This is it! This is THE official 50th post. The golden number, the accomplishment, the five and the zero!
When I started this blog about three months ago I would have never thought it would take me this far. Really, fifty is not that great of a number. But coming up with fifty different topics one week after another – I call that quite an accomplishment. Here are a few things I would like to share with you, dear readers, while thanking you for the time you actually took to weed through my sometimes clumsily phrased posts. The things I’ve learned about blogging for three months straight are:
1) Different outcomes than intentions
I intended this blog for my friends back at home in Germany, and for a few Americans I know here. So far, it hasn’t worked out that way. Instead, I met random people from UK, Pennsylvania, California, Asia, Nirvana – anything but. So I guess my initial goal was not met. Which is fine. I guess my friends are less computer-literate than I thought. I forgive them. They gave me a great opportunity to dip into other people’s lives!
2) One new topic after another
I never understood how people can write and write and write… And now I am one of them! The ideas keep on flowing and there seems to be no way I could run out of topics anytime soon. Sometimes I come up with three different things to talk about during one entire day. New York is good about this, as it gives me many inspirations and incidents to write about. You remember that list I recommended in 7 Tips on Blogging? Well, I still have 25 topics on mine and in the last two months the number has not gone done, even though I crossed off a fair amount of items.
3) It just won’t get boring
Disregarding the writer’s block, this is an interesting hobby I have pursued over the past three months. And contrary to my initial beliefs, I am for once not bored with this activity. Which I consider a mighty good sign. I discover new ways to express myself every time I write and I cannot imagine giving this project up anytime soon. Not until I have finished those 25 ideas still waiting on my list. And more!
4) Recognizing other people’s hard work
Writing is not just simply putting up a few sentences every other day and reading through your reader comments. It involves hard work! It sometimes has to do with doing some research, taking pictures, and phrasing your words in such a way you won’t offend anyone you don’t intend to. It involves overcoming shyness and emotions and talking about topics you might have troubles with. It involves staying put to a “project” albeit you sometimes don’t feel like it. I see how many writers are struggling to get their opinions out there from time to time and I acknowledge their hard work. I can now see that this is more than just a few posts, it is a revelation into their own (vulnerable) world.
5) Feeling for others
Writing can be therapeutic. I like to keep my blog a bit away from topics too personal (sometimes not very successful). However, I can see how other bloggers are talking about topics disturbing to them – not to get attention but to heal their wounds and to get advice. So the longer I have been reading other bloggers’ posts that I am following, the more I feel for them. Be it illness, personal events, downfalls, failure, happiness – the more I become involved in these persons’ online life, the more I can feel their pain and experience their joy.
6) Blogging community – what a positive thing!
Let’s admit it: It’s great to have a blogging community! Where else can you easily connect with people from all over the world (online dating does not count). It’s a great opportunity to dip into completely different worlds, to clash with different views, and to discover new, different things. I am not saying that this is a substitute for face-to-face relations or friendship (even though some bloggers have taken their experience to another level and met in person and become friends!). But it certainly gives us the chance to create an image of our own and to feel comfortable with this. It might be a refuge for stories we want to discuss with someone who is more distant than our partners or best friend. And we like to hear advice from people from all walks of life. So yes, in this sense, the blogging community is a helpful and positive invention!
7) Improving your writing
I don’t know if this applies for others, but I feel more confident in writing letters, applications, or other correspondence in the language of English now. And I do think that this is because of blogging. Writing four posts a week makes me look up English vocabulary, grammar quirks, and expressions I have never heard of before or couldn’t use in the right way. So yes, I believe if you really want to, then blogging can improve your writing. I don’t want errors dominating my works because there is nothing more annoying to me when reading through a work filled with mistakes. It makes me wonder if the other writer is taking his/her own work seriously and, to be honest, it does not make the author look very educated. This is why I myself aim for writings which are close to flawless.
8) Discovering many new things
I’ve come to find that cooking vegetarian does not have to be pricy or tedious but it can be fun and creative. I’ve also discovered that there are many fascinating ways of taking pictures and aiming your camera. And of course graffiti art in Berlin is about as original as street drawings in Buenos Aires are. There are so many different areas of interest in this world and blogging has brought me closer to them. I can now confidently find my own way in putting my interests together after I have seen how other people manage to do so. More importantly, I can see that I do not have to be flawless in doing so but that experience will help in finding things out.
9) Uncensored writing
The good thing: I can write what I want when I want and how I want. Freedom times three. This is not a job I’m trying to accomplish but this is my own work I am getting out there and I have all the rights to do whatever I want to do with it.
Despite all of this, I have also arrived at the conclusion that blogging can hurt others in a way not intended. Certain topics should have been chosen more wisely by me and maybe certain aspects should have not been mentioned at all, for in the long run they will do neither party any good. Therefore, I will try to keep a more objective view on controversial themes and keep the emotional part out of it. (hint: Life As a Reporter is a good example of this).
So off it is, to hopefully 50 more posts, and in the end I might be able to say: Yaaay to the glorious 100th! Keep on reading, folks!