This weekend I got to join some other bloggers for dinner (Mindy, Amber., Autumn, Matt, Anne-Marie, Lee, Hula Doula , and our lovely hosts, Genuine and Mrs. G ). There were eleven of us there, and I’d never met a one of them in person before last night. I was telling a friend about it and she said slowly, “Ok, so let me get this straight. You’re…going to see some people you’ve met…ON THE INTERNET?”
And it was great. We talked and talked. In that group I’m at the INTROVERTED end of the spectrum, despite the fact that at one point I made a comment about Mindy’s lobster that…well, was entirely inappropriate. It was a very fun bunch of people
At one point Genuine gave a toast, in which he detailed his journey into blogging. It got me thinking about how I got started on this whole thing.
A few years ago I joined an email list called Momwriters. It’s fabulous, by the way. An excellent resource for any writing mom. Anyhow, there was a lot of buzz shortly after I joined about BLOGS, and what they are, and why people were starting them. Debates raged about whether or not you can submit for publication something that has already been on your blog, or if that would make it a reprint.
I started reading a group of blogs, and found there some wonderful women writers. I was in awe of them. But they encouraged me to start my own blog, especially one woman in particular (who I will tell you about another day). After much internal debate, I decided to go ahead and give it a try.
My reasoning, at the time, was that if I wanted to be a Writer, I would have to get used to people reading my stuff. The thought gave me hives, and I suspected that might stand in the way of my imagined writing career. So I decided that blogging would be the perfect forum for me to experience that. I started kiwords on June 13, 2003 (Raphael’s second birthday), and steeled myself for the feedback. Ok, Internet, I thought, give me your worst. Through desensitization therapy, I would become tough-skinned enough to deal with rejection.
Saturday night, as I sat with this warm, smart, welcoming group of people, I thought back on that. I’ve gotten feedback, alright. I’ve even gotten some negative responses from time to time. But instead of the onslaught of rejection I was expecting, I’ve gotten so much support and encouragement. I’ve made real friends right here, through my blog. I’ve grown as a writer, and I’ve enjoyed it all so very much.
I realized that my fear at the beginning nearly prevented me from experiencing something I’m really grateful for. When I tell people about this blog (which I don’t, all that often), I usually wave it off, as though it’s rather insignificant. “Oh, it’s just this little thing I do.” But the truth is that I love coming here and trying to say it right, whatever “it” might be for the evening. I’m grateful to everyone who reads it, and everyone who comments. This has been a great ride so far, and I’m really glad I didn’t miss it for the sake of my fear.