Blogging. I’ve been a blogger for a while now.
Nearly six years, folks. My first post went live on my Blogger blog on March 6th, 2012. My first post went live on my WordPress blog in November 2016. During that time I’ve regularly blogged five days each week, which means I’ve written about fifteen hundred posts.
There have been times when blogging didn’t seem worthwhile. I’m committed to not post simply for the sake of posting – instead, I want to share information that I think will amuse, encourage, help, inspire, or inform the reader. That’s why I sometimes miss a day – because I can’t think of anything that I want y’all spending your time reading. Other times I miss blogging because life just gets too busy and I can’t take the time to write a quality post.
Other times writing isn’t fun. Instead, it’s plain hard work and I don’t even really feel like talking about it, and I certainly don’t feel like posting about it for the world to see. Ya know, accountability is good, but sometimes I don’t want to remember my goals and dreams. And if I don’t want to remember my goals and dreams, then I certainly don’t want to remind the rest of you of them.
But other times blogging seems very worthwhile. Over the years I’ve had a multitude of comments and emails that have encouraged me to keep going as people let me know how they can relate to different struggles I’ve gone through with writing or Lyme disease or life in general.
Blogging has helped me grow. It has stretched me. It has given me a very good way to record my story as a stumbling but determined young writer. And sharing the journey along with the rest of you has made it so much more rich and exciting.
Being a blogger gives me an encouraging reason to spend the time it takes to think through what I’m learning with writing and why it’s important and what I need to grow in.
But the best part about writing is when I make friends from far, far away. Friends like Bekah and Olivia and Hannah and Emma and Esther and Kate – friends I would have never met if it weren’t blogging, and yet we’ve found common ground and we’re now not only blogging friends but also emailing friends.
I’ve been incredibly blessed to meet many wonderful beta readers through my blog. If it weren’t for them, I really don’t know where I would be with my writing. And sometimes those beta-reading-friendships turn into so much more than what I would have imagined.
It was in May of 2016 when a beta reader (Jason) informed me that he had a family friend who he thought would like to do beta reading for me because we had a lot in common. He sent Kaitlyn and me a group email introducing us, and soon we were emailing each other.
Our friendship started out with long emails sent every so often, first about the book, but then about life in general. By the end of September, we had begun chatting on Google Hangouts, and then in November, she guest posted on my blog. As 2017 dawned, we became better and better friends. Our friendship progressed with texting and video chatting, and she became a very important part of my life as she prayed for me, helped me think through situations and keep my life on focus.
In July of last year, a dream came true when we got to spend a week together volunteering at a retreat together. Y’all. It was amazing. Who would have ever guessed that blogging would be the means with which I would meet one of my closest friend? That week ended up being one of the highlights of my year.
For the last year it’s been fun to not only get to know her, but also get to know some of her family. I’ve sent a few of my favorite childhood books to her little siblings, and it’s been delightful to know that they get to enjoy them as much as I have. Some of her younger siblings and I have emailed and video chatted together and told jokes and named stuffed animals and made happy memories.
After a lot of planning and praying, Kaitlyn and a few of her family members were able to stop by again for several days at the beginning of this week. It had been seven months since we’d gotten to see each other in person, so despite jetlag (Kaitlyn had been overseas), we stayed up late and spent many delightful hours talking and laughing and making memories.
Kaitlyn, thank you. Thank you for being such an amazing friend and being such a big part of my life. You are an inspiration to me as I’ve watched you be willing to step out of your comfort zone and bound into the adventure that God has created you for.
I can’t wait to get to see you again, only five more months! 😉
So yes, whenever I feel slightly discouraged with blogging, or maybe like it’s not really that worthwhile since I’ve never been a wildly “successful” blogger, I remember how God has used my blog in my life. I remember how He’s blessed me with friendships beyond my wildest dreams. And when I think about it like that, I know that the perks of blogging far outweigh the downfalls.
Thank you to all my blogging friends – you really do mean a lot!
(If you want to check out the “behind the scenes” of me writing this blog post, you can check out my story on Instagram at lydia_reads)