Dec 18, 2014

How Blogging is a Good Thing for Me

You have no idea how many times I've gotten crap from family or friends about having a blog.  They ask me, "Why do you want strangers to know about your life?" And while I completely understand where they're coming from, I don't feel like the community of moms who I connect with are strangers.  

I've been blogging since I was in High School and while I wasn't a mom back then and didn't blog about parenting, I realized that I could connect with some amazing people who understood me and liked what I wrote. That is still the way I feel and I do hope that by writing about my experiences as a mom or writing about products I believe in, that I can help someone someday with my writings.  That's my ultimate goal.  

The internet really is an amazing tool to get heard.  It gives people the chance to have their space of the web and put their voice and opinions out there when they otherwise probably wouldn't have been heard.  It really gives you a sense of pride to see your writings and to see others enjoy your writings.  

So how is blogging a good thing for me?

I've been able to connect with some amazing people.  I'm a very shy person and don't necessarily enjoy talking to strangers that I meet in person.  I can express myself much better through text than I ever could face to face, so I think this is a great method to connect with other moms.  I've met some great friends through writing, blogging and commenting and I wouldn't have been able to meet those people if I wasn't blogging.  I also would have never gotten to connect with amazing brands such as Libman, Disney's Imagination Movers, independent companies that I've worked with and I would have never been able to meet Paula Deen and her sons either.  I've had some amazing opportunities through this blog and hope to keep experiencing amazing things.

Writing is an outlet for me and something that I really love to do.  I always have these creative ideas in my head about things to write and I'm just so happy that I can express them.  I used to write them in my journal and I realized that no one would ever see them.  I've always wanted to be a writer so if I can get my work out there in some way, shape or form, I'm very happy.  As I've said before, I want to be able to impact someone's life or help them through my writings and I believe that I will someday.  

I think that with all of the stress moms have on a daily basis, every mother should have a creative and emotional outlet for themselves! Whether it's writing a blog, a journal, a novel, art, photography, crafts or scrapbooking; it's important to have a way to express yourself and relieve the stress.

I learn more about myself as a mom.  Which is funny to say but as I write about experiences and look back at the things I write, I realize how much I've grown.  I enjoy reading old blog posts to see what was important to me back then, what was annoying me, my views and issues I had.  It helps me to see my progress over the years and shows me that you do get wiser as you get older. (Sometimes!)  I think it's important for every blogger to take a look at their old posts, sometimes it's great to reflect. 

Blogging strengthens my writing skills.  I used to take creative writing classes but they got too expensive for me and I kept learning the same things over and over again anyway!  I'm a strong believer in practice makes perfect and I think by blogging and writing every day, it helps me to practice my writing skills.  I do see a huge improvement from 4 years ago to today with my writing.  I've gotten better at the humorous tone of writing, I am able to come up with titles easier for posts and I feel like my posts are much stronger than they were back then!  

I feel like strenghtening my blogging skills helps me with my business and my career.  My business is content marketing, writing for other websites on top of being a Virtual Assistant and Social Media  and SEO Consultant.  So the more strengths that I have in writing, the more advantages I will have in business. 

Blogging gives me another income stream.  While it isn't much (for now! I'm determined!) blogging does give me another way of earning income.  That income, in turn, helps my family have a little extra for special days with my kids, little surprises for them, a dinner out every once in a while and so on...  I don't make millions or even thousands with my blog, but whatever I do make is something more than I had before!

I learn new things. Occasionally I get an amazing post idea in my head and then I realize that it would include researching the topic at hand.  At first I get a little discouraged, realizing that I have to have that extra step to create the content, but then I get excited at the thought of learning something new!  I enjoy challenging myself and feel that writing on a topic that I have to research is definitely challenging.

Blogging has made me more accountable.  That probably sounds weird but I've always been a procrastinator.  In High School, I was the queen of waiting until last minute to do things and then rushing the last minute.  With blogging you can do that as well, but if you want good, strong content for others to read and to be found in search engines; you can't just wait until last minute to crank out a post.  You have to carefully plan your posts and start writing and (if you have to) researching before having the post done.  It's also a matter of reading over your post a few times to make sure that everything flows nicely, makes sense and is spell checked.

It's also helped me to be more accountable in my personal/family life as well, since I have stopped procrastinating and tackle things head first and before I have to actually complete them.  It's really enabled me to have less stress in my life, which I am very thankful for.  

I've learned to handle both criticism and constructive criticism.  Being a blogger and expressing your opinion about various topics, some controversial, have it's positives and negatives.  You can state your opinion and have your voice heard, but you also sometimes get a lot of crap for doing so.  I've gotten a lot of crap for certain posts I've written, from people who think my parenting style is crap and some people who just don't like me!  At first it really hurt me to see these comments, but I realized that I couldn't let it bother and discourage me.  I learned to brush it off and take it in stride and not to let it bother me because I love what I do and I'm not going to stop.  

It's also helped me to handle constructive criticism.  Now, some of you are probably saying, "But you were an art major and had pieces ripped up and destroyed right in front of your face.  How were you unable to handle constructive criticism?"  Well, I look at art and writing as two completely separate things.  Art is my creative outlet and passion and writing is more of an emotional outlet and passion.  Yes, it took me a long while to get used to the constructive criticism that I got while an art major in college.  It hurt for quite a while!  However constructive criticism of my writing and blog hurt even more.  I worked long and hard on my blog and my posts and honestly, it's more emotional for me.  I can crank out a painting pretty quickly but blog posts, planning and design take me a lot longer; but I've learned to deal with it.  I've learned to take the constructive criticism and use it to better my writing, my blog and my content.  And I appreciate that.