If you had told me a year ago that I would be an active blogger and social media “sharer,” I think I would have given you a severe Brooklyn Girl stare. You know, that look that uses the evil eye but also communicates, Whatever! with the eyebrows. I don’t use it often but when I do, it’s effective. I despised technology with a passion. I preferred a pen and a beautiful journal for recording my thoughts. Now, I have many of them stored away in this little old house of mine and, to be honest, they may never see the light of day again. Because my MacBook Pro, Twitter, Facebook, and an editor changed my life forever.
I would never have imagined that an email sent to an online editor a year ago would have turned into this. I worked up the courage to ask a few questions of this woman, someone I thought could give me some answers that would assist me in navigating this new (to me) technological world. I had recently opened a Facebook account and was becoming acquainted with all the features, reading posts and learning as I went along. I wasn’t even quite sure she received my email until she responded. She gave me so much more than I could have ever imagined. She gave me the strength to spread my wings and learn to fly through social media, using it for communication, cross-promotion, and personal enjoyment.
I remember staring at the cursor as it palpitated on the screen. She wrote that I could never let fear get the best of me. She shared with me that we all have packed schedules and tons of things on our “to do” lists, but if we really want it and have a passion for something we have to make time for whatever it is that we feel we are called to do. I was amazed at her taking the time to write back to me and actually share her thoughts. Our emails went back and forth for some time and as we continued to communicate, she gave me hope and courage to move closer toward what I wanted, which was to write for the public to read.
PURSUING MY PASSION
I have always been a writer by nature, but I also know that getting published does not happen overnight. I didn’t ever expect it to happen for me, in part because I didn’t think that a person without any exposure to social media or journalism would be given a chance. But at that moment in my life when I emailed this editor, I was ready for the world to meet the writer in me, to read what I had to say. All along, I had been writing my thoughts in journals for my eyes only, and now I was ready to open up and let people in. I was blessed to have met the right person at the right time.
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THE POWER OF MENTORSHIP
This mentor took me under her wing and I began sending her pieces that I had pitched to her (after I learned what a pitch was, that is!). She took time to give me feedback and I began writing for an online publication. I remember the first time I saw my byline on the web page…I literally stared at it for more than half an hour. I had such a sense of gratification inside and could not stop smiling. I hadn’t smiled like that in a while over something I had achieved.
This was the type of fulfillment I was looking for; I wanted this feeling everyday of my life. Many may say, “a feeling like this from writing?” and I reply, “Yes, because it isn’t the same feeling I receive from teaching and I am being real, sharing my true self with others.” The feeling I get from my writing isn’t the same feeling I get from teaching. When I recognized this, I knew blogging and social media had changed my life forever.
PURSUING MY CALLING
With blogging and social media, I have found my calling. Am I fake outside of social media or blogging? No, but when I write, I am free with my words, and what you read is the real deal. And while I love my students and I am proud of my work as a teacher, I’ve never felt the passion in the classroom that I feel when I write and communicate online. With social media and blogging, I can’t stop smiling, my fingers can’t stop moving and my heart can’t stop writing. I am happier than I have ever been and I know this is where I need to be. And thanks to all who have supported me as I’ve stumbled in and out of Twitter jail—where they put you when you tweet too much! Without you, I would not be where I am today.