I think that writing is therapeutic. I think that even people who do not consider themselves writers benefit from writing out their thoughts, feelings, to-do lists, what have you. You should write a blog.
Blogs are fun because you sometimes get feedback from people. We all have these private thoughts, private struggles, and what we think are weird ideas, but when we share them with others we find that our thoughts are not so personal or intimate – most experiences are not singular to ourselves. The human experience is a universal one in many ways, and blogs have a tendency to help you find like minded people. It is always nice to know that we are not alone in our struggles, our thoughts, our weird ideas, and not alone in the world in general.
Part of the reason I started this blog was to help me focus on working out and the journey I am on to be in better shape because it is brand new to me. I spend a lot of my time second guessing myself, wondering if what I am going through is normal, wondering if everyone has such a struggle with staying on target with diet and exercise, and basically doubting myself. By writing out the different things I experience, I am able to sort through those thoughts, focus on the successes instead of the failures, and gain perspective that helps me keep going. The focus is more on the journey itself instead of the destination this way, which makes it more palatable. Will was joking the other day about being physically fit. “Ok, we are now physically fit and we don’t have to worry about exercising ever again!” If it actually worked that way!
The other reason I started this blog was because I am not thin, I am not svelte, I am still working my way there, and even when I do get to where I want to be, my body shape is never going to support thinness. It would be nice to be a regular size and muscular, but my hips and chest are never going to allow my physique to be willowy and delicate, which is cool by me. I would be happy with looking like a muscular fireplug of a woman. Right now I am still fat – according to the BMI calculator I am still in the land of obese, I am just an obese person who happens to be working out. My next goal is to simply be overweight. 🙂
I read a lot of Crossfit and paleo/primal blogs and what most of them have in common is that the writers are often life long athletes. I am not. I am a life long couch potato that finally decided maybe the Jabba the Hut look wasn’t exactly the fashion statement I wanted to make and that maybe having knees that always hurt and being out of breath after a half flight of stairs wasn’t something a 36 year old should be experiencing. In two years I have lost 60 pounds, which is not a major success story, but if I focus on how far I need to go to get down to the weight/size I wish I was all that happens is I get discouraged. If I focus on where I’ve been and how much progress I have made in those two years, I don’t get discouraged as easily, because even if it has been slow, at least it has been progress. Slow and steady wins the race. If it takes me another two years to lose another 60 pounds, that would be a bummer, but it would also be progress. If I focus on the journey instead of the destination, I am much more likely to keep at it. This blog is for my own personal thoughts and struggle as well as for all the couch potatoes out there, all the non athletes, all the people who struggle with the choice of cake and cookies vs. veggies and fruits.
I have a couple of other blogs I write as well. One is about my marriage, and why I love my husband. I started that one because I have a tendency to complain about the problems but never really talk about the great things that go on. This blog focuses on the great things in my relationship and helps me focus on the positive. Also, my husband is witty and fun, and I find a lot of joy in our interactions. Writing about the joy in life helps me focus on it more. My tendency is to dwell on the negative or be anxious about things I cannot control, so focusing on the positive aspects in life helps me be more positive in general.
That said, not all of my ideas for blogs are positive in nature. I think that sometimes you have to purge yourself of the negative and writing out all of the bad helps get it out of your system. Instead of obsessing over things that make you miserable, you can purge them through writing them out. I’ve gone to counseling for various issues over the course of my life – I think everyone can benefit from counseling if you get the right counselor – and one of the things I’ve been told when I am upset about something is to write it out. If you are mad at a person, write a letter to them about why you are pissed. Don’t to send it to them, you can just purge yourself of the unhappy thoughts and feelings. Hate blogs are tremendously popular, from people writing about why their work life sucks, to why they hate a particular performer or artist, to people who simply write reviews of things they hate intensely.
Have someone in your life driving you crazy? Start a hate blog – just make sure you don’t list people by name because it can be considered harassment, slander, etc. Hate your job? Start a blog about why it is awful – but be sure you use a different name for yourself and your employer because you could get fired. Work retail? Some of the best anecdotes in my life come from working with the public. The public is crazy to retail personnel so often that it ends up being quite hilarious.
One of the fun things people did on Facebook during Thanksgiving was 30 days of thankfulness. Every day they posted what they were thankful for. A thankfulness blog would be cool. You could write a little something about why you are thankful.
My blogs are almost always public, but if you just want to keep a journal online somewhere, you can make them hidden and private. WordPress also allows for a blog to have up to 20 people who can contribute and write for it. Work with people in retail? Start a blog together focusing on the various funny/interesting/annoying things that happen at work. I’ve got a few writer friends that I have thought would be fun to start a Bitch Blog with – just a blog where we complain about movies, television, books, work, or whatever else suits our fancy. Blogs that are not about anything other than your life would be cool, too.
Writing is therapeutic, and I think that blogging is something that many people could do. You don’t have to make long posts, you don’t have be a writer, and really, I think that anyone could have a blog. So, you should write a blog.