8 In Writing

4 Years of Blogging


I’ve spent a bit of time lately looking back on the previous 4 years of posts, some cringe worthy, some incredibly deep, some that are just terrible, and others that I am really proud of. Blogging has been such a cathartic journey – and I’m not just being wanky with you. Blogging really has helped me find my voice, confidence, and purpose in life.

So what have I learned in 4 years of blogging, aside from a whole lot of shit about myself?


Some people blog to write. Others play the stats game. And others, well, they blog for money and fame. The lines can really become blurred, which is why it’s good to remind yourself every once in a while why you blog, who you are, as well as who you are blogging for. And every now and then, you really do just need to step away and reevaluate the whole thing.

Blogging can take over your life

If you let it, blogging will take over your life. It will interfere with your eating habits, exercise and sleeping routines, as well as relationships and work, and pretty much everything else. It is always good to remember that you are more than your blog, even though you can become very attached to it. Blogging can be addictive, and for those of us with addictive personalities, it can be a dangerously fine line that we tread.

Viral posts

Nope. You will never guess which post will go viral. To be honest, my best written posts are possibly the least read, and the most read…well, they vary, but they generally contain quotes. But even when you think you might have the formula down pat, things change (Google algorithms, etc.)

Don’t compromise

When you start a blog you need to determine how much of ‘you’ you will share. You also need to decide how much of others you will share…so it’s always good to talk to people, ask for permission, etc. You may find it hard to believe that there’s a whole lot of stuff I DONT share on my blog. I consciously drew a line in the sand and made some things off limits. In saying that, I also made the conscious decision to share my warts and all, including my depression and anxiety battles. Sure, some have frowned at this, criticised, questioned…and yes, it may have impacted employment prospects, but in the end it was my decision and I am very comfortable with it. And if anyone has a problem with it – well, that generally means that they still think topics such as mental illness are ‘shameful’.

People will think you’re crazy

It may seem old school but some people just don’t get the whole blogging or sharing thing.

I’ve been labelled as pretty cray cray by a few people – probably a lot more than I am aware of. But seriously – who is normal? There’s really no such thing!

People won’t understand why you do it

Only fellow bloggers really understand why we do what we do…I’ve kinda given up explaining to people why I blog, or how I can share what I share. I guess it kind of borders on that feeling of needing to justify something that may not be acceptable according to societal ‘norms’…I don’t know.

You can make a difference and you may help people unintentionally

I didn’t start this blog with the aim to help people. It was to help myself find my writing voice again. Helping people, well, that was like some kind of unexpected silver lining 🙂 And in helping others, I have helped myself.


If you don’t, people will notice, and people won’t read you or you will attract the wrong readers. After four years this is my main learning. This four year journey has been one of self-exploration, of finding my voice, of learning to love and accept me as I am. In those moments when I tried to be something I wasn’t, it felt horrible. The words didn’t flow, the posts sucked, and I wasn’t happy. I am best when I am open, honest and raw. I write from the heart, and I am what you see/read. And for supporting me on this journey to ‘finding me’, I must say a very big thank you to everyone who has followed, read and supported me – especially those of you who have been there from day 1. I love you all, and thank you for helping me find my voice.

thank you image

[Check out my first ever blog post!]

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  • Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA @ Cerebrations.biz
    September 28, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Wow, you must be channeling my thoughts, Janine!
    I have a similar post in the queue (more about what I’ve learned, but still)!
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. It what helps each of us become more cogent in our postings.

  • Muriel
    September 30, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Blogging can easily become addictive. I wonder if it is not some kind of cheap therapy. I have come to the conclusion that it is best not to overthink the whole thing. I just write because it makes me happy.

    • Janine Ripper
      October 3, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      So true. I keep falling into some kind of thinking as Im surrounded by some people who have BIG traffic. And then sometimes Im like 🙁 But, people like us need to continuously remind ourselves it is because of our love of writing…that is why we do it. Thank you for the reminder, my friend.

  • Marie
    October 3, 2014 at 5:15 am

    “You can make a difference and you may help people unintentionally.” Amen to that. And happy blogoversary!

    • Janine Ripper
      October 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Thanks Marie! And I am thankful that I met people like you 🙂

  • Mackenzie Glanville
    November 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your 4 year anniversary post, my hubby actually came across you whilst attempting to google for my website and given the similar name he gave it to me to look at. I am new to the blogging world, although like you have been writing whether in my head or on paper since I can remember and my 7 year old is doing the same. It is hard to explain the need to do what we do, but it’s a force within, as I say to me writing is like fresh air I need it to survive. My goal is to find myself and inspire others to do the same, and I have been so surprised by the welcoming I have received. I will follow you now I know of your blog as I really enjoyed reading your post. Best wishes for your next 4 years of blogging and beyond . . .

    • Janine Ripper
      November 24, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Hey – thanks for stopping by and subscribing! Welcome to the blogging world – I look forward to following you. Thanks so much for the feedback. Im so glad you liked reading me. We should connect up and support each other on the blogging journey! One word of caution…blogging is addictive…

      • Mackenzie Glanville
        November 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm

        addictive is right! I can’t stop myself right now, but I am really enjoying it! Thank you for replying to me, I really wasn’t expecting it. I would love any support you can give and let me know if I can help you as well, I big part of what I wish to achieve is to empower women to help each other out and support one another in fulfilling our passions! Would love any feedback on my blog (if you get the chance to check it out.) Thanks

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