Monday, July 29, 2013

For the 1,000th Time

I could hardly believe my eyes a couple of months ago when I noticed that my “published blog posts” count was inching up toward the 1,000 mark. All sorts of things ran through my mind.

For one thing, I thought about the time I’ve spent blogging. That’s 1,000 blog posts photographed, written, previewed 10 times to make sure everything’s aligned, links linked up, labels added, hearts inserted and colors changed…  Blogging is time consuming.

“Oh,” I thought, “If only I had all that time back…” But, for what? What would I have done if I hadn’t been blogging? Now there’s a question to ponder.

And while a considerable amount of time has been invested in 1,000 posts since November 2008, the benefits of that investment have been beyond rewarding for me. So with this, my 1000th post, I wanted to document some of the things I love about blogging – the things that stand out for me and make the investment in blogging seem totally worthwhile.

Friendship ~
In the beginning, I used this space to post photos of craft projects that I wanted to show my mom. And in the beginning, my mom was usually my one and only reader and commenter. Oh how she loved my blog.

When I took an online class and had a chance to meet other bloggers I started making blog friends. And they weren’t just friends in my same town. Or state. Or country even! They were from all over the planet. If I hadn’t been blogging for the past 1,000 posts, I wouldn’t have made friends like Ruth in London. Sian in Ireland. Amy in Australia. Robyn in New York. The list goes on and on, and I don’t mean to sound like I’m bragging at all, but man I have made a ton of friends over the course of 1,000 posts!

But wait. There’s more. Not only have I made new friends, I have also formed stronger bonds with distant family members and real life acquaintances. It always catches me off guard when I run into someone I haven’t seen for a while and we start talking about what we’ve been up to and they say, “Oh yeah, I read that on your blog.” :o) Haha - my life is a bit of an open book, I suppose, but I feel so honored that they take time to visit here.

Personal Growth ~
This section could be its own blog post, if I ever in a million years wanted to get that personal on my blog. ;o) But I have to say that this is a big one for me. I've written this section over and over - trying to articulate the ways that I have changed in terms of personal growth through blogging without being too personal on my blog!

The main thing that stands out for me is how writing my own stories - posts about me, my life, my thoughts and feelings - has helped me to accept myself in a way that I had never known how to do before. There's been something very empowering about writing my thoughts and then clicking over to preview my blog posts. For me, as I read through my own words I've gained a deeper understanding of who I am, and what I stand for. It's made me more comfortable with who I am, and that's not saying that I think I'm "all that." I'm just saying that believing in myself has become a whole lot easier because I've been blessed with blogging.

Feedback via Comments ~
Oh, comments. Those comments that lift me up and validate that I’m on the right track; remind me that I have something in common with someone else; tell me I’ve entertained or lightened someone’s day; and that I am not alone.

Along with receiving comments comes the giving part as well. There are weeks when I keep up with friend’s blogs and have time to leave comments, and there are weeks that just get away from me and I feel lame for not being able to participate more. I worry about that, and stress just a little, but what’s a working girl to do? All I can do is all I can do.

Giving and receiving comments in our online community is such a fun part of blogging. I appreciate the time it takes to leave a comment, and I always appreciate when you leave one here.

Inspiration ~
As I visit other blogs and make my daily travels around the World Wide Web, I find more inspiration than I will ever be able to bring to fruition in my simple lifetime. Some days my head is so full of ideas I can barely focus on my day-to-day responsibilities. Saving things on Pinterest has given me the illusion that someday I’ll bring all that inspiration to life. Someday.

I've also been fortunate to follow the blogs of some very uplifting and positive people. They inspire me with their strength and courage, and their tenacity in life. There is also something very gratifying knowing that perhaps I have been an inspiration to others. This one usually catches me by surprise, but I’m so happy when that happens. :o)

Photography ~
Several years ago, Carrie talked about getting a nice camera. Once she had hers and I had a chance to play with it a little, I knew I had to have my own. I wanted my blog photos to look like some of the big bloggers that I admired. And while there will always be bloggers with much better photos than mine, I'm proud of my growth in this area. It hasn’t come without a lot of practice and effort on my part, but I don’t think I would have ever been this interested in improving my photography skills had it not been for blogging.

