It is my one-year blogiversary, and occasionally my blog terrifies me.
Do not get me wrong. I love writing my blog. I am often surprised by how much I love it. (Here is my very first post.)
But I also often feel terrified because, for the most part, I don’t really know what I am doing.
My blog has not gone viral. I have not really made money off it, in the traditional sense. I do not have many followers yet, and hardly anyone, outside of my friends and family, has heard of my blog.
Usually, I am unsure about how to blog. I just know I have to write. I occasionally feel like I am walking doggedly through a very dense fog.
My blog also occasionally terrifies me because I write about self-love, and many times when people hear the word self-love, they equate it with selfishness and narcissism. (By the way, self-love rightly understood is not these things, which you can read about here.)
So occasionally I think, “Oh great. When people do find out about my blog, they’ll think I write primarily about how to be more selfish and narcissistic.” Like we really need more of that in the world.
Blogging is very unpredictable. Some of my posts are very good, and some of them are mediocre. Sometimes a lot of people read my posts. Sometimes hardly anyone reads them. Sometimes I feel extremely inspired to write a post. Sometimes I write in a rather perfunctory manner because I want to stay in the habit of posting.
Sometimes I have a great blogging day and write my friends, “I am so excited about my blog!” Other days, I feel really insecure about blogging and write my friends, “I don’t know what I am doing, and I feel really anxious about my blog.” (By the way, thanks friends and family for your continual blogging encouragement. It really means a lot to me.)
Despite the vicissitudes of blogging, I know without a doubt that my blog has made me a better person and writer this year. Here are several ways this has happened.
Blogging helps me to sharpen my thoughts and discover my voice. When I first started blogging, I generally knew that I wanted to write about self-love and loving others in order to empower people. I knew that learning how to love myself unconditionally had greatly transformed my life. I really believe that love is somehow the answer to our problems, even though I do not always understand how to explain this clearly.
However, as I began writing about self-love, I realized more and more that love does not just heal our hearts and give us personal confidence. Love does not just bring us interpersonal peace. I have realized through blogging this year that the practice of self-love is incredibly powerful and strengthens us against cruelty, domination, and violence from the outside world.
Love helps us to develop this strength personally, but it also helps us to develop it collectively. Because of this, I have discovered that self-love is not only foundational to a happy, whole personal life. It is actually foundational to a thriving democracy.
This discovery has surprised and delighted me, and I intend to explore this topic more in the coming year. Writing always helps me discover new thing about myself, and I am so grateful for this.
Blogging deepens my writing practice: I have also been so excited about the way blogging has deepened my writing.
There is something wonderfully unique about blogging. Because I have an immediate audience with my blog, it encourages me to write regularly and consistently.
In addition, because my blog audience often gives me helpful feedback, this helps me to write more carefully, consciously, and compassionately.
Blogging has definitely made me a more intentional writer.
Blogging makes me a better artist: One of the most delightful things about my blogging journey is the way that art has played an increasingly important role in it.
My blog has also taught me that I LOVE drawing spirals. I will write a post on this someday.
I drew and did watercolor paintings before I started my blog, but originally I did not really think about including my art on this platform. One day I realized that it might be fun to include drawings/paintings in my blog posts, and once I did, there was no turning back.
I find that not only do my pictures help me illustrate what I am trying to say in a post, often my art inspires posts I would not have thought about otherwise.
My blog encourages me to develop my art, and my art encourages me to develop my blog. I have been delighted by this writerly artistic partnership.
Blogging has helped me make new friendships and expand my world: One of my favorite parts of blogging is the new friendships I have made through it.
When you blog regularly, you develop a niche and a certain constellation of subjects you are interested in. This draws you to other people who write blogs like you, and it draws them to your blog as well. I have been delighted to find all sorts of people in the world writing about really interesting and inspiring things. I have enjoyed reading their blogs and chatting with them on my blog.
I have also been delighted to meet other new friends through media platforms like FB because of my blog. Blogging provides a fantastic way to develop meaningful relationships with likeminded people, and this enriches my world.
If You are Thinking of Starting a Blog
I am really pro-blogging, and if you have found yourself wanting to start a blog for a while but are not sure if you should, I encourage you to do it! You may or may not get rich off it. You may or may not become a blogging phenomenon. None of this really matters. What blogging will likely do is help you understand yourself and the world better. It will help you sharpen your voice and vision. It will help you bring more of your light into the world. I can’t wait to read your blog!
I do not know where my blog will take me this year, and I am sure I will still be afraid sometimes, but I am really excited about my blogging journey.
Question for Readers: What issues about self-love, body love, interpersonal love, and political love would you like to hear about this year? I would love to hear your answers, and I would love to write about them.