I’ve been asked that question of number of times, and today’s response is much different than the one you would have heard when I started a little over a year ago. Back then, I didn’t have a clue about how this was going to work, and to say I was enthusiastic about the endeavor would be a stretch. You see, blogging was never a goal or ambition of mine, but there I was, sending up my first post on August 17, 2017.
It would be exaggerating to say blogging was forced upon me, but the truth is blogging turned out to be the lesser of several evils I had to choose from. I had finished the manuscript of a novel I wanted to get published, was fortunate enough to be signed by an agent, and thought my work was done. Little did I know.
When my agent made it clear that I needed a social media presence, my heart sank because I abhorred social media. Although I had a Facebook page I had started years earlier, I rarely looked at or posted on it, and had less than fifty FB friends. Ditto for LinkedIn. Both of those platforms needed to become much more robust, so this was one of my must-do’s in terms of social media. There were several other recommendations to choose from to generate an on-line following, and blogging was the least onerous.
After all, I like to write, and posting something once a week didn’t sound overwhelming, but the blog’s general theme, and what I was going to write about, was the great unknown. Given I suffer from MS, had been aggressively treating it for a decade, and the subject is a subplot in the novel I wrote, I decided my blog would focus on that. My mission was to have it serve as a resource for people new to the disease or their families and loved ones. Perhaps my perspective would help my targeted audience, or at least make them feel like there weren’t alone in their struggle.
So I dove head first into the deep end of the pool with an open mind but few expectations, and have published eighty-three posts since. What has been an eye-opening surprise isn’t the fact that this has turned out to be more enjoyable than I anticipated, but the reason for it.
What I never bargained for is the community of bloggers I’ve encountered, and the friendships that have evolved from it. While I have only met three of them in person, most of the people I have engaged with are creative, talented, honest, brave, down-to-earth, opinionated, funny and totally unpretentious.
What also amazed me is how talented these folks are. Many of these authors, like myself, are not “professional” writers, but whether it be pose or poetry, their writing is phenomenal. Any one of them could easily craft a manuscript worth reading if they put their minds to it. My only regret is that the demands on my time from having a full time job, in addition to my writing, does not allow me to read more of what I know is out there.
Having to post something every week has made be a better writer, I think. After all, doesn’t practice make perfect? The only downside is that it consumes more of my time than I anticipated, which takes time away from novel number two, which has sat dormant for several months. I’ve rationalized this development by telling myself I will resume it earnest once novel one gets published, but I sometimes wonder.
My mission to provide information and a personal perspective about MS and living with a disability has not changed, but along the way I have broadened the scope of my subject matter so I don’t pigeonhole myself as a one-trick pony. What started as a reluctant chore has turned into a labor of love in addition to introducing me to this wonderful community from which I have carved a niche of friends.
Along the way, my attitude had changed from “why do I have to blog?”, and “how long am I going to have to do this?” to “why would I want to stop?”
This is the reason I continue to blog. What’s yours?