…you mean there was a before?

This post is part of a week-long virtual blogging conference started by Liz, at a belle, a bean, and a chicago dog, and Jessica, at four plus an angel.  Their idea was to create a blogging conference that didn’t require the participants to change out of their ratty gym shorts and oh-my-god-it’s-so-freaking-hot tank tops.  And for that, bless them.

Those of you not interested in reading about blogs–a kind of meta-blog blogging, as it were–might want to skip over the Summer Blog Social posts.  Or you could dig into the inner psyche of bloggers and read through all the posts on the site.

The topic for today is “before I blogged, I wish I’d known…”  It’s sort of a funny question, actually, because I think if I’d known anything about what it meant to maintain a blog, I probably wouldn’t have started.  A friend of mine who used to climb mountains on a regular basis (complete with ice picks, lots of ropes, and frequent instances of potentially plummeting to his death) said that he kept going on these death-defying journeys to “feed the rat,” by which he meant fueling the adrenaline rush he got with each climb.

Writing a blog creates another version of feeding the rat: you can’t stop or the blog atrophies and the six people who read it, other than your mom, will give up and go elsewhere. So you have to keep writing and thinking about writing and making notes about writing, and maybe waking up in the middle of the night to worry about the fact that you haven’t posted in a few days.

Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe other bloggers don’t do that.

So on second thought, I’m glad I didn’t know that blogging would become such a big part of my creative life; I think that I would’ve been afraid to embark on such a full-scale adventure. Instead, I started writing as a lark, and as a way to train my writing muscles.

I’m also glad I didn’t realize how many talented, funny, insightful, thoughtful, interesting people are writing online: I would’ve been petrified to dip my digital tootsies into these waters. Now that I’m swimming in the bloggy water, however, it’s delightful to look around at all the other blogfish in the sea and realize that, with a comment or two, you can actually talk to these elegant, talented fish as they swim by.

Hmm.  I seem to have answered this question by talking about what I’m glad I didn’t know.  If I’d known more, I think I might be still polishing that first-ever post, trying to make it perfect before I launched it into deep water.  So let me take one last stab at answering this question in its proper form: before I started blogging, I wish I’d known… how much fun it would be.