(Happy Throwback Thursday! Hope you enjoy this blast from my blog’s past.)
One of the speakers at Press Publish in Phoenix dropped this little bon mot: “I didn’t have a therapist, so I started a blog.”
Judging by the lolsnorts that resulted, more than a few audience members have also found this to be true.
Understand: I am in no way snarking on therapy, having undergone it myself. In fact, therapy changed my life, or rather gave me the tools to create a life worth living.
That said, I completely agree with the premise. Whether it’s done in a locked journal or on a wide-open blog, writing can ease aggravations small or large and maybe even change a life – yours, or someone else’s.
Parenting blogs are the obvious example, a virtual cri de coeur from people learning the ways that a six-pound squaller can bring two full-grown adults to their knees. Countless other niches exist: millennial, artisan/artist, transgender, personal finance, disability, pets, singlehood, politics of all sorts.
That’s naming just a few. New genres pop up all the time as people try to understand their former and/or current circumstances by sharing them. And the online community responds.
Although I’m an old print newshound who despairs at the dwindling of paper pages, I still have to acknowledge that the Internet is the greatest thing to happen to communication since Gutenberg fired up that printing press.
Reaching out through words
My favorite part of online communication is that it’s so varied. Sometimes it sounds like, “Please help me with unemployment/entrepreneurship/education/remodeling.” Or it may come across as “Here’s how I paid off my debt/found true love/stopped taking crap.”
Support my struggle to raise a non-gender-performative child. Walk with me through my parents’ end-of-life issues. Show me how to remain kind and optimistic in a world full of people just waiting to clobber me.
Ultimately, a lot of blogging sounds like this: “Help me live my life.” Although first-person writing can get real precious real fast, there’s nothing like offering (or asking for) advice on bullying, hospice or meeting hate with reconciling love.
At times professional therapy is needed to get us through rough patches or even rough lifetimes. Depending on your situation, though, a cup of coffee (or something stronger) and a writing session might do the trick.
Writing it out helps us remember that personal struggle isn’t necessarily the derailment of our lives. I know no one whose existence runs completely smoothly. Aggravation, difficulty and even crisis are just part of being human. It’s how we react to them that makes us who we are. Sounds like a blog post to me.
Readers: Do you write and/or read blogs to create community? To seek support? To emit a primal scream without scaring everyone else in the room?