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.
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.)
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.