I want to say something about blogging.
I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a while now and, like anyone else, I’ve had my ups and downs. It’s the natural progression of a blog, I suppose, an evolution that we all go through on some level — at least, those of us who love it do.
I’ve loved the blog, I’ve hated the blog. I’ve felt insecure about it, I’ve been unbelievably proud of it. I’ve seen it as fun, I’ve seen it as work. I’ve walked away from it only to find that I missed it terribly.
Some days I can’t imagine writing a blog post, but I can’t even begin to imagine not having a blog.
It’s been a great springboard for me to other things. It’s challenged me and made me think and given me the confidence to try things I never thought I could do.
But more than any of that, it’s introduced me to an incredible network of people. Talented people. Smart people. Funny people.
This week, I lost my job and while it wasn’t unexpected, it was still a pretty jarring experience. Being the obnoxious bigmouth that I am, of course I wrote a post about it – OF COURSE I did. I told the story with my trademark potty-mouth and complete disregard for my own best interests, hit “publish” without hesitation, and then immediately started to second-guess it. I mean really, what blogger HASN’T heard the infamous Dooce story? Don’t we all know someone who knows someone who’s lost out on the Job of Dreams because they got googled?
Still, in the end I decided to let the post stand, consequences be damned. Because (1) it was all true and (2) it made me laugh. Which was something I really, really needed to do at that time. And if it made ME laugh, it might make someone else laugh, and THAT seemed to make the whole experience worth it somehow.
So I left it up and waited for the inevitable professional backlash.
But you know what I got instead? Support. Lots of it.
Within 24 hours I had at least seven job leads, all from people who’d read that post. I had comments, phone calls, messages on Facebook and Twitter – some from people I’ve known forever and others from friends I will never meet. Most just wanted to offer their support, but a few had real leads for jobs that I might actually get. I’ve had serious conversations with two people in the last two days about possible long-term freelance gigs — both of which came DIRECTLY from that post.
I’ve been looking to go strictly freelance for a while now, but I’ve held on to that crappy old job because it was stable and I was terrified to take the final leap. Now that leap has been made for me, and while it sucks that it went down the way it did, my reaction has been anything BUT what I would have expected.
I’m scared, sure, but I’m also confident. Optimistic. HOPEFUL.
Whatever happens next, I know I’ve got some amazing people on my side. And I have my blog to thank for that.
Not everyone is a fan of blogging. A lot of people I know thumb their noses at it or consider it a waste of time. More than once I’ve heard “I just don’t understand WHY you like it so much.”
Well, this is why.
It’s not because I might end up getting work through my blogging connections — although in this time of uncertainty, that’s a pretty great thing for me. And it’s not because so many people seem to appreciation the situation I’m in and my ability to make light of it — although that feeling really does make me glow.
It’s because I’m part of something bigger than myself, and I feel that, and in times when I really need it, it gives me hope.
And that’s a pretty powerful thing.