I launched Letters To Dutch a little less than 4 months ago. For the first week, it was like a drug I couldn’t kick. Blogging was all I could think about. I felt so creatively inspired that it consumed me. Normally I’m a control freak, struggling to let go and ride the wave. Not this time. I let the excitement take hold of me like a bird lifting its wings, soaring above the clouds. Just what is it about this blog that has me so fired up?
For one, it’s healing. There is something about putting words to paper that heals us. Somehow we gain confidence and a better understanding of ourselves. These last few months have provided me a kind of relief. It’s like I can finally breathe once I’ve published a post. It’s no wonder people have been journaling for centuries! I also love the idea of documenting our human experience. Only the memories that are written down are the ones that will be remembered, long after we’re gone.
Second, I love community. I was so inspired after reading James Radcliffe’s “From Zero to 15,000-Some Thoughts on Building Community…”
Human beings crave community, it’s a deep down thing. A fundamental need which has likely endured unchanging since the first of us crawled up from the darkness of the ocean floor and out into the light. (JamesRadcliffe.com) Follow him on Twitter here.
As humans, we crave the ability to share our experience. We desire to relate with one another. And in our virtual society, we’re able to transcend barriers of connection. I’m still amazed that my posts have reached readers in countries like China, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland. It’s humbling really. I’m reminded that we are so small in the grand scheme of things.
Third, blogging is a creative outlet. I don’t know about you, but I have so many creative ideas. The last few weeks have revealed to me my creative process. It all starts in my mind with an idea, then travels to paper, usually in the form of a list (I love lists, mostly because I don’t trust my memory). From that list, I gather resources and materials. Then comes the best part, the creative process. I lose myself in it, whether it’s a DIY craft, preparing a recipe from scratch or creating a lasting memory with Dutch. And last, I write about the experience. This simple system has fulfilled me in ways I could never imagine.
Fourth, blogging is challenging. I’ll admit it, I’m super driven. There is something deep inside my soul that craves achievement. I’ve been a business owner for most of my adult life, channeling my ambition into career endeavors. When my son was born, I left our business in my husband’s care to become a full time Mom. After 2 years of taming my ambitious heart, I am thrilled to be taking on a new challenge. And we all know that blogging is not just about putting out creative content. It’s also about marketing, promoting, monetizing, media and web design. With so much to learn, it’s a great challenge indeed.
Fifth, I blog at my own pace. I have no deadlines and no boss. I’ll shoot it to you straight, blogging is not my main thing. My main thing is being Dutch’s Mom. With a goal to remain balanced in this pursuit, I find time to write and create during his naptimes, late at night or early in the morning. In fact, right now it’s 6:15am. Dutch and I both have a cold, he is sleeping right here next to me, snoring like a little piggy from congestion. I should probably take advantage of this opportunity to rest, and I will. Just as soon as I get these thoughts on paper, lest they burn a hole in my brain (Can anyone relate?).
The sixth and final reason I love to blog, adding value to others. At least once a day, I scour the internet for answers to questions, creative ideas or stories to relate to. Over the years I’ve received creative inspiration from countless bloggers. And I’m lucky enough to have the support of my family. They actually think my ideas are brilliant and worthy of sharing. I’m grateful for their faith in me, it encourages me to continue with the hope that one idea, one post, or one thought might just make a difference in someone’s life.
Let’s face it. We writers are a self-conscious bunch. We all want our work to be noticed and affirmed. But for a moment let us set aside what others might think. Let us reflect on the reasons we began blogging in the first place. Through blogging we heal and we create. Through blogging we are challenged to grow. And through blogging we build communities that add value to the lives of others. For all of these reasons, I am deeply grateful for this experience.
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