Sometimes, we experience things, like parenting, that we know will change the way we look at the world, but we can't fully grasp it until we experience it. Other times, we learn valuable lessons from things we never expected to really teach us much of anything. When I started this blog over 5 years ago, it was completely on a whim. Since then, it has gone from a super sporadic hobby to an all consuming obsession and back to a somewhat more obsession that I still struggle to balance. In retrospect, I realize that blogging has actually taught me a lot about life and that is something I never, ever expected.
- People are Mean - At least, some people are. There are people out there who read a blog post, assume they know everything there is to know about the author, and proceed to fling horrific, hurtful insults at the author. I've seen it far too many times. I know a blogger who even received death threats over something she wrote. Fortunately, I've only been the victim of such abuse a couple times, but it always stings and always amazes me how malicious people can be.
- People are also fiercely loyal and supportive - Although the blogging world is humongous, within it are some very highly knot groups of friends. When those trolls rear their ugly heads, we can usually count on our tribe to have our backs. They will jump right in to comfort you, support you, and put the nasty commenters in their places.
- Words are powerful - I knew this on some level before I started blogging- it's why I have always loved writing. However, blogging has shown me the power of words on a whole new level. Those horrible comments? They happen because people are passionate and the words of the author has evoked powerful emotions. Words can show us that we are not alone in our experiences. They can bring us comfort, commiseration, and joy.
- The internet is a powerful tool - The words that are so powerful are fueled and spread by the internet. Through social media we can connect with people from around the world and form meaningful friendships with people we have never met in person.
- Writing takes practice - Some people have a knack for math; some have a knack for crafting; some, like me, have a knack for writing. Like any skill, though, writing gets better with practice. I can look back at some of the first blog posts I wrote and see that my writing has come a long way since then.
- How to accept rejection - My writing has certainly improved over time, but even my best is sometimes rejected by other sites. Rejection is never an easy pill to swallow and it still stings. But, I have been rejected a lot and I have learned that other bloggers have, too. I venture to say that all of us (except maybe the really "big guns") are rejected far more than we are accepted. I've learned not to take it too personally and to keep on trying.
- Numbers don't tell the whole story - Bloggers sometimes place a lot of emphasis on numbers. How many page views does my blog get? How many times was it share don Facebook or Twitter? How do my numbers compare to others' numbers? I've learned, though, that numbers aren't everything. They don't indicate how loyal your following is, even if it's small. They don't tell you how much your words have impacted other people.
- Time away is essential. I don't earn an income form blogging like some people do, so, for me, blogging truly is a hobby more than a job. Still, I have found that it can stress me out and burn me out. Every now and then, I need to take a break; to walk away form all of it in order to refresh and rejuvenate.
- People want to know they are not alone. I think one reason blogging has taken off is that people want to connect with others who are experiencing the same struggles and emotions they are. They want a sense of camaraderie and understanding from people what are in the same stage of life or from people who have been there, done that an lived to tell bout it. People want to connect with others who are experiencing the same struggles and emotions- #TuesdayTen - @TheGoldenSpoons http://bit.ly/1JeOmZz
- I am not alone. I didn't set out to form friendships and connections through blogging - it was simply a fortunate side effect. I am so thankful to have a "tribe;" a group of people who share my life through the internet and, in turn, share theirs with me; a village of sorts that supports me and cares for me. They are the best part of blogging even though they were the most unexpected element. When I want to throw in the towel, they are what keeps me coming right back here to this little space on the world wide web.
Have you ever had a experience that taught you some unexpected lessons?
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Next Tuesday, August 25, is Kiss and Make Up day, so we'll be sharing 10 things you argue about (with your spouse, kids, mother in law - anyone you choose!)