Monday, February 9, 2009

Why I Blog

Mabel's Labels is having a contest to find a blogger to send to the BlogHer '09 Conference. They're asking bloggers to submit posts sharing the rewards and benefits of participating in the blogger community. This is my response to their challenge.

As a teenager I dreamed of becoming a journalist. Partly because I loved writing and partly because I liked to pronounce the word "journalist" with a very hard -t at the end. (I'm sure that wasn't annoying at all.) I had visions of being a magazine writer living in New York City and looking like the cover of Seventeen magazine while I typed on my computer in my ultra hip apartment.

I ended up writing press releases during a brief stint in corporate public relations 10 years ago, but that was about the extent of my writing career. So now that 16 year old girl who dreamed of a glamorous life as a writer is a 34 year old mom in jeans and an old t-shirt typing on a laptop while her kids play nearby.

But even though I don't get paid for it and my words aren't printed on glossy pages accompanied by professional photography, I'm still a writer.

Blogging makes me a writer.

And a happy one because I get to live the fulfilling life I didn't have the sense to dream of when I was a teenager, yet still use words to bring order to the thoughts, emotions and occasional rants swirling around inside of me. (But without a chain-smoking editor yelling at me about run-on sentences and questionable grammar.)

At the risk of sounding like I need an intervention, sometimes the thoughts and suspicions in my head don't seem real until I type them out and put a punctuation mark on them. Blogging gives me a place to do that.

Also, blogging encourages me to slow down and process those little moments in my day that I used to treat like white noise. Time spent in the drive-thru line, conversations between my kids, a two week cootie infestation that takes out the entire family. The stuff that flies by in a blur but in actuality is where I do my living.

That would be enough incentive to blog, but it just represents my side of the street. The blogging community is reason enough to blog even if writing isn't your thing.

Of course I have loved meeting women who are just like me, women who tell me I'm not alone and share a similar life experience. I think they're so cool.

But then there are the women who aren't like me. Women from different backgrounds that have shaped their take on life. I've loved getting to know them and laughing with them and praying for them. I've been blessed by the realization that deep down where it matters most we're all very much the same. And that's made me look at the people in my non-blogging world differently. It's made me slower to assume I know what's going on in their lives and how it's affecting them. That's led to some budding friendships that I don't think would have formed without my experiences in the blogging community. I love that.

As I typed this I had a little epiphany and I don't get those often so I'm going to put it out there. I always refer to blogging by saying "I have a blog". But isn't that like referring to being married by saying, "I have a husband"? It sounds a little passive, doesn't it? I don't say "I have a husband". I say "I'm married" or "I'm a wife".

I don't have a blog... I blog.

I'm a blogger.


Cheryl said...

and an incredibly gifted one at that :)

heidi said...

That was awesome. I hope you win!!

Sorry my medicine cabinet is such a mess - hope you enjoyed snooping anyway. ;-)

ann marie said...

I love it and I hope you win. I especially like what you say about getting to know people who are not just like you. That's what I most enjoy about blogging...looking at the world through other people's eyes.
Good luck!

Andrea said...

I love reading blogs and am so glad that you blog. And yes, there was a cake walk - a cupcake walk. If you won, your prize was 6 cupcakes.

Lisa said...

I was proud of you when you were a 21 year old "professional", writing press releases for a major national corporation.
I'm even more proud of you now.

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