Why I blog

In this social media frenzied culture that contributes to an exorbitant amount of oversharing and privacy breach issues, why does any person blog? Someone I’m quite close to calls me an exhibitionist. Perhaps I am a bit, but this statement irks me and doesn’t feel right, so I thought about it and wondered, why is that I blog and why do I love it so?

This used to be my header of my blog, along with Hugh Jackman...

True story, you may not know this about me, but I used to be adamantly opposed to blogging. I thought it narcissistic and boring. Then I noticed that some blogs are a little quirky, a little funny, and sometimes a little informative. The real change in attitude happened a year ago–a year ago when I started this blog and the dream was realized…

In December 2010, after a wretched end of the year, a bright spot shined on me when I earned a competitive internship with the Embassy of Australia in Washington, DC. One of the main skillsets for the position was an acute talent for social media, including blogging. Having never blogged and having never the desire to, prior to my interview, I got to researching and practicing.

What I didn’t know was that this first attempt at blogging would lead to something  I was able to do for myself and my career.

Upon entering my internship, my supervisor told me that many interns chose to focus on a project or skillset to further develop. The blogging program had fallen by the wayside, and I decided that this was a chance for me to be creative and leave an imprint. I had no idea how successful it would become or how it would impact my own blogging relationship.

I overhauled the program, redesigned the site, selected contributing bloggers, and ran the embassy blog in addition to blogging personally (via Gingermermaid) about my experience as an intern. The views of the gostudyinaustralia blog, whilst under my care, jumped a remarkable 250%.

However, as great as this program was, I had to leave the internship and find work elsewhere. Work that paid. Rather than retiring my blog, I separated it from the embassy and began it as my personal blog once again.

Still dealing with some emotional highs and lows, I found that when I sat in front of a computer, inspired or just bored, I had this elation when writing a blog post. Sometimes I wrote a blog and never published it, just wrote and let it rest dormant.

I always tell people how much I want to be a writer. But seriously, everyone wants to be a writer or publish a novel one day, and I’m certainly no different than every other English major who is not working in their field and has aspirations for literary stardom. However, one step in the “write” direction is to actually scribble something down. At times it’s hard to sit in front of a computer and  write an epic novel, but it is easy to write what you know, and a blog is great practice. What else do I know as well as my own thoughts?

I’m also shy about sharing what I write. Writing and pouring my heart into a piece of work may mean a lot to me, and may seem to be the best alignment of words and phrases ever to grace paper, but not everyone feels the same or cares. That criticism is biting. Every mother thinks their baby is beautiful, but in reality…

Blogging allows me to get over some of my fears, understand what it’s like to have people read my words, and take criticism (but really just praise because it’s just that good, right?). Even criticism in the form of ridicule for my Gingermermaid blog name.

Artists don’t paint to keep their work in a dark room. Writers don’t create to keep their words secret.

My blog will not turn into an epic novel; I’m not stupid, it’s not that interesting. But it gets me writing often, it makes me happy, and it allows me to share what I want with the world. Not too much, but just enough.

At times it will seem egotistical or stupid. But blogging has opened many doors for me in my career and it’s also opened doors inside myself, allowing me to purge creativity and ideas and sprinkle the internet with just enough of my own unique perception and turn of phrase.

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