It was a stifling hot day in Brisbane and I had shut myself inside in with the air conditioning on high.
To be honest, I was a little bored.
While I had thought about starting a blog for a while, the time seemed right to actually do it.
The self doubt quickly followed this decision. Did I don't really have anything interesting to say? Why would anyone be interested in reading it? Isn't that a bit self-indulgent?
A year and 102 blog posts later, I've realised the answers to these questions don't really matter.
What I have discovered is that I enjoy writing this blog for a few surprising reasons I didn't expect when I first started.
So if you've ever thought of starting your own blog, here's my five reasons why you should:
1. "Mirror, mirror on the wall..."
The first big one is creating a space for reflection.
Most of us think too much, but it's scattered, continual thinking that never really gets to a point or resolution. We just keep spinning our wheels over the same issues and let them consume us.
With a blog, the act of putting your fingers to the keyboard forces you to not only think about what you're thinking, but apply a bit more critical analysis to those thoughts. What's really going on here? Have I overinflated this? Why do I feel that way?
Looking at Blogger now, I can see I've written several dozen draft blog posts that I've never published because the original idea never really amounted to anything. However the act of scribbling those thoughts down was hugely therapeutic.
|Having a think: Travelling alone? Or travelling solo?|
2. Popping the pimple
Sometimes blogs are just about getting something off your chest. It might seem trivial or silly, but the act of venting feels so good.
A gross analogy I like to use is: pop the pimple and let the healing begin!
And perhaps it spares your family and friends from having to always be on the receiving end of your whinging!
|Venting is good: Car dealer theatre|
3. Joining the global conversation
I've been posting links to my blogs on Twitter and have been pleasantly surprised at the supportive blog community out there in cyberspace. While we tend to associate social media with cyber-bullying and trolls, you'd be surprised at the retweets and messages of support you can receive.
Even Blogger's own statistics reveal unusual insights about who is reading your blog. Sometimes you're wondering how people in Russia or Mexico came across your blog and what made them read it.
You've shared your thoughts and taken part in the global conversation.
|Made my day!|
4. Mental escape. No passport required.
One of the main reasons I started the blog was to create a space where I would actually take a little bit of time out of each week to reminisce about some of my travels.
My first big overseas trip was in the year 2000 and I've been travelling since. While I have hard drives full of travel photos, I realised I never really looked at them. The point of the blog was to force myself to "revisit" some of these memorable destinations and experiences.
Sometimes when things are busy at work the thought of coming home to write a blog seems onerous (I've tried to make myself write two a week), but when I sit down to do it I really enjoy the escape.
Interestingly, now when I'm travelling I am on the lookout for anything that might make an interesting blog post (but don't consider it a chore or job). In turn, I think this makes me pay more attention to what's going on around me.
|Keeping your travels alive: Sleeping with a clown|
5. Rediscovering the fun of writing
As a kid I was always crafting little written pieces. Instead of writing letters, I would develop little newsletters and magazines to send to relatives about what I was up to (I'm not saying they were interesting by the way). I even had many attempts at writing a Doctor Who script - all terrible in hindsight but great fun at the time.
Ironically, when I became a journalist and then moved into communications, I temporarily lost the love for writing. It had become a "work thing". This blog has created a new avenue for writing and expression, and it's surprisingly satisfying.
|Enjoying writing: Into Flanders fields|
I would like to thank all those who have taken time out of their day to read some of my blog posts during the past year.
Initially I thought the only person who would be reading my blog would be my Mum (I envisaged her jumping on a computer several times a day to increase my page views). But it seems others in Australia and around the world have read it as well as my Mum.
I sincerely get a real buzz from any comments, retweets, likes and shares, so thank you for that!