It would be hard to total up all that I've gained from writing on this blog, because the value of connections with people far and wide, and motivation to write so much that I started to see myself as a writer are two things that are unquantifiable.
I've made friends that I only know through the blog, and I've made friends that started through on-line interactions and ended up as in-real-life friends, and I have, maybe most importantly, gotten to know myself (as woman, mother, teacher, writer, athlete) because I have challenged myself to write and write often about all of these things.
The free stuff is pretty cool too, which started to come after time: free canvas prints, free shoes, free shoes for the kids, free hydration systems, free juices, a trip to Smuggler's Notch in Vermont, t-shirts, stickers, Tommie Copper calf sleeves (my favorite).
And then there are the opportunities to write elsewhere and to teach. I'm teaching a graduate class in writing and blogging right now at the University of Maine. By the way, I have assigned my students to post something to their blogs every day for 7 days. Today is day 3, and I'm trying to stick with them so that I don't feel too guilty about the assignment. The point of the assignment is to train the brain to always be looking for content, to always be crafting your next piece in your head as you go about your day.
Because of the blog, I had the confidence to submit my work and get published on real paper. I don't think I would have even said that I hoped to be teaching a graduate class or to be a published writer some day, but I know there was a seed in me that wanted it.
I had my first article published this winter in Marathon and Beyond magazine, a piece about long distance running and mental demons.
I now have a monthly column in Bangor Metro; every month I'll write an article about wellness and healthy living.
The first one came out yesterday, and I saw it for the first time when Tim texted me a photo of it.
|No no, not the medical marijuana ad. Over to the right. It's about juicing.|
This column came about because the editor of the magazine reads my blog. Blogging is a lot like teaching. You just keep talking and writing and showing people things you care about, and you don't exactly know who is listening carefully or what will stick or what people will remember. You never know.
Thank you all for reading and for your continued support. I'm going to try hard to post every day this week, so check back for more soon. In the works: a post about my crushes on Red Sox players.