January is a special month. Not only is it the beginning of a new year, but my blogging anniversary! This year marks 4 years since I created and launched MacailaBritton.com I am ever so grateful and in love with this website and community, thank you for being a part of this! I spent a few days reflecting and oh my has this platform come far! Many moons ago I started on Blogger (Google’s blogging platform), changed my layout a gazillion and one times on there and then landed on SquareSpace. I want to take this time and share with you some of the ways blogging has transformed my life. Before I started my blog I was super shy. I wouldn’t really publicize my opinions or ideas- I know, crazy to think I once hesitated to talk about social justice, right?! I have always loved writing but before I was rather insecure about my work. I rarely pushed myself to write new things or let others read anything I wrote. Blogging helped me feel comfortable using my voice. There’s something about hitting “publish” on a post the whole world can see, that changes you. At first I was scared (as I can imagine most would be), but after it was freeing. I felt happy being able to share my thoughts and when others commented on my posts saying they agreed or disagreed, it was amazing! I still am amazed when folks I know and those I do not, comment. The fact that my words inspired someone to think about their ideas and beliefs and then respond is remarkable!
Lessons I have learned from blogging:
1. Designing a website is frustrating. Rewarding, yes but frustrating nonetheless.
2. People will have opinions on blogging and not all of them will be nice. With that, I have learned to acknowledge their opinion but not adopt their beliefs.
3. Time management. Oh goodness, in the beginning I thought I would be able to crank out a post in 30 minutes or an hour. Lol Nope! I learned not to save posts for the last minute and to incorporate blogging into my routine.
4. Confidence was something I struggled with online. I remember 4 years ago being so incredibly nervous about having a blog. In fact I didn’t tell a soul about it until I was two years into blogging. Every time I hit publish, shared a post on social media or told people I have a blog, my confidence grew. Blogging helped me believe in myself.
5. My opinion matters. This is the most prominent lesson I’ve learned since starting my blog. As I mentioned earlier I was shy and didn’t interject my opinion in conversations no matter if I agreed or disagreed. Blogging has helped me form opinions and stand up for my opinions. Those who know me who are reading this, I’m sure you can attest. Today I am A-okay with calling someone out on unfactual or misleading information.
I’ve also reached a lot of goals because of blogging:
1. Building my writing portfolio. I have made a slew of connections with local writers, newspapers, press and various independent publishing platforms. I have had the opportunity to write for quarterly online magazine, guest write posts on social justice and more! Finding my voice through my blog has lead me to writing for other amazing platforms.
2. Photography was always an interest of mine and through blogging I had the opportunity to sit down to learn how to properly use a camera.
3. Being a resource. It has always been a goal of mine to be one of the people my friends and others in the community to think of when they are looking for volunteers or ideas for anything relating to social justice. If you didn’t know, I’m quite passionate about it and love helping any way I can. Friends have referred me as a contact to local organizations and their friends who want to learn more about social justice. It has been wonderful watching those individuals then pass on the information to others, creating an cycle of social justice activists.
4. Meaningful relationships. In 2017 I set the intention to create friendships centered more around God and serving the community. I have been blessed with a group of people in which we can all talk about how wonderful Jesus is and spread His love.
5. Interviews. I’m still kinda freaking out about this one. I was interviewed for the first time by the non-profit who inspired me to create #OperationBeautifulNation
It was surreal and incredible. I can’t wait for you to see it!