How Blogging Has Changed My Life

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By 2014, I don’t feel arrogant by stating that I had achieved every goal that I had set myself. I had a well-paid job, a home, a relationship, good friends and three cats that had been with me for years. From an outsider’s perspective, things seemed set.

However, I was struggling both physically and mentally. I couldn’t cope with my workload, my family relationships were strained (and in some cases, non-existent), The Bloke had lost both his father and best friend to cancer within five months of each other, my beloved cat died, we had moved house twice in six months because we were duped by a charlatan landlady and I had been hospitalised for nearly a week after ignoring a kidney infection. I was comfort eating to try and make myself feel better, and I was bloated, lethargic and had gained even more weight than I had over the previous few years. I didn’t want to go anywhere, do anything or see anyone. I existed from day to day, praying for the weekends and the holidays.

I had started the blog the year before. Things had been tough, and as I had taken to writing angry words in notebook after notebook, only to then store them in a cupboard afterwards, The Bloke suggested that I start writing online. Admittedly, I knew nothing about blogging, but within the week of creating my very first account I was hooked, churning out post after post of nonsensical rubbish that had been floating around my mind for a long time (most of which I have now deleted). I gained new followers, and started to build a community. I was extremely paranoid about people within my real life discovering what I was writing, so I kept information about myself to a minimum, but I started to feel safe in the anonymity that the computer screen provided, and enjoyed the feedback and interaction that I received from people taking the time to leave comments on my posts.

However, it was in 2014 when things really started to change. I started to tell my closest friends about what I was writing, and allowed them to read it. Their positive feedback gave me the confidence to tell more people, and then I started sharing the odd post on my personal Facebook page. My readership and community started to grow substantially, and one of my posts went viral. Little did I know, it would change my life:

Blogging made me understand my own mental health, and helped me to realise that I wasn’t the only one who was feeling the way that I did at the time. After reading post after post about stress, anxiety and depression, I was able to find hundreds of similarities between my own thoughts and feelings, and theirs. Above all, it allowed me to accept that having those feelings was ok, and to own them in the way that I saw others do. Best therapy I’ve ever had.

It helped me to start letting things go and move on. After years of bottling up extreme (extreme being an understatement) levels of anger, I started to be able to look on the events of the past with a clearer mind after I had written it down. While it still isn’t easy at times, I’m generally much more calm in my daily life, and if I’ve had a bad day I will write it down and usually feel better by doing so. As a result, I now sleep better too.

It repaired relationships within my family members, some of whom I hadn’t spoken to for a long time. After reading a post about my pleasure at the fact that she hadn’t spent Christmas with us (and therefore, in my opinion, wasn’t there to ruin it) my sister was so upset that she contacted me. From there, we gradually thrashed out all the animosity that we had been holding for years, and started to move on. I attended her wedding at the end of 2014, and since then we’ve been able to go out as a family and enjoy each other’s company. I’m glad – I’m sure that I would have regretted being estranged from them in the future.

It gave people in my personal life a better understanding of what I was (and what I had been) going through, without having to sit and tell them in person, and my friends have been extremely supportive because of it. In one case in particular, I received an apology from someone who had been particularly vile to me at university years before – it turns out that she had read a post that I had written about a sociopathic ex that I was in a relationship with when she knew me, and this had given her a better understanding of how bad my situation was during those years. It was cathartic – I doubt we’ll ever speak again, but at least I was able to gain closure.

The blogging community, particularly the one that I became part of, boosted my confidence in my ability to write and helped me to develop my writing style. I don’t know of any blogger who doesn’t doubt the quality of their work, but the thousands of comments I have received has helped me to believe in the blog. When I attended the Annual Bloggers Bash in 2015, I met people that had been reading my words for a long time… and liked them. I even won both awards that I had been nominated for, and it was the single biggest validation that I was doing what I should be doing.

Some of my online friends have become friends in real life too – I’ve met some of them in person, we talk over the Facebook messenger call system, we send Christmas cards and I know a little about their lives and who they are. While you can never really know anyone absolutely, I like them and their daily contribution to my life is only positive.

It gave me the confidence to go out and meet new people. As the blog grew I started to be invited to events in the city. I sampled food and cocktails from restaurants that I would never have gone to, developed a relationship with a local beauty store and organised and attended beauty events; I was introduced to independent businesses and met new bloggers. As the classic ‘introvert trapped in an extroverts body,’ these events and interactions forced me to put myself forward and introduce myself, and my blog, to others. They also gave me a passion for experiencing new things and actually living my life rather than simply existing from day to day, which is something that I had lost many years before.

