Today is LiveSimplyKMM‘s 2nd Anniversary. It is crazy to think I’ve been blogging for two years now. This blog has only been public for probably a year, before that it was just for myself, friends, and family. But, then I decided it was time to join the blogosphere and break out of my shell. It was filled with many mixed emotions. Essentially I’ve been blogging my whole life, just in a different medium.
At the age of eight, I went to Walgreens with my mom because I had stayed home sick that day. Knowing me, it was probably Strep. I was tormented by this infection in my elementary school days and it was awful to put it in limited terms. While we were waiting for my bubblegum flavored prescription, my mom let me pick out a diary with a cute little lock and key. It also had, appropriately so, a bunch of cartoon puppies on it. The pages inside were multi colored and lined, which was imperative for my scrawling, lop-sided handwriting. It wasn’t Lisa Frank, but it was good enough! I’m not quite sure what I wanted with a diary with a key, I never had any siblings to worry about since they were much older than I was, and I doubt anyone cared about the ramblings of an 8-year-old little girl. All the same, I was overjoyed to be following in the footsteps of many beloved characters that I had read about. I wanted to be like Mandie from the Mandie series, or like Queen Antoinette in the Royal Diaries book series.
I highly recommend these books to young girls. I loved them. Picture from google images.
Writing in my little diary became a beloved ritual, and another way that I found my voice. I was extremely shy and soft-spoken, and to some extent still am. This became an outlet of all my fears, anxieties, elations, and hopes. But more than that, I could never had known that it would preserve an important part of myself, my childhood.
My lovely handwriting from the day and the pattern of my first diary.
I have kept every journal I have ever written in. And there are plenty of them, and with the pages you can see the transformation from a young, shy girl with hopes of meeting the Spice Girls, to an anguished teen trying to figure out relationships, faith, love, and life. I don't journal as much as I used to, probably because I have devoted myself to my blog, fiction writing, and academic writing. But, every so often, when I don't want to let an important moment get away, I scribble down my thoughts in my most recent journal, which is now scattered with doodles and brainstorming for fiction pieces. But, I still adore it.
A tradition I have kept through my journaling is that I always do a note to self and lessons learned when I near the final blank pages of a journal. I use this space to sum up the growth that has happened in the journal, but most importantly, some notes to myself- nuggets of wisdom if you will. These pages have been monumental during rough patches in my life. I have turned to them for advice and guidance from a past self, someone I know I can trust when I've lost my way. More than anything else, I use these pages as inspiration and a way to love myself, which is something I tend to fail miserably at. I can go back to these pages and remember that I am proud of where I've journeyed and who I've become, despite all the potholes and burnt bridges along the way. But more than anything, to teach me that there is nothing wrong with where I have been as long as I always keep going in the best way I know how. No regrets.
So, since it is the two year anniversary of my blog, I thought I would do the same thing at the end of this chapter in my blogging adventure. Initially, I set out on this journey to stay connected with my family, and decided along the way that I should have confidence in my thoughts and writing. The reason I love journaling so much is because if I never write anything worth reading my whole life, my life in itself is a story. If people can find inspiration, entertainment, amusement, or any sort of benefit in reading my life experiences, then I'm okay with sharing, even though it can be incredibly hard at times. For me, I don't hide behind my words or just throw stuff out there that I’m not passionate about, my writing is me in my rawest form. It has been an integral part of who I am since I started that first "diary." Without further ado, I will share what I would remind my future self about blogging, and what I have learned along the way. *This is all in my own experience, so it probably will not apply to everyone*
All my journals except for the one I use currently. Ranging from 2002-2011. Quote from Maya Angelou.
1. Never forget why you started the blog. If you were so motivated to do something such as starting a blog, there was probably something behind that motivation- there always is. So, never forget it. That doesn't mean you can't grow in new directions, it's just important to know where you've been.
2. Don't you dare start evaluating your worth on the number of views you get. Don't do it! There are so many blogs out there that you love, which have low readership, but it doesn't change the fact that you connect with that person and are a loyal follower. You write because you obviously get something out of it, and it shouldn't have to do with how many people decide to listen.
3. Once I started developing followers, it was important for me to actively read their blogs if it was something that I could engage in or support. Given, I've had some people that I just could not connect with at all, which is okay. But, it did make me wonder why in the world they would follow me. However, that rarely happens. So while you shouldn't dwell on how many followers you have, you should keep in mind the ones that do. They are a great source of motivation and inspiration.
As Elizabeth Gilbert says- just do your dance.
Image from Pinterest.
I'm so happy that I made the decision to branch out from journaling in a locked book to sharing my tid-bits of the little things that make me happy, my experiences in day-to-day life, my writing journey, and any thoughts I have along the way. I hope it has been pleasant so far, and I'm very happy where I've come from and where it may lead! But for now, I'm very much in the moment!
And kudos to all those bloggers out there that stick with it, because surprisingly enough, it isn’t always easy to have something to say, or the words to say it.