I remember it well.
It was on a warm summer day that I stumbled across the website of a girl who was everything I wanted to be. I couldn’t stop thinking about her and how, by some accident of fate, she had my life. We were both in our early 20s, both studied geography and both lived just outside of Toronto and yet one of us was a popular travel blogger, and one was not.
Later that day, at the gym, the sound of my beating heart and the rhythmic pounding of my feet on the treadmill gave me clarity: if I enjoyed writing and wanted to tell my stories, I would first need an outlet to do so. Thus, The Wandering Rose was born.
Three years later, I’d like to think that I’ve grown as a writer and a human being. In what ways then, has blogging helped me become the person I am today?
As previously outlined, self-assurance is not a strong trait of mine…but I’m working on it and blogging has been there every step of the way. Through exposing my stories to the public, I’ve opened myself to failure and criticism and have experienced both, but I’m still here and I’m still writing. Sure, I often find myself wondering if I’m shouting to the void and chasing unreachable dreams, but I remind myself that numbers don’t validate worth and even small successes should be celebrated.
I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with fellow bloggers from all corners of the globe and although some affiliations may have been fleeting, I have taken something from each and every encounter – be it enjoyment, comfort or encouragement. These pleasant social interactions filter back to improved confidence and vice versa, creating a positive feed back loop and strengthening bonds.
It’s never a bad idea to surround yourself with things that inspire you and blogging has given me an additional opportunity to do just that. By choosing what to write about, what to share and who to connect with, I can expose myself to sources of great pleasure and motivation. In turn, this boosts productivity and overall happiness in my writing and my external life. Much like the journey to a destination, inspiration itself should be enjoyed, not just the goal that it incites.
I’ve always felt this compelling need to be the best I can, always striving for perfection or to become something beyond – something more. By blogging every week (more or less), I have had ample practice to enhance my writing style and have greatly reduce the time it takes to complete a post. Although my older articles are still enjoyable to read, I’d like to think that my newer work is more fluid, exhibits a more colourful vocabulary and is just generally better prose.
Every blogger has their own reasons for writing: something prompted them to start and something pushes them to continue. At first I thought I wanted to become the girl from the website I discovered three summers ago, but now I’m not so sure. My vision for The Wandering Rose has become wiser, more mature.
I blog for personal reflection
I blog as insight for the bored and curious
and finally, I blog to develop myself as a person, for all the reasons stated above.
I’m glad I started on this journey and I’m glad you’re joining me too.