared things in writing I had never publicly shared. I shared personal blogs, fiction, and photo blogs. I even did a Wordle Cloud. I did some free association writing, although I did go back and edit a bit. I opened up on subjects that had been taboo in my mind. I took some risks and I am so glad I did. I watched my friend Jan, take some of the same risks in her writing.
My blog followers went from about five to 154. I have almost 160 blog followers on Twitter. I have just started using Tumbir and Pinterest for sharing blogs. I went from an average of ten to twelve readers to an average of over one hundred for each post. My highest number of reads in one day was 196. I have 135 likes for my blog. I have been overwhelmed at the numbers.
The most important thing I gained in this experience was confidence in my voice. I may not be the most technically proficient writer. I still use passive verbs from time to time and I still struggle with commas and semi colons. I do not use long flowery descriptions in my writing. I write from my heart, my experience, and my truth.
The comments and emails from readers was amazing. I had emails sharing very emotional details about life experiences from readers. They felt safe sharing them with me. They could relate to my experiences. I had comments from readers who used words like inspired, touched, understood, appreciate, and moved. People have complimented my writing and my stories. There were a couple of posts that I was sure would change the world that didn’t receive the response I anticipated, while others I thought were just “OK” received overwhelming response.
My children shared comments of encouragement. After sharing some thoughts about old family issues that I was sure would cause God to open the sky, point his lightening rod and strike me, nothing happened. One brother made a comment that was actually supportive, at least I think it was. I heard from some old friends and I met new blogging/writing friends.
Today on the last day of Blogathon, I know I am a writer. I love writing. I love being part of the blogging community. Every minute of stressing over a topic, checking and rechecking grammar and spelling, and constantly checking to see if anyone read my blog has been amazing. Tomorrow I start Camp NaNoWriMo and will write 50,000 in a month. I am excited and ready to begin. I look forward to meeting some of you here again next year.