I just returned home from what I like to call a “blog date”. Blog dates are get-togethers with other women, sometimes bloggers and other times non-bloggers, who just want to talk and hang out after having read my blog. I’ve had a few of these now and they are exciting and surreal experiences. I don’t know if I consider them networking or just dinner or a chance to meet a new friend. Perhaps they’re a combination of all three.
This blog date was with Vya, a woman I met earlier this month along with another colleague so we could chat with her about our day gigs. Toward the end of that lunch as I pointed Vya toward the bathroom, I dropped that I also have a blog. We chatted about it for all of two minutes, I gave her my biz card and we decided we should grab drinks to talk more.
(Hey, Vya. You’re probably reading this. So, hello!)
Vya is a journalist by trade and journalists are good at a host of things, two of those being researching and asking questions. She read a good bit of my blog and had a lot of questions, many of which I never considered before she asked them. We sat on the patio at a suburban-trying-hard-to-be-cosmopolitan restaurant for two hours, talking about things like community, blog evolution, web hosting, reader engagement and, of course, when I will write “The Book”.
The thing about these blog dates is I find myself in non-stop, colorful and intriguing conversation with people I have never met. And, while I am often times swallowed whole in the dynamic of a group setting, I absolutely love one-on-one conversation. Listen, if you ever want to make friends, you should start a blog immediately.
One of the things Vya and I talked about was how I have intentionally included fewer details about my personal life on the blog. She asked me if I was OK with that. I paused. And then I decided yes, I am. I now understand with the growing audience and more visible platform I have, I have to be much more deliberate about what I choose to share. I also now have an audience that is incredibly smart and acute so I can’t just pen some shit about a bad date and get away with it. We are entirely off that. I don’t want to do it anymore and people don’t want to read it. I am now headed into year three of Twenties Unscripted and something about that is both beautiful and scary as shit.
Today is the last day of the “Wine, Writing, Women and Wisdom” celebration which means I should be incredibly reflective and retrospective. But, you know what I am? I am tired. It has been an uplifting but long month and I do not know if I ever need a month-long celebration for my blog ever again. But, that is called trial and error. I plan to take August “off” meaning I just get to write essentially. I have not had a month where I just got to write in a long, long time. Of course, I have some things up my sleeve, but nothing will really drop until late August. For now, let me just write.
As I talked to Vya today, I revealed the highs and the lows about this path. I talked about how cool it is to get to have blog dates with women I’ve never met and how demanding it is that I checked my phone each time she went to the bathroom because I knew my post auto-published and I wanted to respond to readers. I talked about winning the Black Weblog Award last year and how I missed my best friend’s 24th birthday brunch to go to Houston for the ceremony. I talked about the incredible community I have seen rally around these words and I talked about being called horrendous and ugly names by trolls. I talked about the beautiful act of writing and the non-stop task of promoting. But, the thought that always propels me and trumps all of these thoughts is that to whom much is given, much is required. None of what I listed is considered a burden; those things are the sacrifices you make to build something beautiful and lasting.
I have been given so much. Call it blessed. Call it lucky. Call it well-deserved. Call it fortunate. Call it whatever the hell you want. I have been given a lot so understandably, much is expected of me. As my newly-found blogger friend Michael Jones once said, “This is your life now.” I can’t look back. I can’t look too far ahead. I can only know that I have to kick ass with the life I’ve now been given.
It is not a question that this blog has been and will continue to be the hallmark of my twenties. So, on this last day of Wine, Writing, Women and Wisdom, thanks to the experiences that have made me wise. Thanks to the writing that has anchored me time and time again. Thanks to the women who read, support, love, cherish, respect and uplift this blog every damn day. And, thanks to the Cabernet Sauvignon that keeps me bold and ballsy when I worry I have nothing left to give.
Here’s to all of the mayhem, chaos, love, f-bombs and evolution the next blog year will bring.