It embarrasses me to admit that I blog; to own it out loud. It sounds so 90s but not in the so-retro-it’s-cool-now kind of way like choker necklaces and the Backstreet Boys (Vegas road trip anyone?). It seems like everybody and their half-deaf, kind of racist grandmother has a blog these days. It makes me feel so unoriginal (worse than death for a creative soul) but here I am a year later and I can no longer deny it. Hi, my name is Teri and I am a blogger.
This week marks my one year anniversary of blogging consistently, achieving in sticking with a weekly pursuit that I long suspected would bring me joy. How could it not be? Since I was old enough to spell, I kept the OG version of a blog – a diary – that I keep obsessively to this day to record all my inner, squishy feelings. Writing posts for the whole world to see is an entirely different beast and I’ve learned a lot of lessons that don’t only apply to blogging but to life in general.
Here are 8 Things You'll Learn From A Year of Blogging:
1/ HAVE A GAME PLAN
A lot of work goes into blogging even if it’s only once a week, especially when I have to squeeze it into my already overbooked schedule. I’ve found that I’ve had to up my organizational game by planning posts in advance, establishing an editorial calendar, and using organizational apps to help streamline the process and make it more manageable and eliminating any stress.
2/ JUST DO THE THING
I put off launching my blog for the longest time because I felt like I had to have everything figured out. Blogging has made me realize that I’d rather make a decision and do something today and fix it tomorrow than not do anything at all. Each week I try to improve a little bit at a time, even if it’s as seemingly insignificant as developing a catchier headline.
3/ IT’S NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE PERFECT
Some weeks are harder than others to write at the level that the perfectionist in me demands. Whether it’s because my job requires my weekly quota of creativity or I’m in a bad mood that even the funniest cat video can’t fix, sometimes even after pouring my heart into a post I’m less than thrilled with the result. I’ve learned to let it go, post it anyways and focus on the process.
4/ KEEP ON TRUCKIN’
When I have writer’s block and it's not flowing naturally, my first instinct is to cut and run. Why waste my time when I could be doing something else? But constantly waiting for inspiration to strike is like waiting for to water boil. Get ready in the meantime and grab a tea mug! Now I force myself to keep writing – anything! – even if it sucks. I can always come back later and revise it. Having something to work with is better than having to start from scratch.
5/ SATISFACTION COMES FROM CONSISTENCY
I have a hedonistic tendency to enthusiastically chase the high of new ideas and experiences. I’ll start a project then get distracted by the next shiny idea that pops into my overfull head and move on, never making much progress on anything. Committing to blogging once a week for the past year has not only given me a sense of accomplishment but an understanding that real satisfaction comes from sticking with a pursuit.
6/ DANCE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING
I used to care more about what others would think about what I did versus what I thought. I worried that my mom would think I was being too vulgar. I was concerned future clients might think my content was unprofessional. But at the end of the day, I was blogging for me and the only person I had to impress was myself. Am I happy with what I’m producing? This has made me more aware of why I do things and to prioritize my happiness over my ego.
7/ HIDDEN PERKS
Even though I started blogging purely for my own enjoyment, along the way I’ve realized how many added benefits that it brings for both my personal and professional development. Not only does it drive traffic to my site and improve my SEO, but it helps me hone my written communication skills and refine my thought process. Plus, I like having an archive of memories I can refer back to.
8/ LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED
People often ask me WHY I blog. What’s the end goal? I usually reply by listing the benefits that blogging brings from the previous lesson but really, it’s just because I have found that I just really love doing it. Writing, thinking of art to go with it, tweaking the content based on analytics...Being a very goal-oriented individual, this has been the most profound lesson that I’ve learned from the past year and that I’ve applied to every aspect of my life. The only reason I need to do anything is because I enjoy it .