Why blogging is so important for personal growth as a human, and professional growth as a writer

As you talk or write or share concepts and come up with subjects to talk about and then you listen to yourself talk and write and share those things as posts, you find out more about yourself.

Blogging is therapy. It changes us. We find out who we are, or at least more about how we think and what we are interested in and that moves us forward

I haven’t been to therapy (probably should) but from what I gather, the therapists job is to listen to you untangle you’re own psyche – they ask questions which provoke you to question yourself

Well I can do that with blogging for free.

When we gain a bit of self knowledge, instantly, we are moving forward , learning and growing and listening to ourselves and then moving forward again based on that new information.

Mark Manson, author of bestselling The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck began as a blogger. Many famous authors do. Blogging is the best form of practice for writing.

Or it can be if you are conscientious and truly care about your writing and strive to publish the best that you can at the time. Mark freely admits he worked out all of his personal issues while blogging and now he has moved into other areas. I’m a subscriber to his patreon blog because he offers a lot of valuable insights and because I like his writing style. When I measure my own writing against his, I come up lacking and that’s why I know that there is plenty I don’t know and to keep writing.

Here are a few things that I think are valuable that I have learned – just through blogging.

I read a great deal and always have. Bad writing hurts my eyes and I can’t read it. So I’m not a bad judge of good writing. Yet if I look back on my writing from two or three years ago – I don’t like it. I think it lacks all sorts of things. Yet I wrote and posted and must have thought it worthwhile at the time or I wouldn’t have done that. I wouldn’t have posted it because I’m hard on myself and I would have said “well this is no good” and I would have picked it apart and rewrote it.

Which tells me a few things.

One: I’m improving. Both as a reader and as a writer.

Two: I’m probably still no good as a writer but I just don’t know enough to be able to know why or where to improve it yet. But!!! I will get there as long as I stay the course and do the work.

Three: The way I got to here was to write to the best of my ability about the things that interest me.

Four: The way to improve is to keep writing and reading and posting.

If I didn’t have a blog and write most days then I wouldn’t have a reason to write and therefore I wouldn’t be able to improve.

I could get all cocky and write a book at this point. I have been egotistical enough in the past to self publish two poetry books. But I’m not doing that again soon because I know how I’m not good enough yet. It’s that simple and that complex.

How do you know when you’re good enough if you are constantly evaluating your writing as good enough to publish daily?

Or, put another way – if you think you may be crap, then why are you punishing yourself and other people by hitting post every day?

Because I don’t know how to write any better at this point, but I know I’m improving and the only way to improve further is to keep writing.

And it’s not just about writing. It’s about being able to withstand the vicious urge to procrastinate and avoid and to override the stupid idea that the ten thousand things that could seem to be more worthy then the one thing that is (some of which include organising my wardrobe and sorting the filing cabinet, plus reconciling and paying bills and picking up the mail and watering pot plants and ..:,) there is no end to tasks and to do lists.

It’s about priorities. And I just haven’t developed that sort of capacity yet. In summary – I’m still a peanut.

I’ll be good enough when I have the mental toughness and fortitude to persist in writing a book all the way through and then through the many rounds of editing it takes to get it perfect and when I find a publisher or one finds me.

I’m not there yet. I have a publisher who has my twice edited book right now and contacts me weekly by email (thankfully) to see if I’ve finished the finer details and no, I have not.

Why? Because now I hate the book. I wrote it when I was cocky and self important about writing and now whenever I look at it I just want to burn the thing and move on. I’ve improved since then, I don’t want to publish that book even if the publisher does so there’s that. I’ve developed self respect and real pride in my work and I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to editing

Because it may just be a way that I’m further defeating myself but blogging will help with that too (since I’ve wandered off subject)

And that’s another thing. Blogging helps you stick to a subject and not go all blathery and boring. I hope 😬😬🤭 let’s just not go there with this post then.

Because getting out the daily post is about a certain thing, and you stick with that thing (or mostly, or at least come back to the thing) all the way through. What I mean is you don’t go off and have a chat about the weather – although it is raining tonight and I only mention that because rainy weather is particularly good for blogging, and green tea and pasta – Vege pasta, very nice, Thermomix recipe. See what happened there, that was boring and an aside they added nothing to the post – which I’m sure I don’t need to point out except it’s perhaps a teachable moment for both of us.

