I love Thursdays, and not just because I’m free from having to come up with fabulous content. It’s because I get to feature 1st year bloggers who want to write about all the good and bad of blogging. These behind-the-scenes looks are so invaluable to both new and experienced writers.
Today, I am so thrilled to have Katia from http://iamthemilk.wordpress.com. I’m just getting to know her and she has a lovely blog that you most definitely should check out!
One of the best things that happened to me as a new blogger was joining a large, supportive, vibrant group on Facebook, Bloppy Bloggers, led by Julie. I wish I could take credit for making such a smart decision, but how it happened was pure luck. I stumbled upon a retweet of one of Julie’s posts on Fabulous Blogging. The content was fantastic and I started following her blog and then joined the group. I’m thrilled to contribute to Fabulous Blogging today.
When I emailed Julie last week to ask if I could submit a post for her First Year Bloggers series, she responded with,
“I’m looking for personal counts of what it’s like as a new blogger, the good, the bad, etc.”
She hit the nail on the head. There is no better way to describe the emotional roller coaster you go through as a new blogger than ”the good, the bad and the ugly”. At first I was going to write a couple of paragraphs on each, but then I realized that any type of division into categories would be forced if not impossible, because they are completely intertwined. The good, the bad and even the ugly usually come hand in hand in hand.
As I was contemplating this, the ugly emerged immediately, two isolated incidents, easily identifiable in a sea of good. Total strangers passing harsh and uninformed judgement on my parenting skills and content on two big websites that ran my posts. The bad was a little vague but still discernible. What surprised me, though, was finding myself completely overwhelmed with the good. So much came to mind that I didn’t know where to start or how to write about the positivity, support, kindness and unconditional friendship I encountered through blogging without sounding sappy. And just as I was trying to put it all into words even more good happened. Someone whose blog I wasn’t following before, nominated me for a Liebster award.
This is typical blogosphere good: unexpected, out of nowhere and delivered by someone you know very little about. You pour your heart out in your posts and often get silence in return. You pitch your posts to online publications in exchange for some more silence. You write some more, add your blog to another database, enter a contest – lose, pitch, silence until someone finally publishes you, you get one thousand hits but no new followers and eve-ry-thing is just so BAD and why am I doing this, blah, blah, Liebster!
You’ll also find yourself on the giving end of good, whether intentionally or not simply by writing you’re bound to deliver good: you’ll discover that something you wrote resonated with someone – maybe a fellow Torontonian you might meet on the subway one day, or someone miles away, in a different country – and made them feel better, understood, supported.
Next thing you know the good you put out there will boomerang and bring good your way: like someone in another country posting on your page’s Facebook wall just to let you know they are awaiting your next post and that it makes their day brighter (Thank you, Rita, if you’re reading this).
Your friends will become involved in the most expected and unexpected ways: you’ll start getting messages and calls from friends with suggestions on what to change on your blog or Facebook page to improve the reader’s experience. Close friends and ones that you haven’t seen in years will comment, share your posts and promote them whichever way they can. Friends will make themselves available to listen to you when you complain about the bad and to acknowledge and celebrate the good. Friends will send you detailed emails with ideas on how to promote your blog. Girlfriends will share your posts with their husbands, husbands will talk to you about your posts, comment, encourage – so much GOOD!
One day, not long after 7 Month Old was born, I was picking up 3 Year Old at daycare with the new baby on me in a carrier. 3 Year Old is a dream. He’s been so affectionate toward the baby from day one and when he realized that his brother was awake, he was thrilled for the opportunity to introduce him to everyone. He was bragging about “his baby”, laughing excitedly, asking his teachers and friends to pat his brother’s head and kiss him. When 3 Year Old’s BFF from daycare kissed 7 Month Old on the head, 3 Year Old couldn’t contain his happiness anymore and this extremely articulate boy, gushed overcome with an emotional tornado “SO MUCH GOOD!!” Well, allow me to quote him. Blogging – so much good!
Sure, there’s bad in blogging too. A lot of it, in fact, but thankfully there’s not much ugly. The ugly that I encountered through other people was so insignificant it never tortured me, whereas I can’t say the same about the bad: why is no one responding, why does X, Y, Z not want to publish me? Why did it not work out with that awesome website I wanted so much to write for? The bad is reality clashing with my own expectations, so it’s up to me to manage them: my expectations and the bad. Here’s a better way to look at it. There’s a dark hole in the blogosphere, my friends. We’ve all heard of it, right? This is where some of our pitches go, but it’s OK they have each other and that other elusive Douglas Adams sock to keep them company.
Katia is a mother of two boys, 3 Year Old and 7 Month Old. She writes about them and occasionally about her husband, 36 Year Old. Currently on mat leave, she is fulfilling a lifelong dream to write and make people laugh. And sometimes cry, which was not her dream nor intention. The serious stuff Katia writes about includes immigration, fertility, miscarriage.