In which she counts her bloggy blessings

Hey! Did you know Mabel’s Labels is sponsoring a contest? One lucky blogger will win a trip to BlogHer ’09 and be the chief correspondant for the Mabel’s Labels blog — which, by the way, was voted the Best Family Blog in the 2008 Canadian Blog Awards. And all you have to do to enter is answer this question: What have been the rewards and benefits of participating in the blogging community?

Oy! You’d think that one would be an easy question. Heck, isn’t the whole blog a testament to my love of blogging and especially my love of you, my bloggy peeps? I think it’s safe to say, with no amount of hyperbole, that blogging has completely changed my life. But I have no idea where to start, or how to summarize in a few succinct words what it’s taken me four loquacious years of rambling to express!

Blogging has stroked my ego in more ways than I can count. I’ve won accolades from the Weblog Awards and the Canadian Blog Awards, and blog has been featured in publications from National Geographic Traveler’s online magazine to Chatelaine magazine to a couple of newspapers and our local TV news.

But that’s not the best thing blogging ever brought to me.

Blogging has brought me free stuff (and you know I loves me some free stuff) running the gamut from my first ever free book to the complimentary weekend in Smuggler’s Notch, all for the pleasure of expressing my opinion.

But that’s not the best thing blogging ever brought to me.

Blogging has opened up new professional opportunities for me. My boring day job in government communications turned into a dream job in social media, largely because I was blogging and active in the blog community long before most of my colleagues even knew what a blog was. And I was thrilled to finally accomplish a life-long goal last year when an article inspired by a blog post was officially published in a real magazine – my very first professional writing credit! (And the whole Smuggler’s Notch thing came about as a direct result of my post about stalking Stephen King. See, it *always* comes back to blogging!)

But that’s not the best thing blogging ever brought to me.

Blogging has changed how I think; it’s a lens and filter on how I see the world. In blogging, I’ve captured snapshots of my life and of the boys’ childhoods that might have otherwise been lost. It’s a lovely gift to myself to be perusing my own archives and stumble across vignettes of life that I’d captured and promptly forgotten – vignettes that would surely otherwise be lost.

But that’s not the best thing blogging ever brought to me.

Blogging has inspired me to push my own limitations, to be brave, to be creative, to have the courage to try new things. From joining the panel on blogging and motherhood at the Motherlode conference in 2006 (which was, by the way, an ode to mothering in the blogosphere) to my newly launched photo project, blogging has given me the opportunity to learn new skills, hone old ones, and take personal risks that I might never have otherwise imagined.

But that’s not the best thing blogging ever brought to me.

What, then, you must be asking by now. If none of those things are the best thing that blogging has brought to you (and, by the way, you are one spoiled girl, Miss DaniGirl, to have been so lucky in your blogging life) then what could possibly be the best thing that blogging has brought to you?

It’s all of you, of course. It’s the friendship, the camraderie, the commiseration. It’s the friends from the real world who came online to play, and the friends from the computer who manifested into real people. It’s the laughter we have shared, and the tears. It’s the chance to peer into the windows of your life, to sit down and chat over virtual coffee, and to share a part of your world. It’s the fact that any time anything happens in my life, from the most momentous to the most painful, from the most embarrassing to the most mundane, I’ve wanted to share it with you. I’ve been honoured to have been given the chance to share your lives through your own blogs and your comments, but I have been truly gifted with your presence here.

So there you have it. In my usual reticent, understated and taciturn way, I’ve run on just a bit. But you get the idea. As central as blogging is to my life (and I don’t blame you if you’re thinking perhaps I need to get a life at this point!) I’ve never in my wildest dreams imagined being able to go to BlogHer. And it’s just a week before my 40th birthday. Wouldn’t that be a gift? Pick me, Mabel’s Labels! Pick me!!!!!

Edited to add: Oh! My! Goodness!! They DID pick me!! Thank you so much, Mabel’s Labels! I’m so honoured! So what are you still doing here? Get over there and VOTE for me, already!!

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

22 thoughts on “In which she counts her bloggy blessings”

  1. Commenting should be open on the old posts – let me know if you find otherwise. The doubling happened when I imported my HaloScan comments from my old Blogger blog into WordPress. One of the XML files hiccuped and spewed about a thousand duplicate comments into random posts, and I just haven’t had the energy or enthusiasm to delete them.

  2. There must be a wordpress script or plugin that could fix that kind of massive damage, but I’ve never looked for one.
    Commenting was open, but was so slow that I almost double posted.

  3. You are living proof of the fact that, when we pursue what we truly love, we achieve true happiness.

    Congratulations on all of your bloggy accomplishments!

  4. I love the fact that you keep me up to date with modern parenting issues and you do it with such good humour and grace.

  5. Hey, Dani, I saw your message on IVFC and voted right away (for you, of course). Now I’m bookmarked so I can come visit you any time! xox

  6. When I first got here (via your link on my blog) I thought this was for THIS year’s contest and I was 15 kinds of confused. Suddenly, things come clear. Congrats on making the finals, one year too late!

    I agree with you completely on the friendship and community. THAT is the real gift and secret to blogging, I think.

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