Why you should keep blogging — even if no-one is reading
If you’ve ever tried to write a personal blog you’ll know two things to be true: it’s incredibly time-consuming and to start with no-one will be reading.
So there you are, initially full of enthusiasm, but pretty soon you wonder if blogging is worth all this effort when you feel like your words are disappearing into the ether.
Giving up on your blog would be the easy option at this point, but don’t hit the delete button just yet. As I’ve discovered, there is so much to gain from writing a personal blog — even if only your mum is reading it.
Blogging means writing — and if it’s just for you, that’s okay
Okay, let’s be honest, we all get a buzz from someone connecting with what we’ve written but that doesn’t have to be your only end goal.
As creativity champion and novelist Elizabeth Gilbert would say: it’s about the process, not the end product. If you love to write, you should just do it.
Indeed, there’s something incredibly freeing about writing what you want, just for yourself with no editor or audience to please. You can explore ideas and experiment with finding your voice. It’s your own writerly playground and you can make mistakes without worrying that lots of people are watching. Isn’t there something appealing about that?
Blogging encourages focus
Gosh, we’re distracted these days, right? We sit watching television, while scrolling Instagram and attempting a conversation with our other halves. I don’t know about you, but it makes my head hurt and yet it’s a habit now. A horrible habit.
If you want to start a positive habit — a writing habit — you could do worse than blog. Planning and writing posts allows you to reflect on what’s going on in your world, and it forces you to focus on a thought for more than a couple of seconds.
And there’s an extra pay-off — if you’re lucky you’ll experience that zen-like state when the words are flowing and you are truly focused and in the ‘zone’. You can keep your yoga, for me there’s no meditation like writing.
Blogging pushes us to improve
Whether you’ve taken a break from the workplace or you’ve got an itch to change career direction, a blog allows you to dabble in a new interst and up-skill in a safe space.
Having a blog has certainly encouraged me to learn new things and break out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned so much about social media, photography and SEO, all thanks to my blog. These are all skills which have boosted my CV and my self-esteem.
And here’s the thing, if you are brave and put yourself out there, chances are you will eventually find an audience.
You can, of course, play it safe and write without sharing a word online. Sharing is often uncomfortable. Sharing makes you second-guess yourself. It’s much easier to keep your words under lock and key. But you never know, your writing might encourage someone, might inspire someone, might make them feel less alone. And that would be a great thing.
Being a freelancer writer, I spend lot of time alone with my keyboard (or wrangling a toddler), but reading other blogs remind me there are a lot of other people out there going through the same daily challenges. Blogs encourage me and they often make me laugh. I have made friends with like-minded people who I have never met: my online pen pals. It’s totally bizarre and totally wonderful.
So I’m going to keep on writing, keep on sharing and keep on learning, and I’m not going to worry about whether anyone is reading. Will you join me?