Why I Started a Blog

You know, I had been thinking about starting a blog for years, back when it was cool.  Bloggers were taking off, getting book deals, becoming popular and widely read, and it seemed like maybe something I could do.  I loved writing, and I had won various writing awards in my school days, so why not get back into doing this creative thing that I loved to do?  And yet, I just never took the leap.

For one thing, I am terrible at finishing projects.  I am awesome at starting them, but not so great at finishing them.  I didn’t want to begin a new, very public, endeavor, only to forget about it, or let it trickle away slowly due to my becoming distracted with some other shiny new pursuit.  And also, I really hadn’t done any writing in a long time, and I wasn’t sure that I was very good at it, or that anyone would want to read it anyway.  I had been chastised severely for my “colloquial” writing style in college, and I was self-conscious about it.  But I didn’t want to write in a dry, boring, researchy sort of way.  I wanted to write like I spoke, with informal speech patterns and plenty of made-up worderizing.

So I started from a place of thinking that whatever I might do, I was probably going to be terrible at it, and that even if I wasn’t, I would most likely fail anyway due to personal and mental failings.  This is, by the way, why most people don’t start things.  And it is a terrible set of reasons.  If you are currently considering doing something that scares you a little, that you think will bring criticism and self-doubt, you probably ought to start doing it immediately.  How else are you going to grow?  I can’t tell you how much it has helped my focus and self-confidence to consistently write something  and put it out there every day.  And I almost didn’t do it.

But I did.  We were in the midst of turmoil, with a new baby in the house, no money, no jobs, about to move away from the area where we had spent the past 10-15 years, and I was freaking out.  I didn’t know how to deal with life, and so one night I just sat down and started writing.  This blog, I thought to myself, was going to tether me to the community that I was leaving.  I would communicate with everyone that I had left behind, and they would still get to hear my stories and see pictures of my kids growing up.  This was going to be my new communications network, and I was going to write something every single day, until it became a habit that I didn’t even need to think about.

I think I was being a little naive at that point, or perhaps I was just desperate for connection, but in some ways this mission statement was successful.  There are people probably reading this right now who have been able to keep track of me through my writing, and I see the comments and “likes” and shares from time to time.  But the thing about connection is that it needs to go both ways.  Me flinging my words out into the ether is not a connection to anybody if I never hear anything back.  Running a blog to keep in touch with someone is like writing to pen pal that has never replied.  So I don’t know if my original intentions were even possible, much less upheld.

But actually, what I was really doing in that first post is what I have continued to do for the past four years here.  I was processing my life.  It helped me then, and it helped me now.  I don’t think I had any idea just how cathartic writing would be for me, or just how much I would feel the support from my online family when faced with pitfalls and setbacks.  Truly, this has kept me going in so many ways, and I thank all of you for it.

Tomorrow I am starting a new chapter in the life of Tenor Dad.  It is an anniversary of sorts.  Today is my 999th post, and so it seemed that tomorrow would be a good starting point for something new and exciting, and I hope you will all join me on that adventure.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.  As we go forward, I will say again how much I appreciate all of the positive feedback that I get from all of you.  If you want to get me a nice anniversary present, just share Tenor Dad with people you think might enjoy it.  It makes so much of a difference when people share content, and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling too.  When you come back here tomorrow, you will see something new and different, but for today I just wanted to take a moment to look back at how it all started, and how I got here.  It’s been a wild ride.  Thanks for riding with me.

Posted in Blogging, Tenor Dad, Throwback Thursday, Writing.

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