Since launching this blog just over three months ago, it has become a bigger part of me than I ever thought possible. While I knew that creating a blog about my most inner thoughts would open myself up to the world, there are side effects of being a blogger that I never anticipated.
I never anticipated how greatly it would affect in-person interactions with my blog readers, who now for the first time have easy access to my mind and my life. I never anticipated the blog developing into a code of ethics for me and now actually dictating my actions.
I never anticipated that blogging, which was supposed to be a release for me, would actually add some stress to my life through self-imposed writing deadlines, site maintenance, and failing promotional efforts. Apparently there was a lot I wasn’t ready for.
This all started to unravel for me last week when I caught up with a friend over brunch in Jamaica Plain. In what would have normally been a stimulating back-and-forth dialogue between friends turned into an uneven conversation. While I listened to his new life developments with great intrigue there was almost no need to tell him of mine as only the minute details missed by my blog remained. My trip to Peru, my business idea, my third-wheeling adventures… he knew it all and perhaps knew too much already. And this was no isolated event. Each time that I see a friend now the conversation eventually morphs into a discussion about the blog.
Perhaps even more startling to me is that the blog has actually affected my actions. As I spill my thoughts onto this public forum and people consume them, I am forced to abide by the concepts that I write about. I cannot go back on my words.
In a sense, it has become a code of ethics for me. It has become my accountability partner. Each post I publish about searching for my calling, the benefits of solo travel, or powerfulness of meditation are only as strong as my actions behind them. So I must be true to the person I say I am and not fall back into the person I say I’m trying to escape from.
Each time in life that I make a decision now I am not only thinking about who I am trying to be but also about being the person I represent for you all in this blog. While this may sound easy because we are one in the same, I am often tempted to fall back into the world of my old vices. It is quite the responsibility that this blog has caused me to endure.
Aside from these unexpected consequences, perhaps most troubling is that blogging has proven to be somewhat of a self-induced stressor for me. Publishing two posts per week along with site maintenance and (unsuccessful) marketing efforts have all started to become quite taxing. I pour my mind and heart onto these pages but when I finish my final edits my job is far from over.
I need to post, tweet, and Instagram everything. And when all is said and done for each post I usually get a couple of “likes” and occasionally a comment. Although I try to ignore these facts and push forward I can’t help but sometimes dwell over the lack of my digital appreciation.
So now I start to ponder, why do I put myself through this? Wasn’t this supposed to be a creative outlet for me? Wasn’t this supposed to be a project that allowed me to express myself? It’s like I want it to be anonymous and popular all at the same time. I want everyone and no one to read it. I want to be hidden from the spotlight but still shine all at once. As I write these words I realize it makes no sense. It is a flawed plan.
So, then why blog at all? With all these side effects changing my life? With all these added stresses in my life? Why spit my thoughts out into the world if I get nothing in return?
Well I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I figured it out. I’ll tell you exactly why I still blog: Because every time I have second thoughts about my blog I get a small sign of encouragement from a fan somewhere out there. Every week it comes from a person in a different part of my life. I’ll get a text from an old college friend, a tweet from a podcaster I admire, an email from a high school classmate, an inbox message from someone who hardly knows me.
People from all different chapters of my life like what I’m doing. People have said they’ve been following it all along. People have said that I’ve inspired them. It’s these acts of outreach that keep me motivated and remind me of the original purpose of this blog.
When I started my goal was to tell the story about the struggles of my life and help other people fight through their own. I wanted to share new perspectives. I wanted to alter how people think. I wanted to open people’s eyes to concepts I had discovered. I wanted to show people my true colors hoping it would inspire them to do the same.
I wanted to open the minds of those who are willing to dream. I wanted to motivate people to take action on their ideas. I wanted to be a catalyst for change and a voice for the dreamers.
In its very simplest form, I wanted to create this blog to help others. I wanted to spill my feelings out in the world in hopes that it would strike a chord with a feeling within you. I know that I am not alone in this struggle and wanted others out there to know that neither are they. And that, I have done.
So each post I write, each insane thought I divulge, each risk I take is for you. Each word I spill onto this page is for the people that are straddling the line right there with me. And just know that your feedback is providing my fuel. You are the reason I will withstand these inconsequential blogger side effects.
You are the reason I will spill my heart onto these pages giving you every shred of the person that I am. You are the reason why I believe this blog has potential. You are the reason I won’t stop. Thanks to all of you that have told me what the blog means to you. You are my inspiration. I will write for you.