Yes, that is a dramatic post title, but it’s true. Blogging has changed my life. We’ve all heard the stereotype of the writer as loner, hermit even, and it’s true that the actual writing is a lone process, but certainly not all writers are loners. I am.
I had read blogs (mostly political), and even checked out WordPress.com a couple times, but never signed up. What did I have to blog about? Then, last June, I decided to try expanding a short story into a trilogy of stories. By July, I had decided to shoot for a novel. I needed a support group.
By coincidence (?) I discovered a critique group starting up in my town. Their first meeting was scheduled for the very next evening! But I didn’t have the nerve to go. I finally made it to their fourth meeting.
I started my first novel in the fall of 1999. A year later, I had written the first draft twice—once as a horror novel and then again without the horror elements. I never showed it to anyone. Real life intervened and I wrote only short stories for the next seven and a half years. I didn’t show those to anyone either. But this time, I wanted to publish and I’m smart enough to know that if I wanted to attain that goal, I needed feedback on my writing.
So, I had to put on my brave face and not only talk to real live strangers, but show them my writing too! I was so freaked by the first that the second was almost easy. Almost. Then I met two lovely writers named Kasie West and Candice Kennington, both bloggers, and they inspired me to take the plunge.
And I’m happy I did. This year I’ve met so many wonderful people through my blog. You’ve made me think, and laugh, and blush, and you’ve made me feel like an interesting person. But don’t worry, I’m keeping this quote firmly in mind:
Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar. – Edward R. Murrow
But best of all, blogging has helped me believe in myself as a writer. Although I’m still learning, I now have confidence that, through words, I can effectively communicate thoughts and feelings—actual or fictional. And this confidence has carried over into my real world too. So, blogging has not only changed my life … it’s changed me!