Saturday, March 20, 2021

5 ways my blog made my dreams come true

In a few weeks, I'll be celebrating the 15th anniversary of Topaz Horizon. I've been blogging for almost 15 years! Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would be my longest and most fulfilling career. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine blogging would bring me the joy, love, friendship, and community I've longed for all my life. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this little hobby would make 5 of my most cherished dreams come true, too!

Dream #1: Tell stories.

When I started blogging in 2006, all I ever wanted to do was tell stories. I had a lot of stories to tell. I was brimming with them. As a writer, I never really run out of stories. The problem is I'm not very good at telling them face-to-face. I don't really talk. That's why I write.

Back then, the only ones lucky enough to tell their stories to an audience are those who got themselves published in books and magazines. In 2005, I was working in a magazine and have had the great luck to be published. But greedy me, these weren't enough. Mostly because the stories I wrote for these titles weren't mine; they were other people's stories. I longed to tell my own.

Then a friend told me about this strange new platform called blogging. So I tried it. My world exploded. I was telling stories—silly, stupid, funny, sad, angry—and people were reading them! Blogging made my storytelling dream come true!

This was my last blogging workshop, I think! I love meeting my readers and chatting with them!

Dream #2: Win friends and influence people.

No, I've never read the Dale Carnegie book but blogging's allowed me to do what his bestselling book said everyone should do: win friends and influence people! Two years after I published my first blog post here on Topaz Horizon, I was not only telling stories to a worldwide audience (mind-boggling!), I also started to have real friends online. I say "real" because they didn't feel real at first. No faces, sometimes no names even, which made them feel unreal, but their friendship, jokes, empathy, words of encouragement, and comfort were real. And suddenly I wasn't feeling lonely anymore. I had friends! There were people who understood me and my weirdness. There were people who also put me in my place when I was being cocky, mean, and stupid, but they were always constructive. Sure, there are haters. That can't be avoided when you share your thoughts and beliefs. But mostly, the online world's been kind to me, and for that I'm grateful.

The one thing I didn't expect from blogging was the influence part. When people think of how to be an "influencer," they think it's as simple as peddling products. It's more than that since sharing your life has the incredible power of compelling people to change their minds. I had to be convinced my platform can be used to sway people's opinions. In my mind, I'm just telling my stories. But many of you have written me telling me I've helped you decide on career, love life, marriage, friendship, motherhood, and household issues. From shallow to profound. That scared me. It still scares me. Every time I blog, I'm always mindful of my message. I'm also still in the process of editing, even deleting, blog posts from years and years ago because I know I'm different now. I have to be careful every time I tell a story. 

Met my friend and Lean In PH co-founder, Ginger Arboleda, because of blogging! She's the one who actually told me to use my influence to empower women, especially moms.

Dream #3: Work from home.

As my blogging world grew bigger, another impossible dream was realized - I can work from home! And to a new mom, that means the world! I could work and be with my kids 24/7. I never thought I'd be able to do this since I was (still is) in media and media people are notoriously married to their work. It was difficult for me to choose between my work and my babies back in 2010-2012. Then fate decided for me when I was laid off (internet killed magazines). I could've looked for another job but my blog made it possible for me to just be a mom. I will always be grateful I chose to do this blogging business!

Dream #4: Become a businesswoman.

Yes, my blog was the reason I became a businesswoman! For this blog to work as my main source of income, I had to attract bigger clients and a big way to do that was go legit. I registered as a business offering writing and editing services. For a good long while, my business was just that. But in recent years, I've eased more and more to influencer marketing. I realized my professional experience as an editor, writer, and blogger made me especially good at managing influencers so that both brand and influencer are happy. I had insight from brand and agency side and from the influencer side, too. It's really been good for business and I'm so happy my blog made this possible.

My pre-pandemic life: bring kids to school, run around the city, work on my phone!

Dream #5: Publish a book.

Fifteen years after my first blog post, I have now given birth to a book. A real book with pages you can smell! This blog became a book and I still can't believe this last and biggest dream has come true. I remember praying about it in September and just one month later, a publisher emailed me saying they loved my blog and could I write a book for them. And so I did! Please email me at frances@topazhorizon.com to grab a copy of Not Invisible!

Five dreams. Now all real. Time to dream new dreams then! And thank you - ALL OF YOU! - for making these dreams come true. God bless you, dearest Loyal Readers! Love you all!

*This post was made with links provided by Intellifluence. To learn more and sign up for paid campaigns, click here!

4 comments:

  1. What a meaningful journey for you, congratulations! Cheers to the next 15 years! :)

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    1. Thank you! Been thinking about my blogging actually. Husband kasi says if I make it a real job vs a hobby, I can be really raking it in. I dunno what to think yet. I've never actually planned this. Praying praying! If you also have suggestions on what I should do, please share!

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  2. There are only a few of us left, most of our contemporaries either quit or have chosen to just do social media lol. I guess one reason we’re still around is we actually love writing. Anyways, thanks for another insightful post. You are one of the few na binabasa ko kasi yun iba puro press release ang laman lol.

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    1. Thanks for still reading me, Ro! Wala naman masyado akong bina-blog na useful haha Di tulad ng blog mo. Grabe, resource talaga. So helpful! Good job!

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