I started reading blogs in 2006, a little before they became as mainstream as they are today. I stumbled upon Eat, Live, Run and Healthy Tipping Point one slow day during my law firm internship, and was immediately hooked. Reading blogs became one of my favorite things to do. I loved the wide variety of topics and general sense of community. And I constantly thought, I could start a blog. Then the reasons came:
No, other people would think that is weird.
What would I write about? I'm not an expert on anything.
I don't have anything to say that hasn't been said before.
I'm not a writer yet.
Blogs are a fad.
The Internet is forever.
What if I post something people don't like? People can be so mean online.
I'm too much of a private person to share things on a blog.
And so on.
Yet, I did work up the nerve to start a blog while in graduate school. I don't even remember the name of it, but I do remember throwing something together on WordPress, writing a post about how much I loved the fall, and then showing it to my then-boyfriend proudly. I'll never forget his reaction: "It's too long. You write too much. People won't read it." I crumbled with embarrassment, feeling rejected like a little kid, and never wrote another post.
Fast forward three years. I still read blogs. I even attended the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago. I still thought about starting a blog. My current, wonderful boyfriend, my sister, my mom and my friends all said, "I'd read your blog!" But I still procrastinated because I was afraid.
It will take up too much time.
People are seriously mean on the Internet sometimes. Also, privacy!
I'm not a writer yet.
You can see where I'm going with this. All those thoughts? Excuses, big-time. I could feel myself trying to convince myself that this wasn't a good idea. Because one person three years ago shut me down when I tried. Because I was still afraid. Because my perfectionist tendencies try to avoid all possibilities of not being "good" or messing up somehow. But finally (thankfully), I got over myself.
I was over my own excuses because I simply wanted to write. Despite the critic in my head, I knew I am and always will be a writer. As Glennon Melton puts it, "Reading is my inhale and writing is my exhale." Of course it would take up time, but I certainly find time to do all sorts of things I love, like yoga and cooking and reading and happy hour. I knew I wouldn't post anything I wouldn't share with family and friends, and I know my limits in terms of privacy. Yes, people on the Internet can be cruel. So can people in real life. I wasn't interested in letting other people stop me from doing something I wanted to do anymore. And what I wanted, and needed, was some sort of creative space in order to write and share and grow, and truly, a blog is an excellent opportunity and tool to do so. I was the only person holding myself back.
I'm sure there will still be days ahead when I think I shouldn't blog, and on those days, I'm going to return to this post as a reminder of why I should.