I just logged onto WordPress, as you do, about to ponder over writing a post. But this time, there was a little trophy emoticon flashing in the corner. It looked quite sweet, so I opened it.
“Congratulations”, it said. “3 years ago today you first registered with us! Keep up the great blogging!”
This little talking trophy was like my mate (kind of like the Microsoft Word cartoon paperclip), popping out from behind-the-scenes of my blog to give me a virtual pat on the back. Three years of plugging away at this old thing, *clink* cheers to you!
Three years ago, when I first clicked that ‘publish’ button and bought this domain name for $10, I was sitting on my bed in Exeter, a bit bored. I hadn’t moved to London yet, so the title of my blog was quite optimistic. I had finished University, it was long gone, and I was doing the standard procedure of ‘wondering-what-on-earth-to-do-next’, whilst procrastinating and daydreaming. I was also feeling quite terrified of moving away from my amazing parents and home comforts.
After finishing my horrible, long drawn out dissertation (the only time I’ve ever resented writing) I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands for the first time ever. I realised that I needed desperately something to fill that void, and something to fill my brain. A place to work out what my writing style was; what opinions I have; how I feel about controversial topics – basically to discover who I was without people interrupting.
And three years on, I am thankful I pressed ‘publish’ that day for no apparent reason.
This blog, for me, is not about followers, ‘likes’, acceptance, or even about people reading it at all, it’s about me taking time away from work, stress and daily life for that small amount of time each week, where I am free to write about things that bug or inspire me. It’s like a weird type of keyboard therapy.
Along the way, I’ve met some amazing people. I’ve chatted to people across the pond who I have a spooky amount in common with, I’ve overcome my fear of public speaking at events, received amazing invitations and learnt so much more about the media industry. I even found myself befriending one of my all time heros, an editor of my favourite newspaper who let me write for them. I’ve also got myself into trouble with some things I’ve written, when people didn’t agree with my opinion on certain topics…. But it’s been a real eye-opener, and all this just from typing and publishing (either in bed or hogging Starbucks WIFI).
There’s been times when I’ve thought I should scrap blogging all together. It became a strange, saturated place, with people starting blogs only to receive freebies from poor unsuspecting PR companies, or writing things that were nasty and degrading. But if you’re reading this and wish you had somewhere to store your thoughts and practice writing – do it. Make it private, write it by hand, or start a WordPress blog. It doesn’t need bells or whistles or moving pictures. It just needs words.
I have decided I am going to blog on here every day for a month. Just to see if I can do it, if my writing improves or suffers from it. And trust me, it’ll be a challenge. x