I can't even remember why I started blogging. I think I heard about it as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family who no longer lived nearby. I used to read other people's blogs. Once I typed 'fear of flying' into the google search engine, and that was how I found pioneer woman. But I also loved the idea of being able to write down my thoughts, my experiences, my view on life, that wasn't in a small, shabby little notebook tucked away under the mattress of my bed, with the key hanging around my neck so nobody could read what I had written.
This was writing freedom. This was what I loved. This was made for me.
And then, one night, at a Christmas party I put on for a few friends, I was telling a small cluster of people about my 'hobby'. About my little blog, my little place on the world wide web, where I loved to write, when someone, this man, this friend, this professional, turned to me with a puzzled expression on his face, almost scornful, and said this to me....
"It sounds like you need to get a life."
I was taken aback, to say the least.
And ever since then, I have remembered what he said and in my mind, probably more often that I care to admit, I try to justify why I spend precious minutes of my day here on my blog.
Apart from the fact that I naturally love to write, need to write; then yes, blogging is initially a lonely, solitary task. I sit here at my computer using my fingers to type out my thoughts. I am alone. Even if there are people around me, and noise going on, I am alone, because nobody else can write this for me.
But blogging has taught me so much and brought so much interest into my life. My life that has been full and exciting and mundane. My life that is full, and interesting and mundane.
I don't need to 'get a life' because I already have one. A good one. A precious one. And I like to talk about it.
That's what blogging is to me.
That's what blogging has taught me.
That life, any life, is good.
That everyone has a story to tell.
Everyone has wisdom to share and experiences to relate. And blogging has taught me about community and friendship and that even though some of the writers on those blogs that I like to read are so different to me - they have different lives, different culture, different beliefs, different values, different interests, they are my friends. I like them because of our diversity, and because of our common interest in sharing our lives with our readers and because we are all human, we are all people writing about our lives and our struggles. I have made such lovely friends through blogging. Some I have met, some I haven't, but they are life-long friends and I am part of their life as my readers are part of mine. It might not be the world that our grandmothers grew up in, but it's a community none-the-less, and a precious gathering of precious souls and lives and sharing.
So, even though I was struck in the face with a negative comment about my blog and my writing, it has allowed me to think through the value of what I do and the value of my online community and the 'neighbours' I interact with everyday.
So what started out as a 'hobby' has become an important social interaction. A meeting of minds. A blending of lives. That is what I have learned from blogging.
Joining in with, for the first time....