There are myriad reasons why people blog.
Personally, I started because it was something I'd been required to do at my last job and I discovered I missed it once I got laid off.
I've always been an enthusiastic writer (I've written tomes to past loves via e-mail) and, as my profile indicates, I have an opinion on just about everything.
Given how effortless writing is for me, blogging was a no-brainer.
The longer I do it though, the more often I am reminded of its far-reaching effects.
One of those is that when I'm out with people who know I blog, they'll say something off-color or not for public knowledge and then quickly tell me, "Don't put that in the blog!"
99% of the time, what they've said wasn't blog-worthy anyway.
Not long ago, I was at a live music show and someone I knew only by sight came up and asked me if I was the ICGOAO blogger.
Yes, I told her, but how the hell did you know that?
Apparently she was already a regular reader and had recently been at a restaurant the same night as I had and noticed me.
When she saw my post the next day, she put two and two together.
She'd even tried new restaurants based solely on some of my posts and loved them.
Best of all, she'd recommended my blog to many of her friends as a must-read.
A former neighbor with whom I hadn't spoken in years and recently saw told me that I was one of two blogs he reads regularly and had somehow figured out that it was mine.
He complimented my enthusiasm for and knowledge about all the great stuff that goes on in RVA.
Walking into Gallery 5 one evening, a photographer I know said hi and asked why he wasn't following me on Twitter.
Well, because I don't tweet I told him, I only blog.
But the fact was he thought I'd be interesting enough to want to follow and I don't even know what I'd said or done to give him that impression.
I've heard from out-of-town bands I've written up and authors whose readings I've attended.
No less than three winemakers I've met at wine dinners have contacted me after reading my blog.
And now Richmond.com has gone and put me on their "Favorite Stuff of 2009" along with only two other blogs.
It seems my "very active lifestyle" and "witty commentary of the people and places in our fair city" caught their collective eye.
Of course, the humor there is that they are my former employer, so essentially I was laid off and lauded, which I see as way better than laid off and ignored.
I've always been one of those people to whom surprising things are said and interesting things happen.
In the past, I had a significant other to share these great stories with.
Since that's no longer the case, I now share them with the online world but who knew how interested they'd be in my odd little life? I certainly can't say I did.
On the other hand, I'll take the compliments wherever I can get them.