Why should you blog?
Well howdy again folks!
This is the first post that I will be making in the Ultimate Blog Challenge which asks me to post every day for the rest of this month. That means you are going to be getting a post per day! Lucky you! Anyway, I thought I would look at some of the reasons why I started this blog, what keeps me going and why you should join the blogging community.
As I have mentioned in a couple of my previous posts (The Still of the Night.. and Health Suffers Through Caring) life can be tough dealing with my own disabilities and looking after a daughter with special needs. I am the type of person who, believe it or not, used to bottle up my emotions and store them until they exploded out like champagne corks, often causing a lot of hurt and damage in the process. This would also have an impact on my health because I often wouldn’t sleep (although I rarely do with my insomnia anyway), I would break out in nasty ulcers all over my mouth and I would suffer with severe stomach cramps. After the last time this happened I decided I needed to make a change with something and I thought about writing a journal. Now I am not very good at writing a journal as I have tried a few times before but it was when I saw someone else post on a forum about their blog that I gave it a read and decided I would write one myself and here we are!
I knew I was going to write about my daily life but I wanted to do it in a way that I could be open about everything. I have never bought into the macho pretence that a lot of other guys seem to feel the need to put on when it comes to those sensitive subjects, so writing from the heart seemed the natural thing for me to do. There was benefit for me by doing this because it meant that I could get the feelings out of my head and both record and understand them for later use avoiding that old ‘popping cork’ situation I would have had on other occasions. The other thing that spurred meon was that there seemed to be a real lack of fathers writing blogs about their experiences with a special needs child. It surprised me quite a bit but that meant there was the chance to step up and say ‘This is what is going on in the mind of the fathers who are so often overlooked in the caring role’. Now I am not claiming to be the voice of every father but I hope in my blog that I can at least give an insight into what is going on in the minds of some of the fathers and at the same time show that we don’t always have the rock hard exterior that we put up each day to try and convince ourselves and everyone else that ‘Everything is O.K’. After all we cant all be Iron Man or the Incredible Hulk even though we may pretend to be.
Since starting the blog I have found that I really enjoy doing it and it has certainly made me feel less stressed. Getting things out of my head seems to have done the trick and I am not worried and as tense all the time. It has allowed me to focus on myself and my own health, I have had time to spend with the kids having fun and laughing and it has definitely improved my relationship with my wife. We snap a lot less at each other and it has opened both of us up to be able to talk through problems a lot more calmly and rationally than would have been possible before. I am not saying that we were biting each others heads off or anything but the stress and tension can definitely make things a lot more difficult to think about and discuss rationally. The other advantage of writing this blog has been the sense of community that quickly starts to build around you if you put a bit of time and effort into talking to people and commenting on their posts. I have read some truly brilliant articles and stories and I have been touched by the strength and determination of some of the others that I have read. I have had help from all sorts of places and from lots of different websites, people and companies that I would never have heard of or come into contact with if it hadn’t been for this blog.
So why should you start blogging? Well firstly it is a hobby that can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make it. You can host a blog for free in a number of places (This one is hosted at WordPress.com) or you can go for a self hosted option which will require you to register a domain name and get a place to host it. This is probably something I am going to do with this blog fairly soon because I have found I enjoy it so much I want to be able to have the freedom to do things for myself. Secondly, there is a therapeutic quality to writing about something that you are passionate about and the range of topics is limited by your own imagination. There is always someone else who will be willing to read what you write and it is nice to have that feeling of a connection even if it is virtually and may be across thousands of miles. It can be a stress release, a tool to vent frustration, a way of keeping in touch with family or even to write down your feelings about somebody that you would be too embarrassed to say to their face. Finally, if you manage to make a successful blog it could open doors for a job change, career or an extra income through advertising and sponsorships etc. Now don’t expect to write a blog and leave your job because it wont happen just like that. It does take a lot of effort to connect with your audience and promote your blog to people around the world.
I would like to say a thank you to a couple of bloggers who have helped me on my journey to get to this point and to be able to share my opinions and thoughts with everyone and I would love it if you would go and visit them and leave some comments.
So will you be the next set of bloggers to put your thoughts down onto the world wide web? Will you make a new venture in business and use a blog to sell it? Will you be the next band to use blogging as a promotion tool?
If you do let me know and I will post a link and take a look!