My Life As A Blog Guest Post By . . .
Blogger: Karen Walrond
Eight years ago, if you had told me that I would be making a living sharing words I wrote and photographs I took on the internet, I would have kindly but firmly suggested that you put the bong down. At that time I was at the peak of my law career, and while I had an active pastime of photography going on the side, those pictures were just for me, not John Q. Public, thank you very much. Because putting them out on the internet would be just crazy. And frankly, more than just a little egocentric.
And then I learned the meaning of eating crow.
The truth is that 8 years ago, I didn’t even know what a blog was – but my husband Marcus and I were about to become parents to our daughter, Alex, and our families, in England and Trinidad respectively, were feeling very disconnected from our lives here in Houston. Then one night, in 2004, I was surfing the internet and came across an online diary – the author called it a “weblog” – and became intrigued. Could this be the way we kept our far-flung family current with our lives?
A few emails with that author later, and I was putting together my own blog. I named it “Chookooloonks,” a word that is a term of endearment for children in my native Trinidad. I emailed all of our family to let them know that I had done this for all of us to stay in touch, and I kept it public because I figured password-protecting the site would add a level of complexity that would complicate things for our older and less tech-savvy parents. Besides, I never assumed anyone but our family would read the site.
Fast-forward 8 years, and considerably more than my family visit me every day at Chookooloonks. I no longer practice law, but instead use my site and my words and my photography to make a living. My blog led to a book deal, and The Beauty of Different just celebrated its first anniversary on bookstore shelves. I do a ton of public speaking, and some of my closest friends in my offline life – MaileWilson, Laura Mayes, Jennifer Lawson, and Brené Brown, to name just a few – I met directly because of my online work. And in fact, as I was writing this very article, I was contacted by a former history teacher I haven’t seen or communicated with since I was 14, simply because she found me on the web. She was a lovely teacher, and I’m thrilled to be back in contact with her.
So yeah, eight years ago, I would have scoffed if you’d foretold that I would be living my life this way right now. But the truth is that blogging has completely changed my life.
And I couldn’t be happier.
I hope you enjoyed Karen’s post, which is part of an on-going series on Blogstar. If you would like to contribute your own My Life As A Blog post, please email me at sbrydenbrown[at]gmail[dot]com.