Feedback. This is extremely valuable and something which blogging has the potential to provide a writer with. You get to see how people react and think about your writing. You get some praise, some criticism, a couple of pointers here and there.

Community: the WordPress community is vast. I just googled it. Sixty million. Right so I’m now going to give up as a blogger, obviously I’ll never get noticed amongst sixty million bloggers, I may as well be a piece of obscure Tupperware (or an indie book) on Amazon. Thanks for reading. Bye.

Except that luckily being “discovered” isn’t what it’s about. Alright I do have fantasies about being the next Mark Manson or Brene Brown, but I’m also a realist so I know that’s probably not going to happen. The WordPress community that I have managed to tap into is great. The blogging is teaching me and helping my writing and most of all it is giving me a reason to write and putting a big smile on my dial every day.

Blogging teaches you the art of conversation. Conversation is talking and listening and if you are with another person you should probably be doing more listening than talking because of the old adage about “you already know what you know, why not find out something new” and I didn’t even know how little I knew until I started blogging and I was a terrible listener or rather, I was a very good talker, which is the same thing but with a more positive slant I guess.

You find new music, you find new concepts, people to follow and listen to. You find people from all over the world and you get to hear their perspectives on things. I live in a small town in regional Queensland but I have instant access to someone’s mindset in say America, which was extraordinarily interesting through the Trump era and is still interesting because of the differences in perspective and opinion that two or more bloggers with opposing political ideologies during that time can deliver. And then I have to ask myself quietly (because that stuff is explosive) “well what do I think” and that is interesting too.

In addition to that, my own blog is read in a diverse range of countries, some I’ve never even thought about much. It’s interesting to wonder how someone in India or Canada or Portugal or Guana or all of these other countries that tune in to my blog think about it, because not everyone comments or can indicate even if they have liked the blog. For non bloggers – an explanation – the visit shows in the stats as a view but in order to like or comment you have to be a blogger or provide a heap of details and no one is going to take the time to do just in order to read a post.

Blogging has personalised the people of the world to me and broadened and sharpened my interest in global problems and made me aware of my responsibilities in that regard. I have developed a true global consciousness rather than a narrow small town consciousness – and that is very freeing.

Photo- mine taken in Brisbane, I was attending a conference just before the Covid shut downs – came across these wonderful characters on the way back to my hotel. We are all different, and everyone has something they are passionate about – that’s another thing that blogging has taught me.

But I gave up numbering at four because I don’t like lists of things much and this was turning into a list.

Have a great day, and if you feel like it, let me know what blogging is doing for you.

Another:

16 thoughts on “Why blogging is so important for personal growth as a human, and professional growth as a writer

  1. I agree with you on all counts about the value of blogging as self-therapy and for improving our writing. You raise another important point about blogging as connecting us with other people in the world and sharpening our knowledge of our shared global problems. Above all, I value this global connection that makes it possible for me to be invited into your life in Australia and of other individual lives worldwide.

    • I think it is such an integral part of my mind shift from local consciousness to global consciousness. It enlarges our sense of purpose and responsibility to a broader circle Rosaliene and that’s always a good thing. It is also incredibly interesting listening to a larger and more diverse conversation. One that mainstream media just isn’t tapped into.

  2. You make so many good observations here. For me, blogging helps me refine my thoughts, (believe it or not if you’ve read my posts!) I wander but try to make it back! Blogging has shown me I’m not alone. There are some good people out there. Bloggers become friends.

    • You make some good points too – the blogging world is full of wonderful interesting people and yes I hear you about blogging helping to refine thoughts – I’m a wandering writer as well and it helps keep me on track 😊

  3. When I go back and read stuff I wrote years ago, I don’t dislike it, but it’s no where near as clean as my writing now. I would never recommend one of my books to someone anymore. I imagine all (most, anyway) writers feel this way about their earlier work. I think about what I might write to publish in the future, I’m not sure there’s anything I’m dying to say. I’ve been to a fair amount of therapy, and you’re right, the process is very similar. Early on in my writing career, I was continually shocked by what I learned about myself. Happens far more infrequently now. I think I finally know myself.

