Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tip 50: Why you should start a blog

I'll view this 50th tip (and 87th post) as a certain milestone and share with you what I've learned about blogging since I began this project a little over two months ago.

Tip 50: If there is anything you want to accomplish that you're not already accomplishing, you should start a blog and tell all your friends about it because that will help motivate you to achieve your goals.

My goals are to have a clean and organized house, so through this blog I have started to share some of what I have learned and some of what I am learning along the way. While I've been keeping this blog updated daily, I have been accomplishing more small and large projects at our house than I have ever accomplished in the span of two months.

But that's not all. Here are some more reasons to keep a blog:

1) You can positively influence other people through your blog. I hate unsolicited advice, and I try not to give out such advice (except to my students, because handing out unsolicited advice to teenagers is literally my job). But my blog is a place where I can share what I know to anyone who cares, and I don't have to worry about stepping on toes. If you don't like what someone has to say on a blog, you don't have to read it. Many of my friends have reported how they've made small changes to their lives through my blog. They've invested in large jugs of vinegar, bought coupon organizers, signed up for Mint.com and created budgets, bought Droids, come up with better ways to divide chores between husband and wife, purged their closets, started making sweet potato fries and/or popcorn on the stove (but usually not together), hung up their necklaces, subscribed to recipe magazines and started their own recipe notebooks, Furminated their pets, and started flossing in the shower.

2) You can learn through others by keeping a blog. Suddenly your real-life friends and the strangers who read your blog and become familiar faces start telling you their discoveries. And then your friends' parents start reading your blog and sharing more ideas as well. It's like a little knowledge tree, and you planted the roots.

3) You hear from your friends more often when you keep a blog. Before I started keeping a blog I thought people would stop emailing or calling me because they could easily find out about my life through my blog. But actually the opposite has happened. Some of my faraway friends in New York and Colorado have reported feeling more connected to me because of the blog, and we're in better contact, too. Now I am waiting for all my friends to start blogs so I can know all about their lives.

4) You get to chronicle and therefore make better sense of your own life. I love keeping track of my life through calendars and photos, but breaking out an old-fashioned journal seems like a chore. This blog remedied that problem I had with paper and pencil.

5) You get to write for a reason. In high school and college writing was one of my main activities, mostly thanks to my dedicated involvement in scholastic journalism and my time as an English major. Now as an English teacher, most of my writing takes the form of writing on my students' papers. The blog, though, is for me, and it's a chance to actually keep up with my writing and be a better teacher of writing the more I practice on my own.

All these benefits aside, I'm still convinced that the best way to motivate yourself to do anything -- buy a house, be more financially responsible, renovate a house, plan a wedding, become a better cook, get ready for a baby, start a new business venture, train a puppy, travel the globe -- is to blog about it. Your friends will want to know about your progress, and that will motivate you to keep moving forward.

And when you start your blog, send me the link!

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