2. something that provokes or speeds significant change or action
So many times I hear people say, “I started blogging as a creative outlet, a place to share, to build an online community…” and the list goes on. I am one of those who began blogging for creative reasons. After Claire, my third child, I felt even more of an identity loss than ever and needed a place to call my own. A creative space where I could pick and choose what and when I wrote. Heck, just a place to write at all! It gave me a sense of ownership, something that was greatly needed and sadly missing in my current life as a stay at home mom.
Before Claire was born I was already tapped physically and emotionally and slowly drowning in motherhood. As you can imagine, adding another person to the mix of people who depend on me probably wasn’t the smartest decision. You would think. Instead, other than the obvious gratitude of another healthy baby, it ended up being the catalyst to start actively writing. Once again I was excited about something other than sleeping through the night and getting an uninterrupted shower. My old dreams of a writing career were finding their way back to the surface and the sky was the limit.
What I didn’t expect, was what happened after I started blogging. You see, Claire was a catalyst for starting my blog and then my blog became a catalyst for everything that has followed. I was no longer by myself, alone in the everyday. I found my first online friend who hangs out in the same realm of the internet. Who, by the way, still holds a place close and dear to my heart. With that friend came many, many more. I now have an official tribe of people to work with, share, laugh and yes even cry. They are all priceless, real and honest women and a few men who were unexpected at this age and time in my life. Who would have thought I would have widened my circle just from starting a blog?
I have formed relationships and connections with people in the writing community that I may never have been a part of otherwise. Taking online classes from friends who I can now say I know in real life, has reignited my love for art and photography. I can call on all of these brilliant and creative minds to help me reach my goals and make real life work transpire for me OFF my blog. This wouldn’t have happened by staying in my house washing socks and tossing salad!
Over the past two and a half years a lot has happened and I knew heading back to Alt. Summit the second time around would be decidedly different for me. I had plans laid out and projects in motion all with a focus on my writing separate from TerraSavvy but because of it just the same. There were deals to make and relationships to deepen along with finding a few more like minded friends. I came away with fewer business cards this year but the ones I did ask for were more intentional. I wanted to make sure I could follow up with the person, not just the blog they were attached to.
There was less stressing over which panel to attend and each one chosen more carefully and therefore more valuable. I even missed a panel that I had marked on my “must see” list and what would have deemed a disastrous event last year barely made me blink. I trusted the process this time around and whenever I do that, it always ends up being the better option. All in all, while I was there, I did more of what I needed instead of what I thought I should do. I walked away from the conference feeling full, grateful and at peace with where I am now and where I am going.
What started out as a place to write has turned into the perfect catalyst for me to pursue my dreams, find work I enjoy, begin teaching, rediscover abandoned interests and create a fuller more rounded life.
All that from a little bitty blog. Who knew?
“I recognized that blogging was a catalyst for more opportunities – to do more, help more, envision more.”, Erin Lochner