I’ve been “blogging” or publicly sharing thought for over a decade now. This journey first began with the blog hosting website, Xanga, which I am confident no one uses any longer, as it looks like there hasn’t been a single site update since 2000—no joke. Xanga was the first digital space where I was able to share my writing with peers and followers from around the world; receiving comments and feedback in the form of early emojis. My 11-year-old self was completely unaware of how transformative writing for public entertainment and subsequently, critique would become.
I have always loved to write, so much so that in my free time I wrote short stories and begged my friends and family to read them providing constructive criticism on where I could improve; I marveled watching their faces light up as they came across the plot twist in the story line. The praises and words of affirmation regarding my writing made me feel on top of the world and that was a feeling that I continue to pursue even to this day.
After the 9/11 attacks, I struck a great interest in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, a collection of short stories on an array of topics, such as love, family, overcoming, etc. Oddly, my favorite section was death and dying. Writing for enjoyment or entertainment was always something that I understood (and found to be particularly easy), however, this series introduced me to the idea of writing to help others cope, overcome and understand.
This was a new realm of creative freedom that I wanted to dive headfirst into and be challenged by.
From there I began to turn my lived experiences into lessons or opportunities for discussion for others. Much of my blog as it stands today is a reflection of things I have been through. This level of intentionality in my writing has allowed me to hypothetically “pull back the curtain to my own life” and let others in on some of the most traumatic and trying times of my life (as well as the good, of course). Subsequently, this sort of transparency hasn’t always been received well. For some it may be the first time they come to know of my assault, while others caution me for being so “open” and how it may negatively impact my personal or professional life.
Unfortunately, nothing about being a writer/blogger is easy. I’ve found that the greatest work is created in spaces of vulnerability. I look forward to another 10 years. Onward!