A couple of weeks ago, I was out for the evening with a fellow blogger, who introduced me to a friend of hers. It turned out that we all have blogs, and so, over dinner at Nando’s, we got into a discussion about our various sites. My friend has a few, covering everything from movie reviews to travel to politics, and her friend has a daily photography blog. So when she then turned to me and asked what my blog was about, I got a bit embarrassed and muttered something about it all being fairly frivolous.
The truth is, until very recently I didn’t really think of this blog as anything of particular significance. I mean, it’s significant to me, but I didn’t honestly think reading my ramblings would mean much to anyone else. So when my friend interrupted and told me very sternly that it’s anything but frivolous, I was surprised and pleased.
I remember exactly why I chose the ‘happy things’ theme. It was a couple of years ago, and I’d been thinking about starting a blog, but couldn’t decide what to write about. Then one night, I was going to the theatre with my mum, dad and sister; I was coming straight from work on the train and they were driving, and we’d planned to meet at the theatre, then they’d give me a lift home afterwards.
Unfortunately, the others got stuck in a massive traffic jam and didn’t arrive until the interval, at which point I gave them a quick – and, I suspect, fairly unhelpful – summary of the first half. Then, barely an hour after they’d finally arrived, we got back in the car to head home. And halfway through the journey, I realised that I hadn’t stopped complaining to them about what a rubbish day I’d had. Even though I wasn’t the one who’d sat in traffic for two hours or missed the first half of a play I’d paid to see.
And so the Blog of Happy Things was born. I decided I wouldn’t restrict myself on subject, and would just set one rule: no complaining allowed (except one day a year, on Alternative Thanksgiving). If I had an aim, besides just having a place to write about stuff, it was to hopefully make people smile and take a moment to think about the good things in their own lives. But I didn’t really think anyone besides my family and maybe a few friends would look at it.
Fast forward two years, and the other day another friend mentioned that he was thinking of starting his own blog. I told him, without hesitation, to do it, and that it was one of the best things I’ve ever done, which is 100% true. Not only because it’s been a lot of fun – which it has – but because it’s brought me new friends, both online and in the real world, opened up fantastic opportunities (I’d never have considered writing for London Theatre Direct had I not already had a blog of my own) and forced me to spend time looking around and focusing on happy things, if only so I always have something new to write about. By making me do that, I definitely think it’s made me a happier person overall.
And then there are moments like that one in Nando’s, when my friend told me that if she’s feeling fed up, she pops over here to have a read, and always finds something to make her feel better. Knowing that someone has not only visited the blog, but that they’ve read a post that means something to them, is more than I ever expected, and it totally made my day.
So thank you to everyone who’s ever been to the blog, liked a post, commented or shared. It really does mean the world to me 🙂
And to anyone else who thinks their blog is a bit frivolous, guess what? It’s anything but. At the end of the day, if it means something to other people, that’s a lovely bonus. But the most important thing is that it means something to you.