I’ve been blogging for a long time. It started way back in 2000. While it was not literally a lifetime ago, it certainly feels like it was. I must say, I have certainly changed a lot in (almost) nine years. I suppose you could say I came of age blogging.
Lately, I have been doing some new media/social media consulting for various small business owners. Most have asked “is blogging worth it?” The answer is not the same for everyone, but for me it is a yes. While I can not pinpoint one major way blogging has impacted my life (a new job, a soul mate, or anything like that), blogging is just part of who I am.
I’ve been writing for a long time. Way back in kindergarten, I started writing stories. Sure, my writing was illegible back then, but I knew what I was trying to express! I was published when I was in elementary school and again in middle school. These were very very small scale publications, but to me, it meant the world. When I was 15, going on 16, my mom decided to move us across town, which meant going to a brand new school in a brand new city. I didn’t know how I was going to make it. Sure, we lived eight places in one city before, but I never moved to a totally new place and played the role of New Kid. I was usually the one who helped the new kids get acquainted. That summer, on August 13, 2000, I blogged for the very first time. Good old LiveJournal. NONE of my friends even knew what LiveJournal was. I turned them all on to it – and after a while it became the way we kept track of each other. I joined groups, and sent and received postcards from other LJ users. While LJ helped me keep in touch with friends old and new when I was in high school. In college, blogging really was a saving grace.
My college years can be summed up in one word: struggle. Or depression. Or frustration. Or….you get the idea. But I could vent on Livejournal and get support there. I could express who I really was while continuing to write, which was something that was always fun and therapeutic for me. I wrote about my many many insecurities. I wrote about my favorite Christian bands (I had a brief Christian music phase for a couple of years), movies like Boyz in the Hood, and what I wanted in a man (which, six years later is almost still the same). I grew up blogging. I blogged about my first kiss, my college life, my out-of-state internship.
I maintained the LiveJournal for years – until late 2005, when I created a blog on Typepad. I used this new blog to talk about pop culture, concerts, music, books – anything BUT the details of my personal life. I wanted another outlet to share what I thought about what was going on in the world. Plus, I wanted my writing to me a little more focused. As always, friends come and go in life, but blogging was always there. When certain friends disappeared because their boyfriends became their sole priority – I could blog about what was going through my head at 3am. I could write something down and an online friend across the country could read it and lend his or her support. Blogging always provided me with a support network. And I loved that what I wrote reached people and impacted them. I could be who I was and it was okay.
Blogging and I took a hiatus for a while, when my life got so crazy that I couldn’t get my head on straight and tight enough to write. I left college. I had a great job, but didn’t love it. My life felt like it was in total chaos. I decided to start a business. Wait – I decided to start a business? I NEVER thought I’d be a business owner, working for myself in any way, shape or form. David Duchovny’s wife, architect, psychologist, film critic, media analyst, non-profit guru, Mother Teresa… these were the things I saw myself as over the years. But I did it. I started One Organized Life based on a passion for helping people feel better about their lives. I didn’t want anyone to feel stuck, lost, alone, or boxed in, like I did. That’s not so bad right?
My life has changed radically since I got my first “real” client back in 2006. I lost my boyfriend/best friend who was probably my biggest supporter (no, he didn’t die, he just dumped me). Part time jobs came and went. Friendships dissolved. Saw a couple of different therapists. I moved twice and downsized my living space. Went on dead-end dates. I started a networking group for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Most importantly, I felt like I had found my purpose in life and did not want to spend another day NOT living it out. And yes, that combined purpose is my business and my networking group.
My life would be so much easier and less stressful if I was working a 9-to-5 job. Go to work, come home, collect steady paycheck. I’ve never had a cushy luxurious life with college paid for or a new car after graduating high school (or college for that matter). I’ve never dined at a 5 star restaurant or taken a trip outside of the country (other than an overnight trip to Mexico…when I was eight…with my babysitter and her kids). My life is even less cushy now. I don’t think ANY of my friends would trade for my life. But you know what, I wouldn’t trade for any of theirs either (though sometimes it can seem tempting…). So, as I went along earlier this year, continuing to make sacrifices in my personal life so that I could attempt to continue helping clients, I thought, “what can I do to feel a little better?” I’m sure you know what it is… I came back to blogging. And that’s how this blog was launched. I wanted to write again, express myself, and hopefully help people with my words again. I figured, well, if I have to take on another job and just work with clients on the side, at least the posts will be out there for people to see.
My goal with blogging has never been to make money. My goal was not even to get clients (though it has happened a couple of times). What I really wanted to do was put information out there that would help someone out in the universe overcome a barrier. I’ve gotten a few encouraging emails and comments. I was interviewed on an internet radio show and got some great feedback. And you know what? Occasionally, I do get a phone call from someone on the verge of tears, calling to hire me to help them because they read my blog and they understand that I get it. And really, that’s what it is all about for me right now. You can get a Top 10 Organizing Tips article from hundreds of sources online. Whoopdido. I’ll probably even post one at some point. But if the content on this blog or any blog I’ve ever had inspires someone, motivates them, makes them laugh, or gets them to pick up the phone to get help (and no, it doesn’t have to be from me), I honestly couldn’t ask for more.
So when someone asks me, is blogging worth it? Well, my short answer is, “Absolutely!”