Photography is a hobby that surprised me. For one thing, I’m surprised at how much there is to learn about taking a great photo. I was surprised to realize the artistic aspect of photography. And I’m surprised at how much I love it. Love.It.

A scrapbooking friend once mentioned how much she hated sitting next to someone at a crop who wanted to show her every photo in her crop bag. {I kind of might be that girl.} When you visit my blog you probably expect to see a photo or two, so this is a fun way for me to share those photos without irritating my crop neighbor. ;o)

Writing ~
Friends, I have always loved writing. Blogging actually gives me an excuse to write creatively, and I continue to be surprised that people actually want to read some of the random stuff I write! Haha – that’s pretty awesome, really.

I know that the opportunity to write on a regular basis has changed and improved the way I write. I know that my sentence structure and punctuation in blog posts aren’t always 100% correct, but this is no English term paper I’m writing. I think that my blog writing style mimics the way I speak in real life, and I love that blogging makes a comfortable space for me to do that.

Writing personal stories for my blog has helped me connect with my past, and in many ways has helped to heal me. I won’t get into a lot of deep explanation here, but I’m sure that blogging has been as beneficial to me as daily journaling might be for others.

Hobbies ~
I have had creative hobbies all my life spanning from needlework to ceramics to jewelry making to scrapbooking... I suppose the hobby to cap all hobbies is blogging. In a way I guess you could say that blogging is my creative journal. It’s a place to gather all those crafting projects, share recipes I love, tell stories about things that tug my heart strings, show my photos, and hang out with people I like to hang out with.

It's true. Blogging is one of my favorite hobbies!

In Summary ~
I just want to take this opportunity to give a heartfelt thank you and to express my appreciation to all of you who read my blog, support me with comments or emails, like my posts and photos on Facebook, and have helped me to be comfortable just being me here on this humble little blog.

Blogging continues to amaze me. Of all the things I am in this life, I love that “blogger” is one of those things. It’s become an important part of who I am, and it’s been such a fun way to live my life for the past 1,000 posts.

Thank you for being part of my blogging journey – it wouldn’t be the same without you! Whoever you are, however you know me, no matter how you found this space that I call PaperTurtle, thank you for continuing to walk this path with me.

And thank you for reading my 1,000th post.
Gosh, I love blogging.


Cheri said...

As I was reading, I found myself nodding along in agreement with every single item! I love blogging, love following my bloggy friends and learning all about them, and know that my life has been richer, fuller, and more meaningful because I'm a blogger and all of the benefits that come with it!

Beverly said...

Your blog is a few months younger than mine but you are well ahead of me on posts. I'll be 5 tmw!! You have shared beautifully all the wonderful things that come with blogging and one of the things I treasure most is having friends like you. Congrats on your first thousand, Deb <3

Susi said...

I've only been stopping by recently but I Love the mix here on your blog. And I have just purchased my first Yes paste and cannot wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your 1,000th post.
P.S. Love the turtles.

Becky said...

Wow! That's double the amount I have written in the same time! Well done you! I love reading your blog and have done since I first came upon it. I agree about some days not having time to leave comments, and I appreciate that not everyone does comment on every post. My life too has definitely become richer and fuller since I started blogging and made so many new friends, shared my experiences and had such support from all over the world. Roll on your next 1000 posts! xx

Candace said...

Congratulations, that's quite an achievement. I'm at 477 over the last 4.5 years so you are way more prolific than me. I love it, too, and I know with some people it begins to become a burden and they get burned out but I never feel that. If I just don't have time to blog for a few days or don't have any photos that I think are good enough to show, I just bide my time. It's supposed to be fun/rewarding and it sounds as though that's exactly what it is for you, too!

debs14 said...