  4. I found expressive writing of all forms very valuable as ways to prepare myself and advance individually between therapy sessions. They made the therapy sessions much more effective as I knew a lot more about what I needed to work through as the discovery work had already been done through writing. The therapy was still additive to provide a different and professional perspective on some areas where my mindset had me stuck.

  5. I think blogging used to serve more of that sort of purpose for me in the past. It still does, but probably to a lesser degree. Over the last year or so, I’ve found that journaling seems to be more personally productive in that sense. It is more cathartic for me and reveals things I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to.

    Poetry – which is usually posted to my blog – also serves that cathartic purpose, but I think I’m more picky about what I post nowadays. Since I self-published the first book, I’ve found that I’m more critical of what is “good enough” to post to the blog…what’s good enough to put out there. Almost like I hold myself to a higher standard now, whereas in the old days, I would publish mostly without such considerations. Which is perhaps a good thing, because it means I want my audience to get the quality material, and not just the totally unrefined ramblings which are better suited to a journal that no one ever sees.

    In terms of connection, I’ve said before that this WordPress community is my favourite place…far better than social media, where it feels like everything is too fast-paced, and people are there for quick hits of stimulation. Here on WordPress, we have time and space to fully express ourselves – no matter how long that takes – without worrying that the audience will be turned off by the length…because the people here, in my mind, at least, are writers and genuine readers – like us…so it’s a far more natural space. (Whereas social media, really, is just an outlet to spread some stuff wider than it would get on WordPress alone.)

    Over the years, I feel like I’ve sort of lost most of my regular audience – the ones who actively engage on material – but there’s still a few of you who stuck around, and I always appreciate your feedback and advice…especially because you’re older than me (to varying degrees…I think you are the closest in age, though), with more experience of life and writing…so it’s like this tiny virtual community of wise older heads who are always there, which is comforting.

    Unlike you, though, I don’t really have an ambition to take this blogging thing into a full-time writing gig, or a means to a more public career in writing – like Mark Manson or James Clear or all those others who made their start on this kind of platform. To me, my blog has always just been my home on the Internet, and it has become my personal archive of life experience and published writing. I sometimes go back to read older posts (and there’s a lot of that, since I started back in 2006), and it reminds me of where I was in life…what concerned me, how I thought. It helps me see the progression, and appreciate how far I’ve come.

    Obviously, a personal journal can do the same, but I think stuff that makes it to the blog is just far less fluff and rambling. It’s more concise and pointed, and far more accessible, so I enjoy having my own sort of personal history book online like that.

    I hate the idea of commercialised blogging – those who do it for financial or reputational benefit – to promote products or services by others when they otherwise wouldn’t do such things. That’s a sort of capitalistic pollution of the purity that blogging started out as, so I sort of consider that as a different world. But I’m glad there are still so many *real* bloggers out there…that this world is still going strong, even though commercialisation and social media have taken such a big portion of people’s attention. It’s beautiful that we can still connect with others in these real, authentic ways 🙂

    • Hi Yacoob, thanks for reading and your thoughtful reply. I think ambition is a strong word for how I think of my blog, and if I have any (ambition)it’s fleeting and ephemeral. Mostly the blog continues – sometimes it is weeks of uninterrupted daily posts and at others there are long silent gaps as I focus on other things. I wish I had ambition actually for my writing, but nothing lasts: it simply is whatever it is and like you, my journal serves me more faithfully as a repository for thoughts.

  6. You don’t mention bloggers from Africa.
    It’s OK.
    I can handle rejection.
    I love connecting with people from all over the world.
    I fear, however, mine ARE sometimes boring.

    • 😂Granny I have a big long list of countries – I couldn’t list every one but I appreciate all of them – it wasn’t a role call, just an idea. I didn’t realise you were from Africa. Your posts aren’t boring they are a window into your world and all the human worlds are interesting to me. You write in a very immediate style that I feel I’ve dropped in for a cuppa when I read your posts.

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