Three ways blogging has changed my life

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A few weeks ago, I got an email from a friend who was considering starting a blog and pursuing writing. She wondered if we could meet for coffee and talk.

After we met, I thought about when I was in the same place – wanting to do something more with my writing, considering what my options were.

And after sharing some of my own journey with this friend, I realized how much blogging has affected my life.

Back when I first thought about putting some of my writing online, I was thinking more of a website; I hadn’t really explored blogs. I wanted to do something that would encourage women and moms, but the perfectionist side of me hesitated. I felt like I had to design a formal website and have more of a plan before starting.

One night, when I was talking to Mike about how I was feeling, he said, “I don’t think you need to have it all figured out before you do it.  Just do it and change it as you go. It doesn’t have to be perfect.”

That (and the fact that a few days later, a friend of mine who had online experience recommended I start a blog) was just the push I needed.

So that’s what I did.

Excited and a little nervous, I created MyCup2Yours with the thought that this would be a place for people to come together for a virtual cup of coffee and some encouragement and inspiration.

I didn’t have it all figured out.

I didn’t have an agenda.

And I wasn’t sure what it would turn into.

My blog simply began with a few parenting stories and articles (and a fluttering of excitement in my heart). But over the past couple of years, it’s become much more. 

It’s changed my life in three ways:

1. Blogging has helped me to find my voice. In the writing world, we’re always talking about finding your writing voice. And while I felt like I had found that voice for my writing in the children’s genre, I didn’t yet have a comfort with simply writing from my heart–from me to you–about parenting, life, or other topics. But posting on a blog a few times a week helps you find that groove. When I look at some of the older posts I’ve written, I cringe because some of them aren’t exactly well written. But that’s the beauty of a blog and being able to put something out there that may not be perfect… yet it helps you find your voice and improve your writing.

2. Blogging has helped me to live with more intent. It’s given me a heightened awareness of my role as a mom and a deeper appreciation for the little joys in parenting. When you’re blogging—at least this is true for me–you’re constantly reflecting on experiences and lessons and wanting to share them with others. You view the world through a new lens, never wanting to miss a thing. I love being able to go back to old posts on my blog with my kids and laugh and remember… and continue to learn.

3. Last, but not least, there’s  the connection with all of you. I know you might be thinking with all the different ways people can connect online (Facebook especially), who needs a blog? But I think blogs are different. It’s like going to a conference and having a variety of workshops to choose from based on topics you want to learn about and people you want to connect with. The quality of blogs out there is amazing, and when you land on one that sticks, it’s like walking into that workshop or room with friends, making yourself comfortable, and being part of a community that stimulates and inspires you. 

And speaking of community: I thought it would be fun to share information about all of you so you could learn a little more about each other. I have to admit; I used to check my site stats a lot when I first started blogging, but I don’t check them very often anymore. So it was really fun to look at them in detail and learn more about you:

– last month, there were 8,600 visits here.

– two-thirds of those visits were from the United States, with the next largest number of readers coming from Venezuela, Russia, Bolivia, and Ukraine. (I love how the web connects us no matter where we live!)

– your favorite (most read) post in September was Decorating for fall (ready of not) and your second favorite was Five Reasons Why Whiteboards Are the Greatest Parenting Tool Ever.

– and another interesting fact I learned, with an average of 300 views a day and only a handful comments, is that you are a quiet bunch! I know some of you don’t have a blog of your own, but you don’t have to have a blog to comment and join in the discussion. :) One of my favorite things about comments is when someone shares something that ends up helping another reader (or me!). So whether you have a blog or not, whether you’re a mom or dad (or not), if you read something here and feel a nudge to share or join in, don’t be shy. I love hearing from you!

And now, as I look forward to switching over from Blogger to Wordpress in a couple weeks and some new functionality we’ll have here as a result, I’m more excited than ever about blogging and what’s in store for the future.

There have been so many things that have happened recently in my life that I’ve journaled about, but just haven’t had time to sit down and post here. And I’m looking forward to making the time.

So thanks to all of you for reading, and stay tuned. I’ve got some good things planned around here. :)

What about you? How long have you been blogging? How has it affected your life? If you don’t have a blog, but you read blogs, what do you like about them? List some of your favorites here and share!