Life Skills I Learned From Blogging

September 10, 2013

i happen to know a good chunk of my regular readers are not bloggers.  (i make all my friends read this blog and i get borderline hostile when they don't know something about my life that i mentioned here.  because i think my friends have nothing better to do than read my blog every day, clearly.)  i think a lot of them are confused by my desire to write silly things on the internet, but they've come to just accept it over the last year.  i've encouraged a lot of them to start blogs of their own, like betsy and tara, and there's some that are still considering it.  because i happen to think that blogging, if you enjoy writing, is beneficial.  not just for the obvious reasons but because i think blogging has helped me in real life as well.  'life skills,' i like to call them, that i don't think i was very good at before running a blog for a year.

taking criticism.  i actually majored in english in college, was briefly on newspaper in high school (ditched it for being yearbook editor.  the power that comes with yearbook editor is unparalleled.) and spent all six semesters of law school in a legal writing class, so i'm used to taking criticism on my writing.  but as an only child, the extent of my acceptance of criticism stopped there.  i've always had a 'my way or the highway' attitude, but blogging puts you in your place.  everything gets criticized when you put it out there essentially, well, to be criticized.  your clothes, your drinking habits, your parenting style, your job, your relationships.  i won't lie to you - it's still 'my way or the highway.'  i'm just more aware of how people perceive what i publish.  as translated into real life, it's made me better realizing how people look at my actions and what i say, and that sometimes i may need to tone that overly opinionated attitude down a notch.



enjoying my own thing.  bloggers post things that look so cute on them, or things they use that look like they would be so helpful or time saving.  even post photos of themselves doing some activity that looks fun.  but here's the thing - it's not fun for me.  this is probably against every blogger's internal ideals but i'll tell you what - i hate j. crew.  hate it.  it looks so cute on other people but i never find anything actually in store that looks cute.  it's overpriced and it fits me terribly.  bloggers make me want to give it another chance, but i know i'm wasting my time.  same with cute high heels, beach vacations, happy hour martinis, diy projects - they look great, but none of that is 'me.'  so in real life, when someone says "volleyball is fun, join our league" i can pause and then accept the fact that i have 28 years of anecdotal proof that i do, in fact, hate volleyball.

tolerating stupidity.  just as some people criticize what i write, i too criticize what other people put out there.  silently usually, because they can write whatever they want.  but some people post the most ridiculous things.  evil, racist, nasty, or discriminatory things usually in the name of jesus and sometimes i just cannot keep my mouth shut.  two blogs in particular i just hate.  occasionally i do leave a 'well that was rude and judgmental' comment, but you really won't accomplish anything by engaging in battle with them.  they will still be stupid and you'll just have wasted your time.  even though i might have broken my own rule yesterday.  in real life, there will always be ignorant people.  ignore them.  or correct them once and then drop it, a debate will get you nowhere.



accepting imperfection.  i have never been able to accept being less than perfect.  i always have to be the best at something.  i thrive on being the best and usually without much effort.  which sounds terrible but i was always naturally good in school, it's just that no one knew it.  when my psat score was as high as the smartest girls in the class, everyone was shocked.  not that they thought i was dumb, but i was what my best friend sarah referred to as 'closet smart.'  i just didn't have to try as hard as everyone else.  this is no longer the case post law school.  now that the world isn't all test taking, i'm not the best.  i want to be the best at blogging, but guess what?  i never will be.  someone will always be wittier, be better at taking photos, have more interesting things to say, have more followers.  i've been better at accepting that i'm not a perfect blogger and better at accepting that i'm not perfect in real life either.  (except to my parents, of course, i'm still a perfect daughter, right mom?)

and obviously i've learned a flair for well placed gifs.  not that that translates into real life skill.  yet.


what has blogging taught you about the real world?


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29 comments

  1. i wish there was a clapping emoji for this here post. brilliant sister. just brilliant! xo

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  2. Oh sister, I love this. My favorite really is tolerating stupidity. Awesome post!

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  3. love this!

    i'm with you on doing your own thing. all those great fashion/hair/beauty posts? how do they come up with those adorable outfits and they always look so polished and when i try, i always look like i just came out of my grandmother's closet? so, i've made peace with the fact that i will always and forever be comfortable in workout gear or yoga pants.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  4. it seems like you and me are two of only a few bloggers that try to make their real life friends read the old blog! I get so pissed because my sister rarely reads it!

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  5. Love this!

    Blogging has most taught me that I enjoy being an individual as well as hating on Chevron. And it's also taught me that I'm one of the few who have real live people in their lives read their blog daily.

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    1. Oh man yes I am not a fan of Chevron and it is EVERYWHERE in the blog world!

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  6. Blogging has most certainly taught me things as well. It also taught me that being me and doing what works for me is perfectly ok. I think my first year I struggled to try to be like other blogs and do things similarly and even felt like I wasn't dressing myself right. Then I realized I didn't give a damn and it was too much work to try to be like anyone else.