I started blogging back in 2008 too and I'm in the 900s. I totally agree with everything you have said. What starts as something small ends up having such an impact on your life and I love the fact that we have all made friends with people all over the world who I would never have met if it hadn't been for blogging. Here's to the next 1000!

furrypig said...

well I have loved being part of your blogging journey and you have been one of the most supportive people in the world to me in regard to the stuff I am going through with my Dad. I am so grateful to you for sharing about your mum as it helped me so much. I think you have lots of fans out there Deb I count myself one of many xxx

Sian said...

Deb, what a joy it is to land here on my big holiday catch up and find a post I loved so much I read it all twice!! So thoughtful and inspiring and it has me hoping that you will still be blogging way beyond the next 1000, and beyond that again too. Many congratulations. You keep on blogging and we'll keep on reading :)

scrappyjacky said...

That's a wonderful summing up of the reasons why we blog,Deb....I agree with all that you've written. My life has definately been made richer by blogging...and here's to your next 1000 posts.

Denise said...

Deb,you always have a way of putting into words what I very often think.I beat myself up sometimes when I lose track for a while,but we are all there together and your words struck many chords and were beautifully written. Here's to millions and trillions more :-) xx

Jo.C said...

Congratulations on your 1000th post. That is some achievement. I think your photos are stunning and I always love the colours that add to the stories. Enjoy x

Karen said...

Congratulation on your 1000 blog post and looking forward to the next 1000 x

Ruth said...

So, here I am, in your country for a few more hours, but still a long way from you. No matter, I'm with you in spirit and I smiled a lot reading this 1000th post and I thought about your highs and your lows and then I thought how happy I am to know you and to have met you in real life. Keep writing and I will keep reading. xx

Karen said...

GREAT post, and you are right on about all the advantages of blogging! Congratulations! We've all benefited a ton from the wonderful inspiration on your blog and positive outlook!

Audrey said...

Deb, that's so wonderful~ CONGRATULATIONS!!! I love this post and just wanted to say that I'm so happy to be following along on your blogging journey. You made me check my post count and it's at 458! 1,000 is something to be proud of for sure....that's a lot of work! And I sure do love all of your turtles in your photos!!!

Deb@threeisacharm said...

Deb, congratulations on your 1,000th post! That is terrific! Loved this post as it was so heartfelt and inspiring. Looking forward to reading your next 1,000!

Margaret said...

What a lovely post. It is so nice to read all of these reflections. It is making me think a little bit about what I've gotten out of blogging. Let me mull this over.

Amy said...

You made me laugh when you mentioned what you might have done with all that time spent blogging!
Finding a community of like minded souls is so inspiring and uplifting - you're a part of that each time you blog!

1000?! So, when's the novel coming?! ;-)

Irene said...

Congrats on this great accomplishment. I am thrilled for you and am so glad that I am one of your blog friends. You have given so much inspiration to me and you don't even know it. Here's to 1000 + 1000, better yet 1000 x 1000.

Auntie Bliss said...

I agree on all levels!
I met you on Instagram which I am as grateful for as blogging!
Congrats on 1000 and I hope there will be many more!

JO SOWERBY said...

Congrats on your first 1000, that's amazing. I too love my blogging and am so glad to have met you and become your friend. You have certainly achieved alot over the last 5 years. Go girl,
Jo xxx

Maria Ontiveros said...

Wow, Deb, what a great post!
It captures so much of why I spend sooo much time blogging, too. Thanks for putting it in words for me and congrats!

Miriam said...

Oh I am having so much trouble leaving a comment for you! I read this days ago and my comment isn't here again..... Well I just wanted to say congratulations on 1000 posts, I love this particular post, I feel the same way about so many of your thoughts. What would we do without blogging is a very strange thought...we would have to start blogging...

Miriam said...

Hooray! it worked x

Lisa-Jane said...

Yes yes and yes! All of it. Time consuming and all so worth it. And don't forget that your stories about your Mum have inspired people to go and get checked out too. I wouldn't have known all I know about ovarian cancer without you xx

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Deb! You got there a couple of years quicker than me. :) I so enjoyed reading this post, as I do all of yours. They are a highlight of my day when I get a chance to do some blog reading. You can see I'm a bit behind. :) I am though slowly catching up.

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