I started blogging almost by accident. What I meant to do was start a daily journal to track my moods and activities. I quickly noticed that it was boring, whiny, and short.
So, I said, I’m a writer (though I have been mostly editing for ages). Why don’t I actually write something? Anything. Get my writing muscles back in shape. Why not blog?
But, I said, what shall I blog about? I happen to be bipolar (type 2) and I have years of experience being that, so why not blog about that? Thus was born “Bipolar Me” (bipolarjan.wordpress.com).
Wait, I said; that’s not all there is to me. What else can I blog about? The answer was stunning – everything else that interests me. Thus was born “Et Cetera, etc.” (janetcobur.wordpress.com), the blog you’re reading now.
After some thought, I decided to publish in each, once a week, on Sundays. Now, after several years of writing both blogs, I can say that both have affected me for the good, in addition to whatever good they may have done for others.
My blogs give me structure. As a work-from-home freelancer, I can easily get lost in the week. There are no lunch-with-the-work-gang Wednesdays or casual Fridays to remind me. Even calendars don’t help much. Is today the 27th? The 28th? Unless one of them is a major holiday, I have no idea.
But blogging identifies where I am in time, if not space-time. (The space is in front of my computer.) Wednesday: choose a topic and make notes or start thinking. Thursday and Friday: write and proofread. Saturday: add illustration and tags; proofread. Sunday: proofread, tweak, and post. Mondays and Tuesdays are blogging “weekends.”
My blogs keep me engaged. Sitting here in front of my computer, it’s hard to keep in touch with the outside world. When I search for topics – in news stories, in experiences I’ve had, in things people have said to me, in the sorts of things that seem to fall into (or out of) my brain – I am connected with the world outside. And when people read my blogs, and especially when they comment on them, I am in touch with them too. I may or may not have ever met cupcakewitch or huskybear or journeyupward, but I know them, at least a little.
My blogs may do some good. I know Bipolar Me does. It does good for me and it does good for readers as well. Symptoms, treatments, feelings, research, news, strategies – I hope that every week at least one person finds one take-away from my post.
Et Cetera, etc., being less well defined, has a more diverse readership. Some people like the things I write about writing; others like when I write about books or travel or language or politics or families or humor or … or … or…. If these posts can amuse, divert, educate, interest, or make someone think or laugh, then they have done some good.
My blogs allow me to share. It may be hard for people to find their way to my blogs, which are small potatoes in the world of blogging. So I repost my blogs at sites that solicit input on similar topics: The Mighty and Invisible Illness for Bipolar Me; and Post-40 Bloggers, Medium, SheKnows, Epic Freelancing, and (occasionally) Red Tricycle for Et Cetera.
I don’t expect that my blogs will ever garner hundreds of thousands of readers. I don’t expect ever to be “the new Bloggess” (no matter how much I would like to). I don’t expect to change the world.
But whatever else blogging has done for me, it’s lots more than a boring, whiny, short journal. And even when it’s work, it’s fun.
What could writing a blog do for you?