I was sitting in my office approving students for registration when I saw an alert from WordPress, my blogging platform.
It said, “Happy Anniversary.”
It hadn’t even occurred to me what today was because I’ve been so busy and in so much pain recently due to my herniated disc, but I can’t talk about that for one more minute. I’m tired of talking about that.
So instead, today, I’ll share with you my biggest takeaways from blogging. Perhaps you know someone who is a blogger or someone who would love to start a blog. I’ve actually loved (almost) every minute of it, and can’t imagine not having it in my life. Despite that I haven’t been as active lately as I typically am on here, I love being able to write through this medium.
Therefore, here are my biggest takeaways from blogging these last eight years.
1-We never really run out of things to talk about. We may think we’ve run out of ideas, but trust me, we don’t. We have to figure out angles, content, and work in photographs that speak to what we are writing about, so it makes us think. And the truth is, there’s always something interesting happening if you just dig a little.
2-It has become a part of me. Honestly, I can’t imagine not blogging. Even as I’ve thought about changing the name of my blog sometimes, I can’t imagine not writing here one to three times a week. It’s just become a part of my existence, whether I make money doing it or not. I do it for myself. Because I love it.
3-It’s helped me teach students in classes about WordPress and blogging platforms. I use WordPress in my magazine and travel college classrooms, as the students have to post their stories to our sites in class. Additionally, along with my colleague Chip, we have hosted seminars on how to build your online portfolio, and we use WordPress to do that. So that’s been great to be able to teach the students about how to use this wonderful platform.
4-People like to connect, and feel connected. Sometimes you write a post you think is brilliant and no one comments; other times, you write a post you think is “meh,” and you get a lot of comments. People like to connect and respond, and even when people don’t comment, you can see how many hits you’ve gotten on a post to determine whether it was successful or not. But ultimately, just like reading books, people like to feel connected to things, people, the material you post, or just you in general. I think that’s so great.
5-It helps me stay in practice with my writing. I always wanted to be a writer, and in college, especially during graduate school, I knew I had to follow on the path of writing. Now, I write novels, textbooks, and a blog along with being a professor at a university. The blog is fun to write. You always need something enjoyable to look forward to writing…and a blog allows you to have some fun if you really want to be a writer.
6-It’s like leaving a digital diary behind. When I look back on some of my posts over the years, especially the ones I’ve written about family and friends, I see it as a sort of diary or journal. I can pinpoint how I was feeling at the time; I can recall how my kids looked and acted and talked. And while I don’t keep a handwritten journal (sometimes I wish I did), I do use my blog as a way to mark milestones and write about them.
7-Much like marriage, it requires a commitment. Writing has forced me, no matter how lazy I am at the moment, to write something somewhat meaningful at least once a week. It’s taught me commitment. Just as I make a commitment to writing a novel, it’s a commitment to write something on Steph’s Scribe. It’s old reliable, sitting here waiting for me to come and type and tell stories and communicate. I will always love that it’s here for me, like a steady friend who wants me to come and communicate, if only I give it the time of day.