They didn’t tell you how fun blogging could be. How excited you would be when you got your first comment, when you saw your name on someone’s blogroll, when you plucked out a handful of words from the vast English language to make sentence you were proud to write. A sentence that you would re-read because you loved it so much, a sentence that would ring in your head and roll off your tongue like poetry. No, they didn’t tell you that.
They didn’t tell you about the community. My word, the community. The people you would meet, the friends you would make. The ones who would reach farther- past posts about hair or pop culture or ways you embarrass yourself on a daily basis and email you when you wrote about the things you dared not say out loud. Who reached out to you minutes after you posted something that left you weeping, who offered words of comfort, a shoulder to cry on, a couch to curl up on if you ever wanted to visit. No, they didn’t tell you about that.
No one told you that blogging would open you up to people who would encourage you when you were tired, cheer you on when you reached your goal and be there when you didn’t. And no one told you that bloggers would be the best sources of what books to read, what movies to see, shops to visit, countries to travel to. No one told you that bloggers would be there to help fix your computer, give advice on shampoo or recommend sites that leave you laughing for days. No one told you that blogging would be your free pass to a world of awesome. No one told you that at your fingertips you would be able to find a welcoming, positive community that would care so much for you, it would take your breath away.
No one told you that blogging could hurt people. It’s a place that’s hard to explain unless you live in it. It’s a massive world, where inside jokes flourish. It’s easy to take things out of context, miss the meaning, lose the message. It’s easy to imagine what’s not there, what never was. It’s easy for a harmless post to hurt, a random comment to ruin a moment, a perceived relationship to strain another. No one told you that. No one.
No one told you that it’s easy for your blog to become a crutch to lean against rather than a platform to stand on. It’s easy for it to turn into so many things it never was meant to be. No one mentioned how effortlessly it is to fall into a routine where you update your closest friends through a blog post- rather than the phone call they deserve. A routine that brings out the laziest, least caring version of yourself- the kind that sends condolences through a blog comment rather than an email or phone call. The kind of routine where it takes you days to reply to thoughtful comments that people have so carefully constructed and shared. The kind of routine that makes you shake your head at yourself, ashamed at how thoughtless such a thoughtful person has become. No, no one mentioned that.
No one tells you any of these things, and suddenly you find yourself knee deep in trouble, aching for everything to be different. Wondering how you got here and more importantly, how do you ever go back.