Thursday, September 04, 2008

Blogging -- for Better, for Worse

L.L. Barkat started a meme about blogging and tagged me to help her get it started.

She gives some rules, but does allow the freedom to break them since she admits that she often modifies memes to better fit her needs:

Here are the rules:

1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post (I'm not so much interested in generating links, but rather in tracking the meme so I can perhaps do a summary post later on that looks at patterns and interesting discoveries.)
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them

I'm afraid I can't be horribly original. I've read a few of these many of them say what I would say, but I suppose no one's story is exactly like mine. So, in no particular order, these are some of the ways blogging has affected me:

1. It got me writing again. That was the reason I started the blog, and in that I feel successful. I'm not writing as much now as I was two years ago, and as a result of that, my blogging has changed (not necessarily for the better!).

2. Specifically the focus on writing has led to some professional writing gigs: a book column on 5 Minutes for Mom, which led to a job there and then later the managing editor role of their sister site 5 Minutes for Books. Because of these connections I have the opportunity to blog as their representative about the work of Compassion International live from the Dominican Republic this November. I'm excited for the opportunity to use blogging as a platform to help raise awareness of this great organization's work around the world with the poor.

3. Blogging has had a positive effect on my relationships. A good friend of mine, Katrina, started blogging at about the same time as I did. Having just one more thing in common has brought us even closer. Since then, real-life friends and family have begun following my blog, which gives them a glimpse of my heart and helps them keep up with our family across the miles. I won't even go how much I enjoy the community of bloggers -- my world has gotten smaller and bigger through those who comment here and those who are transparent about their lives on their own blogs.

4. When I was trying to transfer photos to my external hard drive when I got a new computer six months ago, I dropped the hard drive and lost all the data. I was not copying the pictures, I was transferring them, because they had bogged down the old computer. Years of photos were lost. Don't cry for me Argentina. I had printed a small percentage out, family has taken pictures that I have access to, and I uploaded several pictures a month -- at least -- here on the blog. Pre-digital era (and pre-scrapbooking), to have 5 or 10 pictures a year of a child would have been completely acceptable. More important than the cute shots I posted here which were preserved, I've chronicled the life that we were living when the picture was taken.

5. The combination of working online and blogging (and trying to keep up with my blogging friends -- which I do much less than I used to) has resulted in much more time spent on the computer. Sometimes too much. However, other things have fallen by as the computer takes up more time: TV for one, so it's hasn't just been a complete new glut, but it is something I have to consciously manage.

If you would like to give five ways that blogging has affected you, let me know in the comments that you did it. However, to help L.L. keep it going, I will specifically tag these folks (who are free to shirk it if it doesn't appeal to them, or they're too busy or scatter-brained or whatever):

Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife
Lauren at Baseballs and Bows
Carrie at Reading to Know
at this point I realized that I was unintentionally tagging my 5 Minutes for Books team, so I will round it out with
Melissa at Breath of Life
Lisa at Lisa Writes
and leave Bev alone, unless she wants to do it later, because she's off on a long vacation.


L.L. Barkat said...

Jennifer, I loved hearing about how blogging affected your professional life. I was thinking the other day that this is a whole new world (internet opportunities) for stay-at-home moms who want to work outside the home without actually leaving home. :)

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

I enjoyed reading this! I will play along in the next few days. Like you, I am so glad to have the stories to go with my pictures. You always think you will remember those precious moments, but as the years go by, you do forget!

Katrina said...

Loved reading your answers, and I agree (and am so happy!) that blogging brought us even closer. Definitely a plus. I'm so sorry (again) about your hard drive and pictures (though I'm not crying for you), but it's great that your blog can help mitigate such a potential disaster.

Musings of a Housewife said...

Hey, thanks for the tag. I was just about out of draft posts too. :-)

Lisa writes... said...

My post is up!