I've been a blogger since about 2006, and have worked through a progression of blogs. When I started this blog, I was actively maintaining two others. One of those has been sadly neglected (but I hope to resurrect sometime soon), but the other is still going strong. So I already knew that I could meet like-minded people through blogging. Likewise, my experience with an on-line support network and charity meant that I already knew how useful on-line support could be to learning, healing, and surviving.
So when I started this blog, I knew what I was looking for. I wanted to link with women who had been through similar experiences, and who were still dealing with the issues of living life with no kids. And I wanted to be able to talk about my own experiences, to help to formulate and consolidate my own views about this life. But I also wanted to talk about my own experiences to make sense of them, to to feel that those experiences weren't pointlessly painful, but could help others. And I have achieved all this, I think.
But what I didn't expect to find was a blogging community, and to learn so much more about blogging. Much of this is a result of Mel’s blog, where she actively talks about blogging, about community, , BlogHer, and the importance of good commenting. But it’s also about a community that cares about blogging and awareness, and specifically it is about the people who contribute. Mel I've also mentioned, Pamela’s example of deep thought and awareness activities, and Lisa’s Life Without Baby community (amongst many others, not least Loribeth, and more recent arrivals) take our experiences, put them in context, and give them a wider voice. Most importantly, they make them matter. As part of this community, we reach more people than I could ever have imagined. (Through Pamela (originally) and Nicole, my own Huff Postarticle is an example).
If I hadn't been part of the ALI blogging community, I wouldn't regularly be challenged to think deeply, to think about my life specifically and in a broader context, to think about new ideas, to consider other people’s perspectives, to understand how other people live.
Likewise, I wouldn't have this desire to turn up one day at BlogHer - though I’ll have to earn some money first.