Guest Post by Alyssa DeBella of The Wise Willow
A few years ago if you had asked me what I knew about blogging, the answer would have been simple: not much. At the time I was more wrapped up in finishing my high school studies and writing seemingly endless college application essays. Something that involved yet more writing was definitely not in my life plan. Yet, oftentimes I find myself wondering where my life would be without my blog. Arguably, maybe it wouldn’t be that different. But a part of me begs to differ.
Jumping into the world of blogging was like deciding to commit to taking a trip without having much of a real plan. Sure, I knew the general idea, but I was in no way prepared for what I was getting myself into. That being said, much like traveling it was the journey that had the greatest impact on my life today. I never knew that there was so much to learn about the blogging world, and I had yet to discover all of the skills that blogging would give me.
That summer day when I launched my blog seems like ages ago, though it has only been about a year and a half. I signed up for all of the social media platforms and began my journey. As the days passed and the time drew near for me to start my college journey, I found my following on Twitter start to grow. I was surprised by this because I had heard from every blogger that it feels as though nobody is reading for the first few months of your blogging career.
Like many things, however, I knew that trying to measure success quantitatively was not the best approach. Especially in the world of blogging, which is a very personal endeavor for many, it can be disheartening and even lead one to abandon their passion in light of feeling as though they weren’t making a difference. Though this was difficult, I made sure to not allow myself to focus on the numbers. Instead, I focused on community. I would scroll through Twitter and Instagram, and find people that I resonated with. I would read their posts, send them encouragement, and engage in lasting conversations. After a while, I started to recognize their name and their brand on all social media sites and felt a bond growing. A little while after that, I started to join Twitter chats and I found that sense of community blooming right before my eyes.
This is when I learned one of the most important lessons: finding happiness and fulfillment through celebrating the successes of others. There are so many wonderful people doing amazing things with their creative talents, and I love being a part of that! Every day when I scroll through Twitter, I love reading through and responding to Tweets that express a journey. I now have a community of people that I wouldn’t hesitate to call friends, who have shared in this experience with me.
Through building community and taking creative risks, I have learned more about myself. My blog is a journal of the past two years, and one in which there is a significant amount of change. From my first few months at college (that seem like forever ago!) to detailed accounts of my successes and challenges, I can see the progress of my own personal journey. My vegan experience, my health and college challenges, and my newfound joy for life. Blogging has taught me to open up to others and to share my experiences, and create a community of support. I have become more outgoing, more willing to take risks creatively and try new styles of writing or videos. I have met people from all over the world that have had similar experiences, or have wise words of wisdom to share about something that I am going through.
Blogging has changed my life for the better and is something that I know I will always have. It has taught me important lessons about my journey into adulthood and has proven to be a passion that I had forgotten that I had.
Totally agree, Alyssa! Blogging is the best–especially the sense of community!
Alyssa is a second-year college student and part-time blogger who finds her inspiration in living simply and simply living. She’s passionate about her studies in religion and government, living a plant-based lifestyle, radiating positivity, and learning from the world.