So last fall, I took the plunge and signed up for an intensive online class that pushed me into learning new technology, dusting off old stories and creating new ones to have at least 10 posts ready to go within two weeks. The weekly requirements were time consuming and tiring with a steep learning curve, but I prevailed.
I had much to learn to reach a comfort level with basic blogging tools. I’m still learning. Though the technology was a hurdle to overcome for a non-techie, I had no idea where the blog journey would lead me.
Initially, another new blogger from the class and I encouraged and supported each other. I tested the waters by adding my blog to directories and introducing it to online writers’ groups. I emailed friends and family asking them to take a look and come by regularly if they liked what they saw.
It’s been an amazing ride so far. I have shared stories from my youth with my children they never knew. People I will never meet have commented on my blog from Greece, Australia, NYC, Indiana, Canada and elsewhere. At local functions others tell me they have shared my blog with their friends and relatives, and of course I am thrilled.
I took more steps to reach more readers by sharing my blog on Facebook and LinkedIn with a network of friends, relatives and colleagues whom I’ve rediscovered from college and former jobs as well as new friends and friends of friends.
Though I teach Internet marketing at a college nearby, I am now experiencing the new personal connections that can come from anywhere. As a professional marketer, for years I helped companies find and keep new customers via the Net, but my personal circle consisted of known friends whom I shared emails with to stay in touch and pass along jokes.
Blogging expanded my world to so many more people. I’m surprised and delighted that the writing speaks to such a diverse group of men and women, ages and beliefs. I always wanted to write a memoir to share my life experiences and the wisdom I’ve earned through them, but the book seemed so daunting.
After my first 100 days of blogging, a new world has opened up to me. My blog is ranked on three top lists on Facebook’s Networked Blogs. http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/searchpage.php?tag=personal+stories
One of my posts, Following My Bliss http://justdoingmythingcom.blogspot.com/2009/10/following-my-bliss.html was recently included in the Independent Writers of SoCAL’s newsletter.
But the most important discovery of blogging is the joy I feel every time I write. The creative process from ideas that emerge, that can show up in the car, the bathtub, anywhere, to finding images to enhance and complete the story, and finally to publish it is an ongoing act of discovery every time. I can tell and publish my stories in real time and have them ready for browsers and followers anytime, anywhere.
For me, blogging is the ultimate way to connect and share with those I know and many I will never meet. It is an act of love every time.
Copyright © Erana Leiken, 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Photo by Zanetta Hardy