The Real Life Benefits of Blogging

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Since completely re-starting this blog (taking down ALL my old posts and starting fresh) I really do feel like a whole new blogger. I don't want to jinx myself, but since January 1, I've published a blog post every weekday. I think that's the most consistent I've EVER been and I have loads of energy to blog. I'm not sure what the difference is, but so far writing in this space has been an absolute joy and I hope it shows. The best part about blogging so far this year has been the benefits I've experienced in real life. Here are some things I've noticed:

1) I write EVERY DAY (except Saturday). I've been wanting to establish a writing practice, and I haven't been able to do that until now. This is different from journaling, as I usually post what I write, but to sit down and compose something has been fun and enlightening. The more I've written the more ideas flow and the more inspired I feel in general.

2) I take more pictures.  I prefer to have photos in each and every post so I make more of an effort to take photos every day and to improve my iphoneography. Maybe one day I'll get a "real" camera, but for now I enjoy the photos I do take and think they come out fairly decent. I'm also glad to have so many pictures of Leolani. Since I had Noweo pre-iPhone, I actually have less photos of her and more of Leo. That's a first.

3) I notice and appreciate the little things more. This small act has inspired my Around Here posts, Dear Leolani and I'm sure will inspire many more. This is all because my main goals for this blog is to remind myself (and my readers) that life is beautiful. I can't really do that unless I take the time myself to see and be grateful for what I have.

4) I get more stuff done. Thanks to my editorial calendar I've gotten better (not perfect) at working on projects that I plan to share here on the blog. Knowing that I'm going to be writing about something will light a fire under my butt to actually do them. Interestingly though, I find that if I announce that I'm going to do something on the blog, I tend not to do it, so I try to keep quiet about what I'm working on until I've actually got something to show. I don't want to make empty promises here. I'd rather just deliver stuff I've already done.

5) I get to play with design. If you're a long time reader here, you already know that my blog design changes a lot. I think I'm slowly honing in on what I want my personal style to be, but that doesn't mean that I won't play with different elements here and there. It's always fun to see something in the blogosphere and challenge myself to re-work that idea into my own space and my blog is my own personal canvas where I get to do that. Everything I've learned about design started because I wanted to play with my blog design.

6) I'm learning about how I best work. I've always considered myself a morning person, but every time I've tried to get work done in the morning, someone will inevitably wake up and need me before I'm ready to be done working. I've finally given myself permission to work at night. As I write this, I'm sitting in the girls' room waiting for Noweo to fall asleep. It's perfect. I get uninterrupted blogging time while still helping Noweo feel ok about being in her room at night. I've embraced going with the flow, and that's made a huge difference for me. This little shift is spilling over into other aspects of my day - cooking, cleaning, projects, work. I'm getting  a little better at juggling it all.

7) I engage more with others. Motherhood can be a lonely gig but making friends through this blog has helped. Of course, nothing replaces having real life interactions, but when that's not possible, this blog helps me to feel connected to people. This blog also often ends up being a topic of conversation in real life (and I'm actually kinda shy and embarrassed about it when people talk to me about it.) I'm amazed and honored that anyone wants to read it.

8) I have a record of my life. Again, this doesn't replace real life journaling for me. There's a lot more that I write in my journal that I don't think is appropriate for this blog (and it's probably boring anyway), but this blog is nevertheless a great way for me to keep track of our lives (and probably easier on the eyes.)

9) I have more of a desire to LIVE life. It's really hard to have material to blog about if you're not doing anything, and before I really started taking this blog more seriously, I felt stagnant, blah, like I was just going through the motions without any purpose. Blogging here changed that, and it all ties in to #3 and #4. You can live without blogging, but you cannot blog without living.

Many of these things I already knew, but after not blogging for a while and then blogging again, I've re-learned these things in a profound way. If you're considering blogging but aren't really sure what blogging can do for you, I urge you to give it a try for a month and see if it gets you moving in other aspects of your life. If you're feeling stagnant about your existing blog, maybe it's time to shake things up by changing your look or your focus. Maybe you need to do something drastic like me and start the whole thing over again (by the way I still have my old posts - I didn't lose anything. THAT would be tragic). Wherever you are as a blogger, I really believe that blogging can change your life for the better, and have seen it happen for many people. Most of us won't get book or movie deals, interviews on national talk shows or see our posts go viral, but the learning, the connection and the living that can occur as a result makes the journey worth it.