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20 Things Wellfesto Has Taught Me About Blogging

photo by maria reyes-mcdavies, via flickr creative commons

photo by maria reyes-mcdavies, via flickr creative commons

I’ve been blogging daily for just over four months (this is my 98th post), and people often ask how it’s going.  Knowing that they’re often asking out of politeness, I usually answer with something low-risk and banal like “I’m still really enjoying it.”  Which is a 100% honest answer — I am.  But behind this, there are lots of emotions — elated, uncertain, proud, disappointed, peaceful, anxious, and vulnerable — that I only talk about if someone probes further.

The thing is — no matter what your reasons are for having a blog or any sort of publicly facing platform (and they could be anything from learning to personal growth to sharing with loved ones to wanting to become Oprah)  — it’s really hard to live your life out loud.  With authenticity comes vulnerability, with having a voice comes finding your voice, and with growing comes failing.  So today, on random day 98…still in the dawn on my wellfesto project…here are a few things blogging has taught me thus far…

  1. A daily practice is super powerful — it’s sometimes the only “me” time I get all day (even if it’s bleary-eyed “me” time)
  2. Having a daily practice means making trade-offs in other parts of life (i.e., I can’t remember the last time I read a fiction book, and my home decor leaves a lot to be desired)
  3. The simple act of making something every day is rewarding (just making something…anything)
  4. Experience and expertise aren’t the same thing, and it’s important to be clear which hat you’re wearing (or else people will think you’re selling snake oil)
  5. Just because you love to do something doesn’t mean it will be your favorite thing to write about (i.e., I love exercise, but I often feel weird writing about it because I’m not coach or personal trainer)
  6. People love recipe posts (I guess the food blogosphere is alive and well)
  7. It is nearly impossible to write with emotion about things you don’t really care about (duh)
  8. It’s easier to talk about accomplishments than failures (but failure is what makes us human)
  9. Unless people comment, blogging can feel like a 1-way street, and you need to be OK with that (here’s a hilarious post about comments, btw)
  10. It’s weird to broadcast very personal stories to strangers (thus, no sex posts yet)
  11. People like pictures as much — or more than — words (after all, we do live in the world of 140-characters + Instagram)
  12. Writing is about finding the connection between what you want to write about and what people want to read about (great tip I learned from a famous writer)
  13. People want to see the messy, difficult side of life as much as they want to see the clean, beautiful side (hmmm…misery loves company?)
  14. Blogging can deepen existing friendships and start new ones (you know who you are)
  15. Typos are inevitably (inevitable)
  16. Making a commitment out loud helps you stick to it (there is no way I’d write every day if my blog wasn’t public)
  17. You can do a lot in 30 uninterrupted minutes (uninterrupted = no email, no social media, no wiping kids’ noses)
  18. It helps to have a few posts “in the hopper” for busy days (because some days it’s easier to edit an old post than write a new one)
  19. A narrower audience makes it easier to write (stay tuned)
  20. It takes a lot of writing to become a writer

So my short answer stands: “I’m still really enjoying it.”  And for now, I’m so very happy with that.

What about you?  If you’re a blogger (newbie or seasoned), what have you learned about yourself or the blogosphere through the process?  What has been hard, and what has been amazing?  

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. paulinewiles #

    #8 I recall a short piece by Oprah in a recent magazine where she says her audience seems to connect with her especially deeply when she shows she is vulnerable.

    #9 Making this a two-way street, at least for today 🙂

    April 25, 2013
  2. Amy #

    Brynn

    Please know that I appreciate everything you write. Whether it encourages me to try something knew, put more effort into something old, or on occasion say good for you but your nuts; I truly look forward to your post each day and have often sent them on to friends that will appreciate what you have to say or could use the encouragement.

    Keep up the good work and know that others are being rewarded by your dedication.

    Hope you and your beautiful family are well

    Have a wonderful Mother’s Day Amy

    Sent from my iPhone

    April 25, 2013
  3. Thank you, Brynn. You put into words so many things I’ve been feeling/thinking myself. I’ve written 145 posts on my parenting blog so I’m right there with you (I just had to look that up — I actually had no idea how many it was).

    I LOVE these learnings. As a “writer” who “wrote” before blogging, I have to say that blogging has entirely changed my perspective on my abilities as a writer, my willpower, and my focus. That daily push is a stressor as well as a total high! (I would actually add one thing I’ve learned, which is that sometimes, a higher quality post is more important that output. So I let myself off the hook for a day in order to spend more time on a particular post another day). I’ve learned that the blogging community is very much like preschool (non-judgey!) and agree that typos are, sadly, inevitable. And I love that one about finding the intersection of what you love to write about and what others want to read. That’s been huge for me. My blog has changed so much since I started it because I was able to start reacting to what readers responded to.

    Congrats on almost being at 100!
    xox

    April 25, 2013

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