Yesterday was my one year blogiversary. I wonder how many hundreds of pages I have written here--and why I didn't instead write a book or finish a screenplay?! Probably because I wouldn't have written a word if I didn't think someone would be reading it and providing feedback. This blogging experience has certainly compelled me to write. Not always well or well-conceived, but I have been writing nonetheless, so I thank you for that.
This has been an intense, wonderful year. I started out in blogging because I felt generally compelled to express. Also, though, I felt I had a "message" to "teach" and I would "build" an "audience" for such message.
HA! I have learned I have no message, I don't care enough to do the work it takes to build and market my site, and that everyone is my teacher. I kind of prefer the scenario where I'm the charismatic cult leader and my readers are the glassy-eyed, obedient, adoring followers, but I'll roll with reality for now.
12 other things I have learned about blogging over the past year:
- Just because someone comments on your blog, that doesn't mean you are friends.
- You can and most likely will create enduring friendships that start with a comment on a blog.
- Paragraph breaks can make or break a blog (for me, reading-wise.)
- No matter how terminally unique you think you or your problems are, you can usually take comfort in knowing there are many others enduring a similar ordeal.
- Except sometimes, you're just terminally unique and terribly, terribly alone. But that's okay.
- It is possible to take your blog (and yourself) too seriously. It is best not to.
- People who identify themselves too clearly on their blogs and go on to write things they don't want people in their lives to read usually regret it.
- Just because you are excited and proud of yourself for starting a blog, does not mean your friends or families will be. And even if they are, you might regret telling them about it. Because then you will never know who is lurking, it is unnerving (and you might offend someone. I learned this the hard way). Keep it to a few close friends and don't be insulted if they aren't blog people and don't keep up with reading your precious words.
- You might get more comments by posting scantily-clad pictures of yourself, but you won't get more respect and a readership that gets what you want to write. There are exceptions.
- It can be so easy to get sucked into living online and forgetting to get outside, connect with the people in your life, perform the work you are paid to perform. Balance is key.
- You can't really trust anyone you meet online. Until you do.
- This medium is under-used as the world-changing force it could be.
10 things I learned about myself this past year:
- I could be a professional starter. As in projects. I can get anything off the ground.
- It's the follow-through that fucks me.
- In order to be happy, I really need to pay attention to and take care of my health and body.
- And make an effort to connect with those I love.
- And get out there, take risks and LIVE.
- And make an effort to be kind to everyone I encounter.
- And take responsibility for the impact my living has on the planet.
- Not just think "deep thoughts."
- I always thought my natural tendencies were to be a little bit lazy, mean and self-absorbed. That may be true, but in studying brain psychology a bit more, I realized that is most of our tendencies; we just need some awareness and discipline to move beyond them.
- I have been unnecessarily intolerant of some belief systems, and perhaps too tolerant of others.
5 things I wish I hadn't heard over the past year:
- She has Parkinson's. Fuck.
- He has Parkinson's. Double-fuck.
- The check really should be in the mail.
- We want you to do the presentation.
- You are overdrawn. [Again.]
5 things that I didn't mind hearing so much this year:
- You look great!
- Are those real? You sure have big boobs for a skinny bitch. [Ah, thank you, Ruthie.]
- Can I see your ID?
- Petition for review to the California Supreme Court has been denied.
- If you come to Africa, I'll pay for half of your expenses.
So, given the above, I should probably add one bullet-point to my above list of things I learned about myself this year:
- Flattery, money and success make it all somehow bearable.
Somehow, I don't think that's THE LESSON I'm supposed to be learning or imparting here, but I need to save something for next year's blogiversary, no?
In the meanwhile, please tell me I'm pretty and that I'm doing well for my clients, who will pay me very soon. I'm sure the check is in the proverbial mail.