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  7. Tolerating stupidity...so, so true!!!

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  8. Love this! I started blogging to have an outlet and to relieve some stress. Unfortunately, it is brought on stress as well since a few of my readers only read to keep tabs on me, make fun of me, etc. Jealous girls with no lives are the worst! I have to sensor myself sometimes which stinks, but most days I am ok with it. I love that I have become blogger friends with some really great ladies out there! Just wish we all lived closer to one another :)

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  9. Very true post! I agree 100%. I think the hardest, for me, is keeping my mouth shut when people say stupid or horrible things on the internet. The overwhelming feeling to tell them they're a sack of nuts that need to be roasted will always be there, but it's good to just keep it to myself sometimes. haha. :)

    x leah symonne x

    itsleli.blogspot.com

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    1. So hard to keep it to yourself some times!! The things people say, online and in real life, just make your jaw drop. But it's definitely better to just keep quiet most of the time ;)

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  10. I love this post for a number of reasons: 1.) I, too, get hostile when my friends don't read my blog. I love when they ask me "What's new?" and my immediate response is that they should go read my blog. 2.) I was on yearbook as well, and I am currently the yearbook adviser where I teach! 3.) I often feel like I don't fit in to the blogosphere because I don't cook, I am not crafty AT ALL, I hate spending tons of money on purses and what not, and I never paint my nails.

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  11. Well placed GIFs are a life skill!
    Love this.

    - Michelle @ PermanentDaydream.com

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    1. At least they should be! How can gifs become a career... hmmm....

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  12. Totally agree with the "perfect is the enemy of good" idea in the last point. I'd say blogging's also been really satisfying in that I learned I could actually commit to something consistently (weekly/biweekly), for the long-term, and enjoy it A LOT. It's the perfect mix of enjoyable + discipline in posting consistently, being organized, trying to grow, etc.

    Also I learned that despite the entire world of blogging (twitter, sponsors, collabs w brands, bloggers vs. journalists)... not many people outside blogging know what it is. In response to "my hobby is blogging," I typically get "Sorry, what did you say?" Haha.

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    1. That's a good point! It's enjoyable but at the same time, it really does require effort and dedication. You can't just throw it together when you feel like it and be successful.

      Haha I get the huh what is blogging? remarks on occasion too. Most people assume it can only be about fashion, beauty, cooking, etc but I'm like... no... I kind of just write about life...

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    2. I was writing in Bdubs the other day and the waitress asked what I was doing. I said working on a blog post. She looked at me like I was crazy.

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  13. Very well said. Especially the "knowing what works for you" thing. When I started out, I definitely thought I could do it all. But now, I know that I don't enjoy doing and writing those things, so I'm not going to do it!

    Michelle @ Mishfish13

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    1. Unless it's your full time job, you definitely can't successfully do it all. Even then I think it would still be a struggle! I gravitate towards blogs that seem genuine. I don't care if they don't have a niche or only post once a week. I can tell if it's real versus forced.

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  14. I'm so glad I've never run across the evil, mean, racist blogs you speak of. I don't know that I would be able to hold my tongue.

    Blogging has taught me that there's way more people who love fall than I could have ever imagined. It's hard for me to fathom why summer isn't everyone's favorite! :)

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  15. I tell very few people from my real life that I have a blog. I just like the freedom of ranting about people if I want to.

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  16. I was a rhetoric major in college and I took a legal writing class. It ended up being the only class I dropped! I couldn't wrap my head around all the legal talk haha. But, it was a lot of fun. I should have stayed in it and tried harder!

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  17. LOVE this... It's all so true. And for the record, J.Crew fits me horribly too!
    x

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  18. Learning to take criticism - Amen. Sometimes, it's really important to learn how you're coming off to people. Not that you need to change, but it's always good to be aware. I've gotten pretty lucky in this department so far, because most people don't care about my blog enough to make a fuss.

    I've been corrected my readers before and been called out for mistakes. Obviously, I wasn't aware that I'd said something incorrect when I hit publish. But it's so much less embarrassing to admit that I'm wrong and fix a post than to look like a stubborn idiot and leave things the way they are.

    So far, it's just been for little things, but I still really appreciate that my readers care enough to point it out!

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  19. I hate J.Crew too!

    I might do an occasional DIY post, but it's got to be something so easy a child could do it. I'm not crafty.

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  20. The biggest lesson I've learned from blogging is that while I think something is LIFE.ALTERINGLY.SIGNIFICANT.. other people don't agree.

    I don't hide my blog, but I know that many of my close friends don't actually read it unless I'm like, "GO. READ. LAUGH." Then again, there are folks that I've met a few times and they are closer with our mutual friend/acquaintance and they rave to me how much they love it! So it's definitely taught me that I'll always be surprised who the internet reaches.

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  21. i think it's important to just give no shits.
    some blogs make my brain explode and i hate everything about them but we tolerate it because it's their prerogative be that big of an idiot.

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