Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why I blog (and what's next!)

"So, you have a blog?"

"What do you write about?"

"Why would anyone want to write without getting paid?"

"Why do you blog?" 

Good question.
Seventeen months ago, I blogged because I was feeling stressed and depressed. Being the modern gal that I am, I shunned the old school journal and turned to the computer and a simple site called Blogger to hash out my feelings. Then I figured, I may as well try to get some people to read what I write. Maybe get a comment or two. So I joined Twitter. I publicized blog posts on my Facebook page. Then I made a separate Facebook page for my blog. I did a giveaway or two. I participated in blog hops. I joined a fantastic group called the Georgia Social Media Moms, where we share tips and provide ongoing support for one another.

Somewhere down the line, blogging changed for me.

Yes, I still use blogging as my outlet, to say what I need to say, to put my needs and questions out there in the universe. I continue to blog about my amazing daughter and all the trials, tribulations, and laughter that come from having her in my life. But now, is more than that. It is also a showcase for occasional creative writing. It is a way to connect with like-minded people with a willingness to share their experiences and memories. It is a method for practicing, and hopefully improving, my writing skills.

As my blog following has grown, I have grown as a blogger.

I am not afraid to insert myself into a Twitter conversation or speak up in a Twitter party because I know my ideas are welcome.

I am not embarrassed to post about my feelings and failures because I know someone out there has been through it too. 

I no longer say, "I have a blog." Instead I announce, "I am a blogger."

My next big step? A blog conference.

When I first heard of blog conferences (and some of the price tags associated with them), I scoffed. A conference? Definitely not something for me. My sporadic reviews and advertising sales don't make up even a sixteenth of what I would need for a "real" income. Nor do I need them to be; that's not what my blog is about. Why would I ever go to a conference?

Now I know why. To meet other bloggers. To grow my skills. To remind myself how to network. To bust the walls of my social anxiety. To have some time away from home with people I can identify with. To be something more than "mommy".

I will be attending Bloggy Boot Camp Atlanta in late October, and I am beyond excited! I know some of the sessions won't apply to my casual blogging style, but they will be interesting nonetheless. I can't wait to meet the other bloggers in attendance. BBC Atlanta is going to be a great first conference, especially given my shyness/anxiety issues when I'm looking real life head-on. BBC uses an assigned seating approach that changes periodically, so we are never stuck sitting quietly on the edge of a clique of BFFs.

And it's in Atlanta, so I can come home to kiss my sleeping little girl before crashing in my own familiar bed.

Bloggers, why do you blog?

Anyone else going to BBC Atlanta?

**What this blog needs? More comments! Don't be shy! **


Jamee @ A New Kind of Normal said...Best Blogger Tips

I started blogging for the same reasons! We were just getting ready to start our first round of fertility treatments and I need a safe place to get my thoughts out there. Little did I know where I would be 4 years later (today is my 4 yr blogoversary!) I will be in BBCATL and simply cannot wait! Can't wait to meet you & other bloggers! I'm a shy person too so I'm glad to be starting smaller with Bloggy Bootcamp but I am already thinking ahead to next year and maybe might step it up to Type A since its close!

Tabitha said...Best Blogger Tips

I hope one comes to Birmingham. That's the only way I would go. I'm not going to travel out-of-state, let alone fly across the country, to go to one.

Carrie with Children said...Best Blogger Tips

Great post! It's neat how blogging can evolve a person, isn't it?! I have certainly changed (in a good way) since I started blogging! I'm hoping I get to Atlanta for Bloggy Boot Camp! Would love to meet you!

Lisa Schanen said...Best Blogger Tips

Julie- have been meaning to tell you for quite some time- you are a great writer! I know it's your background, but it is always refreshing to read material that is written properly and without typos! So many people write so poorly these days and I can always count on you for accuracy! An old college roomate has her own business and website, and the website has several typos. I just want to cringe, especially since it is a website for professional counseling.

Susan in the Boonies said...Best Blogger Tips

I'm going to bloggy boot camp in Atlanta, and I can hardly wait. I am hoping to learn tons, and make lots of great connections! :-D Hope to meet you as well!

Charma @ Surprised Mama said...Best Blogger Tips

I loved this post! I just hit my first blogaversary and boy have things changed for me within this first year. I, too, want to start attending blogging conferences to meet others that I only know by their Twitter handles and to improve my skills as a blogger. I wish I could attend BBC Atlanta since I'm in the area but we'll be on our honeymoon then. I'll definitely look forward to it next year though! Maybe I'll get to meet you as well. It's always nice to meet a fellow GSMM!

Kelly said...Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for sharing! I'm so happy that blogging helped get you out of your stressed and depressed stage. Creating a blog opens up so many opportunities and you find people who you can relate with so easily just like you did with Georgia Social Media Moms. I recently launched a website where bloggers can share their story and read about others. I would love to see what you could contribute and I'm so happy you set out and accomplish your goals, have a great time at the conference!

Martha said...Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for this awesome post! I recently started my own blog, primarily to have fun writing whatever I wanted to write about, but also to ease my depression and just have something joyful in my life. I decided from the beginning that I would write whether people read it or not. I hope to gain a readership sometime, but either way I'm gonna do what I love. Thanks for your encouragement!

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