Next week, my blog turns 9.
I’ve been doing this — off and on, not always well — for nine years.
Why do I keep doing this, even though I’m not getting a paycheck for it? Even though it doesn’t always align fully with my main career path? Even though there are probably hundreds of blogs out there just like mine, and really, all writing advice boils down to the same three main points?
What’s the point?
Above all, I’m doing it for you, of course. Obviously, if I didn’t have a sizable audience after nine years, there’d be no point in continuing. That would be a great example of how not to run a blog.
But I’m also doing it for me. I’m the one who created this monster, after all.
I firmly believe there’s something to be said about a writer who can consistently commit to a project over a long period of time. I’ve published a post on this blog every single day since June 1, 2015. This may be just a blog, but if I were hiring a writer, I’d want someone who could show me the level of dedication it takes to keep up with something like this for over two years straight.
Also, routines are fun, they keep me in a creative mindset, and honestly, I have a lot of things to say.
When it comes to seeking freedom as a writer, a blog can do more for you than you might realize.
Generally, when I sit down to write a blog post, I bind myself to very few restraints. Other than keeping the subject matter relevant to you, the reader, I’m not usually too picky about format or style beyond what I’ve come to develop automatically after doing this for so long.
I don’t worry about SEO or clickbait headlines or anything like that here. This isn’t my day job, where all of these things are required in order to turn a profit. This is my space to create content when and how I want to. And I think having that sense of freedom, personally, makes me a better writer.
I get to experiment here. Most people subscribed don’t actually ever read anything I post, so it’s not like doing anything too crazy will reach the far corners of the internet anyway.
Blogging builds confidence and allows you to test your limits, especially in the early stages or if you’re maintaining a relatively small following.
Also, it’s nice to talk back-and-forth with some of you. Writing is lonely, you know. It’s good to be reminded that someone out there is listening/reading/caring.
I keep doing this because this is just what I do. I want to use my words to help people. I don’t exactly know the critical role a long-term blog might play in the direction of my future endeavors, but as often as I think about the future, it’s not worth worrying about the specifics.
That takes a way from actually getting writing done. And you already know how I feel about those kinds of distractions.
To be honest, blogging gets frustrating sometimes. It gets discouraging (as you witnessed last week). It sometimes reminds me of my flaws and how much more I still need to grow as a writer.
But that’s also exactly why I haven’t quit yet. Because you’re never going to become the writer you want to be if you don’t experience the negative aspects of writing along with the positive ones.
I’m here for another year. This is the first post I’ve written in over a week (isn’t pre-scheduling a beautiful feature?) and I’m ready to bring you more of the content you know and (might) love.
If you’re thinking about abandoning your blog, don’t do so without a logical reason. This is your space to do with what you wish. Do amazing things. Be creative. Be awesome. Set your ideas free.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.