One year ago I published my first blog post.
As soon as I clicked publish on that first post, my heart rate sped up a bit with a bit of anxiety and fear (what the hell am I doing? who am I to ramble on about my life to strangers?) and a whole lot of excitement. I gave myself a little congratulatory pat on the back, said a hell yeah, and then took a moment to acknowledge the importance of doing this blog for myself and not worrying about what anyone else thinks of me in the process.
And then I checked my blog stats for the next several hours because I’m human, and just had to know if anyone was actually reading what I wrote!
And then I had a moment when I noticed that someone in India read my blog. India?!? My lil’ blog reached India?!? Holy cow! (Haha, get it?)
One year later, I still have the same reaction whenever I hit publish, even today!
I’ve always enjoyed writing and have known for a while that it’s my best way of expressing myself. Never did I realize that this blog would turn into a significant creative release for me or that I would share my innermost thoughts with the world.
But that’s what this blog has evolved into.
Initially, I was a travel blogger wannabe who had just started reading various travel blogs and wanted to somewhat naively create my own, even though I’m not a full-time traveler/digital nomad like so many of the ones I read. I was trying to “fit in” (story of my life!) and thought that by just sharing my top travel tips, stories, and photos from any of my travels, I could call myself a bonafide travel blogger. So I did. Some of my earlier posts reflect this, like this one about a trip to Big Sur. It wasn’t a bad thing at all, it just wasn’t fully me.
But in the past 6 months, a few things happened which transformed my entire blogging experience:
First, I realized that I don’t have to define my blog as a travel blog. It is simply a space for me to share stories from my life’s adventures. Many of these adventures just happen to be from traveling because this is what I love to do and enjoy writing about. But this is not a travel blog.
Rather than try to fit in, I needed to do the opposite: create and nurture my own unique space.
Second, I read this post from my friend, Sarah. It struck a chord in me so deep that it unleashed the writer within. Because it (and so many of her other posts too) inspire me to show up as I am in my writing, to tell my own story, to share my whole journey, not just the fun, joyful moments, but also the hard “messy” stuff too. Write my heart out. Yes, yes, yes.
It just feels so damn good to get it all out there, to release my thoughts from within my mind. To be fully me. This is me playing with a creative side that I didn’t know I had before. This is me analyzing my process and discovering what works and what doesn’t.
This is me exploring life. I need this.
And just when I start to fear that I’m alone in my crazy thoughts, that is when I read other blogs like these and am immensely relieved to learn that I’m not alone.
The connections that I’ve made and felt with other bloggers who also write their hearts out have been incredibly comforting and inspiring and encourage me to keep going down this path. I’m so grateful for this little community that’s become a part of my life. I look forward to reading other blog posts just as much as I enjoy writing my own.
I’m still finding my blog voice. While I have (mostly) found the confidence to write my heart out, I’m still discovering what my unique writing style looks like. Right now, it seems to fluctuate and feels a bit scattered at times. Much like my own thinking, at times.
I question my writing. All. The. Time. And the self-editing process is way more intense than the actual writing! I read over my posts like a million times (and then tweak my wording like a million times!) before finally clicking on that publish button.
Because I want it to be good stuff, you know, the kind of writing that you can’t wait to read more of… juicy, meaningful, engaging, relate-able…
So I’ll keep working on it. Improving my writing skills is just one of the many many benefits that this blog has brought me.
On the business side of blogging, I’m slowly learning the skills of the trade, and I’m in no rush to call myself a professional blogger. I’ve taught myself the WordPress basics, and it’s not a matter of if, but rather when I convert over to a self-hosted site. Just need to make the time to find a new tech-savvy friend to help me with it, then I’m ready to roll.
I know I could do better at self-promoting this thing on social media. But I admit, it’s a bit of a weird thing to do. The blog doesn’t even have a Facebook page (yet), but I have joined Twitter! Find me at @explorelife14. See? Better already… haha.
For now, I’m focused on blog quality over readership quantity.
I won’t force myself to write something just for the sake of having a post to publish. For me, the writing ebbs and flows, and as you’ve probably noticed, I don’t adhere to any regular posting schedule. That’s part of what makes this space sacred to me. I can show up whenever (and however) I want to.
At this point, I have a full time job here in San Francisco so I don’t have any kind of pressure for my blog to lead to financial success.
And while I have no expectation of making any income from this blog alone, I do (not-so-secretly) hope that my writing on here does eventually open some doors to some paid writing gigs elsewhere. Just a part of my ultimate long-term plan in creating a sustainable “location independent” lifestyle. Baby steps…
I’ve learned so much through owning this blog, and I say own because I own it. Not only do I actually own the domain (as of a few weeks ago!), I also own my writing, I own my mistakes along the way, and I own those joyful moments that come from sharing my journey with the world.
And that, my friends, is the state of my blog one year in.
Thank you so much for reading! I appreciate each and every one of you that takes the time to stop by!