In May 2011, when my friend Dalfino suggested to me that I start writing a blog, I decided to take him up on it. It was a bit of a whim and I didn’t really imagine that anything would come of it. I’d do it for a bit, I thought, but most likely I’d give up after a short while. Over five years and one thousand posts later, I look back and realise that by suggesting that I start this blog, he actually helped to change my life for the better. So let me tell you about all the good that this blog has brought to my life.
In May 2011 I was just about at the end of my time in the Corsham School Sixth Form and was due to start at Bath Spa University in October. In order to help people make friends in advance, there are Facebook pages for people to post on and add each other. I did post once or twice on one of these pages, but I didn’t really do that much. Shortly after posting for the first time, I got an email telling me that I had a comment on a recent blog. This was a comment from somebody who had seen me in those groups and had then looked at my blog through a link on my profile. This comment was from who would soon be my friend, Stacey and in time our friendship grew to be one of my closest and most rewarding.
So, less than six months after making it, I had already made a good friend through my blog, but it’s benefits would certainly not end there. In my second year at university, I took a “Writing for New Media” module and for this I had to put together a piece of digital media – I submitted this blog and was awarded with a ‘first’ grade! Around the same time, I also started doing comic strips on here, which ultimately lead to the creation of my Finger Puppet Show site, which I then submitted in my “Creative Enterprise” module in my third year and got another ‘first’ grade for! So it certainly helped to boost the overall value of my degree in the three years I was at university.
But, ultimately, good grades can only bring you so much in life, so let me talk a little more about the friends I made with this blog. After I’d been at university for a month or two, I met somebody named David. The pair of us got on quite well upon our first meeting and I remember the “hook” I used for continued interactions was to suggest that he take a look at my blog. I think David probably liked what he saw because he has been continuously supportive of it the whole time I have known him and the friendship he and I share is another which I value most deeply.
Suggesting that people take a look at my blog proved to be a good “hook” with another friend too. In my third year at university, I was introduced to somebody named Sophie and I remember telling her that I was hoping to get some guest posts on my blog – then a few days later, I found her on Facebook and sent a message to follow up on the idea of the blog post. I never actually got a blog post from Sophie, but I like to think that adding people on Facebook is the first step towards making a friendship “official” and, of course, we too went on to become the best of friends.
Since leaving university, every single (worthwhile) job that I’ve had, has been gotten thanks, at least in a small part, to this blog. I got a job doing social media marketing (and telesales) at a printing company in Corsham and I remember in the interview that they said they were impressed that I seemed to be so good at thinking up so much internet content after seeing my blog. Afterwards I worked as a writer for an internet business and in the interview the boss recounted the blog posts of mine which he liked the most, making it clear that he liked my writing style. Even in the interview for my current job, I remember the boss telling me that I had a good website and, most likely, the jobs this blog had gotten me in the past played a crucial role in getting my career to the point it is at now. Plus, of course, then I have to think about all the friends I have made through these jobs as well.
As you can see, in the five years I’ve been writing it, this blog has brought a significant number of positive additions to my life and that’s not even to mention the small things! Once somebody who had seen my work contacted me and asked me to meet the for dinner to guide them with their work – that made me feel pretty special and I had a lovely and exciting time offering them my advice. Plus, all this time, this has been a good form of emotional comfort: there have been a few times when I’ve felt a bit sad about things and this has been the perfect place for me to articulate my thoughts and feelings, which has been very useful.
If I didn’t have this blog, my life would be very, very different. I’d probably be lacking a few of my closest friends. Perhaps I wouldn’t have gotten a good grade at university. I likely would not have had the same jobs and might not have been able to progress my career much at all. The sad times would have felt just a little sadder, because I wouldn’t have been able to put them into context and get them written down. All those little anecdotes which I’ve written over the years could well have been forgotten – so many pleasant little interactions with people, lost to the ages. Generally, things would be a lot worse without my blog.
As a Christmas present last year, my good friend Liam bought me a domain for this site and I was really excited for it to receive that ‘upgrade’ – I hope that it will continue to grow and that this Trusty Water Blog will continue to bring me good things. Who would have thought that a silly website, named after my Trusty Water Bottle, could ever have achieved so much?
If you’ve ever wanted to start a blog, I hope that this has given you the inspiration to get started soon!