How does blogging, journaling, writing and connecting online help to increase your happiness?


That is this week’s “Getting Happy” question from BlogHer’s Life Well Lived Series.  Here is the main post at their site.


When I started this blog nearly six years ago, it was at the prompting of a writing teacher who was just beginning to discover the wonders of instant feedback via comments from her readers.  The group of us that took the weekend-long workshop each went home, signed on to a blogging site and hit the ground running.  For someone who had yet to be published, it was a thrill to see my words in writing in a public space and even more exciting to hear what others had to say about my writing and my thoughts.  


More than 500 blog posts later, I’ve developed the courage to hone my writing skills and submit my work to online publications and traditional publishing houses thanks to the comments of many loyal readers.  Three of the original participants in that workshop are still blogging and commenting on my blog and I think we have all learned a lot about how to express ourselves, create conversation, and, more than anything, despite the fact that we live scattered throughout the United States, we have created solid bonds with each other. We support not only each other’s writing efforts, but prop each other up in times of difficulty with parenting or illness and celebrate each other’s successes in life.  


I have found that connecting with others through my blog, Facebook, or other online communities, I am able to share details of my life in real time with a group of people who are like-minded.  Rather than calling one trusted friend at a time, I can avail myself of a myriad of perspectives simultaneously and often get information I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.  I have found out about new places to submit my work and have gotten published online several times.  I have also been able to offer advice and tips to others who might be stuck in familiar positions.  While I can’t wrap my arms around these women in person or pour a golden stream of champagne into a glass someone is holding, I can certainly offer virtual love and support and cheerlead from afar and I’ve learned that simply knowing someone is in your corner is often enough to keep you going until your partner gets home and wraps their arms around you.  


There is something magical about feeling connected to others, feeling understood, feeling like you’re part of something bigger and, while it certainly isn’t a substitute for personal, close-up relationships, my online communities are as real to me as those friendships I have with my neighbors.  Knowing that my voice is being heard and validated by others is vitally important to my well-being and has sustained my enthusiasm for this solitary endeavor known as writing.  


Head on over and enter the sweepstakes if you haven’t before.  

12 replies
  1. Carrie Wilson Link
    Carrie Wilson Link says:

    Well said! It was six years ago in March, I remember it was St. Patrick's Day! My, my, what a six years it has been for all of us, huh?

    Love.

    Love.

    Love.

    Reply
  2. Sandi
    Sandi says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Kari. I haven't been blogging long, and I'm not very prolific, but I also treasure the friendships made. There is a book or two inside me, that will have to wait for the time to bring it out, but, in the meantime, I'll content myself with meeting and connecting with people like you who mean so much. The most precious rewards of this writing experience has been the connections made through our comments.

    I feel as though I am a part of your family, and I welcome you into mine as well!

    Reply
  3. brenda
    brenda says:

    That's great! I've only blogged for a year and only started because I read emerging writers needed a platform. I confess I still don't' really understand what that means, but the writing for the blog has afforded me to play and explore in ways I hadn't with my fiction. Sounds as if you found more that you thought you would as well. Congrats for sticking to it – the writing– most do not. It is a solitary pursuit.

    Reply
  4. Linnea Larsen
    Linnea Larsen says:

    My decision to start a blog and my first book can be contributed entirely to the comments I have received from mostly virtual strangers. I also enjoy the immediate feedback. Congratulations on all of your success.

    Reply
  5. Dee
    Dee says:

    Dear Kari, . . . first let me thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. I was gone all of April and so to see a comment is truly a lift to the spirit.

    What you've said in this posting has proven so true for me also. I've made blogging friends who have given me the courage to start seriously writing again. Their comments and support have meant so much to me in the last eleven months. You've pinpointed the strengths and rewards of blogging. Well done!!!

    Peace.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    How great to have your own writing community! Thanks for encouraging me to create my own blog about 1 1/2 years ago. Much sucess to you and your writing friends!

    Reply
  7. Unknown
    Unknown says:

    I agree with you – it's a blessing, and a real community. Though I have had one bad experience through blogging (so far), it has not by any means negated nor outweighed the goodness that blogging has brought into my life.

    Reply
  8. Jordy Liz
    Jordy Liz says:

    It's great to be connected to a community of bloggers alongside our "real life" friends. Some friends I met through blogging are those I turn to first!

    jordy | jordy liz blogs

    Reply

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