Blogging made me finally realise, at the age of 32, exactly what it was that I was supposed to be doing and helped to show me that there is more to life than doing what is expected. In the three years that I have been blogging, there has never been a point where I have become bored or irritated with it, I’ve had lots of new adventures and I’ve now started earning some money from it. If I could do this all day, every day, I would. This newly found confidence and quest to live a life was the biggest influence in taking the risk and deciding on a career change, and I quit a secure ten – year teaching job last year. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have even considered it if the blog didn’t exist. It has also led to further opportunities in potential blogging workshops for business-women and entrepreneurs in the future, and I couldn’t be more excited…

What about you guys? How has blogging changed you and/or your life for the better?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

85 thoughts on “How Blogging Has Changed My Life

  1. Hi, Suzie,
    I’m still waiting for blogging to change my life — at least, waiting for it to change my life as definitively as you describe in your post today. I’ve been blogging since 2012 and it has definitely helped me stay sane, if nothing else, and it’s captured a ton of memories that carry me back in time when I take the time to reread them. I’ve not gone viral or met face to face with other bloggers at conferences or been invited to events in my city as you have, but it has been a valuable experience nonetheless. I get discouraged sometimes or I fail to prioritize writing or I simply am too afraid (or insecure?) to click “publish” after I do write, but I try to press on, believing that blogging helps me reflect on life (and makes me live more fully present, more aware), and, I hope, that all this writing practice will ultimately help me write something that will change the world, not just my life. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your personal journey through blogging. I found it inspiring.

    • Thanks so much Sara. I love the idea of memories – I keep s0 many trinkets and photographs of things, but i often forget that this is a record of my existence on the planet. I’ll try and keep that in mind in the future!

  2. For the most part, it has changed me in a positive way. I know I am not alone when I feel that I am, that others struggle with the same things I have, and that letting go and putting things in writing is very therapeutic. There have been some negative things, mainly with developing connections with those who are not what they seem to be, but that is overshadowed by the good in the end.

  3. I can relate to almost every aspect of this Suzie! I am so glad that you have found your place in this world and are doing what you love. Blogging really CAN change your life for the better ,and I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful community we have here 🙂

  4. When I created an account on WordPress, I was in bed rest with a lower back condition. All I did was a couple of photo posts. With time, as health improved and I got back to a normal life I picked up my blog and started shaping it. Today at a little over 3 years, I’m happy it has helped me make new friends, learn new things and of course writing has been a joy 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your journey!

  5. A window into your world. What a wonderful blog post. It really speaks to tapping into your vulnerability and loving yourself through your issues. I still haven’t mustered the courage to “bleed” on the blog post–I do most of that in my journal, but this might give me a little boost. 🙂

    • Thanks Cynthia! It’s odd – I certainly wouldn’t be able to say this in person to someone, but that’s why I love the blog so much… I can’t write and not fear the reactions or opinions of others!

  6. Thank you Suzie for this insightful blog. How has blogging changed me? I think the fact that I can discuss problems, tackle challenges, and (sometimes) get feedback in a way I can’t do when speaking to others. I can take as long as I like to research and work through issues that will help me, or help my readers. I’m currently writing a series on how to conquer writer’s block. (Guess why!)
    And just thinking this through for this comment has helped me. 🙂 Thank you again!

  7. Reading your post feels like someone describing my Journey these past years. I also started blogging because my life was a complete mess. I guess that’s where my blog name, ‘The Journey of an Unbroken Spirit’ comes from. I felt defeated by life but never broken. I’m still battling some stuff but I’m taking it all day by day. Blogging has changed my life in the sense that it has revealed what I want in life and strive for. 🙂 And tomorrow I’ll be 29, so it gives me pleasure to say I’m at least in the right direction. 🙂

      • Thank you! I’ve been meaning to ask – how does one exactly find a blogging community? I mean, I hear this advice very often but no one shares their experience (or journey if you will) on finding one (where, how ect.) and the process of being accepted “in”? That would be an interesting post to read. 🙂

      • A community are the people that you are regularly in contact with… There’s different types of communities across social media… I just see it as being the people I consider to be my bloggy friends…

