I almost abandoned this blog a few months back, and now I am so glad I’m back to posting! I made some discoveries this week, which reinforced for me why blogging is important, and I thought I’d share. I hope anyone out there who is on the fence about starting a blog will feel encouraged to take the plunge. And for those of us who are already bloggers, may this post reiterate why blogging is awesome!
Writing can be incredibly lonely work. You sit at your desk, piling words on top of words – and days, weeks, months may go by before those words find a reader (some never do). It takes an enormous amount of self discipline to keep writing. Even freelance writing work with a ‘boss’ is usually remote – without the day-to-day contact of a ‘normal’ work environment. This experience has made me all the more acutely aware of the importance of community. This is something I’ve blogged about before – I’ve always made it a priority to nurture my own community of friends, family, etc…. But I’d never before seen my blog as a community…until recently.
After being away from blogging for several months, I was shocked to discover, upon checking my “Site Stats” on the WordPress dashboard, that I’d had hundreds of viewers in my absence! There were over 1,200 hits. I know in the internet world that’s small fry, but considering I don’t personally know 1,200 people, I realized that my little blog was reaching an audience out there, an audience beyond just my loyal friends and family – i.e people were reading this blog who didn’t know me and didn’t have to love me – they just liked the writing. For any writer, this is enormously encouraging. It fuels your optimism that people will read your work…because they already are.
How were people (from all across the world – Spain, South Africa, Hungary, etc…) finding my blog? It was very often through Google. One of the lovely features of WordPress is that you can see what words or phrases people Googled that led them to your blog. Here is a sampling of the actual words/phrases people Googled and found me – this list makes me grin from ear to ear!
“Loving your body”
“Of course I love my body”
“Constructive criticism vs. destructive criticism”
“Ideas for Artist Dates”
“Role of the reader in interactive fiction”
“Invocation of the muses”
“How to write a quality, choose your own adventure story”
“How to write in the perspective of a dolphin”
“Constructive criticism examples”
“Loving our bodies and ourselves”
“Writings on loving your body”
“Belly dancing is a spiritual experience”
“Get the muses to help you”
“Remember to love”
I don’t know who these people are who Googled those phrases and found my blog. I wish sometimes I did – cause I’d love to write each of them a little note telling them I think they’re awesome! But just knowing they exist brings me joy. And that’s when I realized that a blog is a virtual community for like-minded people. Like-minded people will find each other. Blogging can often feel like stuffing a note in a bottle and then throwing it out to sea – you never know exactly who will read it – but sometimes it washes up on some pretty interesting shores 🙂