Sunday, May 4, 2014

The MOST Important Thing I Have Learned From Blogging

First, let's just take a minute to SCREAM about how I have already been blogging for a year and nine months! What is this blasphemy? How have I been at this for nearly two years now? Gee, Annie, maybe you're not such a quitter after all! 

After realizing just how long I've been blogging the other day, I started reflecting on all the wonderful moments I've had, the wonderful things that I've experience and the wonderful lessons I've learned. ESPECIALLY the lessons I've learned. I have seriously grown so much since first starting Random Reads and have learned so much about hard work and passion and time management and never giving up (among other things). It's crazy how after all these years of getting these things drilled into my mind by teachers and parents that I have made more progress in these areas in two years just by blogging than all of my other years combined! And I treasure everything that I've acquired but there's one thing that has resounded the most with me.

Learning to stop doing things to impress or satisfy other people and stop feeling like I NEED to do things for others in order to keep them happy if I don't want to do them, instead focusing on what I do want to do without giving thought to what others might think.

That was a mouthful! And one mouthful that I think needs some explaining. 

When I started blogging, I did not have a readership at all so I was mostly doing it because I enjoyed it and I loved it. And that was what kept me going. Just pure love. And now? Well, I still love blogging and the enjoyment I have when I blog is still one of the main reasons I continue to do so. But I actually have readers now, and maybe not many, but enough for me to feel a sense of duty when it comes to posting. Not just to please them but also to make sure that they'll continue reading my blog and not think, "Wow this person never posts" and then unfollow me. 

Honestly, I try not to think about this too often because I know it'll just turn into a whole bunch of what if's and drive me mad but sometimes, especially when I'm not posting that much, I get kinda worried about "what are my readers going to think?" and a little bit guilty too that I'm not being consistent with my blogging. I never have let those feelings of insecurity stop me from posting whenever I feel like because that type of thing has never been enough for me to stop being lazy when I want to be lazy. (But to be fair, there are a lot of things in this world that will never be enough to get my lazy butt off the couch.) I remember though, after not posting for a while, I would immediately come back and APOLOGIZE. And APOLOGIZE. 

"Sorry guys, I haven't been posting for a while and I know I really should get back to it and I promise that I'll be better at this."
"I'm so sorry for being away these past few weeks!"

Maybe it's because I'm Canadian and just have a habit of saying sorry for everything. (Like when people bump into ME. It's so stupid but I seriously do this every time.) But I've come to realize that apologizing, regardless of whether it's in my blood or not, is stupid.

The first reason is because if I truly, truly feel bad about not posting as much as I feel like I should be, then I wouldn't just be sitting around and apologizing for my actions - I would actually DO SOMETHING about it like create a bank of posts for me to fall on. This may not be this way for all of you because I do understand that sometimes, we have time restraints and seriously cannot control the fact that we have no time to blog at all but in my experience, there has always been an opportunity for me to write something that I didn't take so my apology is stupid and pointless and invalid.

But the second reason is, I think, the most important reason why. I started blogging for myself at the very beginning and even though that might change a little bit, I still SHOULD be blogging for myself. Because if I don't enjoy it, then what's the point? If I don't enjoy it, who cares if I have ten million readers or just one? And if I don't feel up to posting for the next two weeks, then I won't post. BECAUSE THIS IS MY BLOG AND SERIOUSLY NO ONE ELSE WILL CARE ABOUT IT AS MUCH AS I DO. And probably, a lot of my reader won't even notice if I don't post - and I'm saying this as a reader of many blogs myself.

I feel like I need to repeat that again: NO ONE ELSE WILL CARE ABOUT THIS BLOG AS MUCH AS I DO.



This goes with basically everything else. In life, you have the decision to do something or not do it. And whatever you choose, there is no need to apologize because it is your decision and you need to own it. It's all you and even if someone is expecting you to go one way or the other and you don't say what they want to hear, you don't need to apologize! What have you done wrong? Listening to yourself and doing what you believe is right for you and what you want to do is NOT A CRIME and no one knows what's good for you better than yourself.

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