  8. Susie… I love this post! I have kept it in my INBOX for a couple of days until I could sit down and read through it. So glad I did! It speaks volumes for the therapeutic validity of writing. I have not been doing any writing of any significance lately and I can tell the difference in my mood. School and other things have taken priority and I am going through a bit of a dry spell. I sit down and look at a blank screen and can’t think of anything to write *sigh*
    I have a real fear of journaling. I’m afraid if I write down all of the true feelings and thoughts in my head and the wrong person reads it, then they will get hurt. I have told my counselors in the past I feel like a fraud but they both admonished me and told me I wasn’t as good at my “facade” as I thought I was LOL! But yet, the fear is still there…. Blogging has been good for me. It took the place of Facebook which had become an imaginary connection to people for me. I “gave it up” like an addict for almost 3 years. Then I recently re-established a new page. I have been extremely careful who I allow as my “friends” and what I post. Since I am in school with 18-25 year olds who want to stay in touch with me, I relented to starting a new account. However, I make a conscious effort to meet and see people in person and connect with them through other means like texting, email and lunch. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this. It helped me a lot! I would like to know more about the “introvert caught in an extrovert body” though. That is intriguing.. 😉

  9. Blogging has changed my life in many ways, especially the creation of community and relationships. It has given me confidence and is a tool for creating my second act in my retirement. I’ve attended BAM where I met like-minded bloggers and have met other bloggers outside the blogosphere. I even dream about blogging, LOL!

  10. Ohhh this is FANTASTIC! I love it. I’m so happy that your blog was such a catalyst for change in your life, in your understanding, in your attitudes, and in how other people related to you. I especially relate to the whole ‘me too…’ aspect of writing, and of making deep, sustaining friendships.

    As to how blogging has changed me? Well…I’m still here (largely in thanks to a few deep connections I made here), and I’m hoping to move to America soon… *crosses fingers*

  11. I love this post! I started blogging in December and it has brought so much to my life, I can’t imagine life without it now. I relate to so much of what you say here; for me one of the biggest things it has given me is the sense that on any given day anything can happen – a new opportunity to share my writing, a new idea for a post, a new friendship.

  12. Congratulations Suz.
    Blogging has doubled my readership ( from 1 to 2: better than it sounds as I don’t read what I write, for obvious reasons), a Twitter addiction, hate-mail & RSI.
    Better than a poke in the eye with a blunted stick, which is how I used to spend my free time before blogging, so that’s definitely something

  13. Hi Suzy, I got so carried away following your links that I almost forgot to leave you a comment. I love your reasons for blogging. I am writing a book about that, and would like to quote some of your statements in this post, if you do not mind. I am also curious about your sponsors. I checked them all out, and I’m sooo impressed that they are all bloggers. Do they pay you a fee? Do you get different sponsors each month? Thanks for the post. I think your blog is fantastic. 🙂 Marsha

  14. I’ve written a couple of posts about the amazing changes blogging has made to my life. Just to have found such a wonderful group of supportive women at the same age and stage as me – that alone has made it worthwhile, and as a place to write and share it’s invaluable. Yours seems to have been even more cathartic and I am really happy for you x

  15. First of all – congratulations on the two blogging awards! I can imagine how that would completely validate everything you’ve been doing – what an awesome feeling! I’m still relatively new to the blogging world, but can relate to your point about community. I didn’t realize what a large and supportive community it is, and have met so many incredibly talented people who have since become friends. It’s such a crazy journey, and I’m learning so much every day. I love it!

  16. What a great story! There’s so much community in the blogging world, and it’s a privilege to share and hear stories like yours. I have been writing professionally for a long time — writing for clients and putting together their content, sales copy landing pages, etc. My blog is MY space, and damn it feels good to strip everything off there and write my truths!

  17. Blogging has definitely changed my life. I recently wrote a piece that I haven’t published yet, that got me in touch with tenderness for my late father, who I harbored resentment toward. I had not even realized how I had been nurturing these negative feelings until I final found this soft spot. I never would have found it without writing about him and my life as a child growing up. I love writing and blogging! I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the future. I am proud of you for finding this outlet at such a young age.

  18. Great that your blog has had such a huge positive impact on your life. Amazing that you’ve been able to reconnect with people & resolve past issues through them reading posts and contacting you.

    • I think that has been the most amazing part of it – I had no idea just how much it would change things in my personal life. I couldn’t have predicted anything like what’s happened, and I’m so grateful!

  19. Hi Suzie I’ve been blogging for about 16months after taking early retirement. After 3 months of retirement I was lost so I started blogging about midlife and that it is is not the end but the beginning. I called it Sizzling Towards Sixty because that is what I’m doing. Keeping fit, healthy and active is so important and I try to share that message. I’ve met so many wonderful and inspirational women all in midlife who are not taking a back seat but leading the way. Blog Share Love

  20. Hi suzie I am a new blogger so mine hasn’t really changed and I don’t expect it to any time soon! But since I’ve started I’ve had so much fun and love the fact I can write about what makes me happy which hopefully other people like too! Your story is so inspirational well done to you! ☺ hope you carry on being very successful xxx

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