This blog turns six years old this year. I started to slack off posting towards the middle of last year so I didn’t mark the fifth anniversary. I only realised over new year that I’d missed it. However, I’m trying to reach a total 600 posts before then in order to average 100 a year. (Note that these will be 600 “surviving” posts: some got deleted because they were short or irrelevant, and at the moment two posts are private.)
The key takeaway from all this time spent blogging is that to carry on this long you only need one thing: you have to enjoy it. That is all. There is no other deep mystery. You don’t have to be good at writing or adhere to particular writing conventions. You don’t need to be a good photographer. You don’t need SEO. Everything you do should be fun, or if not fun then at least part of a process that makes you feel better about yourself.
In the last five and a half years I have undergone existential crises, quit a job, travelled, sought out a new job, and made peace with a lot of the things that were bugging me. I even have a partner now, which is a surprising and unexpected comfort.
A lot of that time I didn’t know who I was and what I was for. I cannot say for certain that I now know those things. But I do know that it doesn’t really matter. There aren’t many people that do. What I’ve learned is that you can start to answer those questions by writing. Sometimes by just writing a screed about something that’s bugging you. Sometimes by praising to the high heavens some book or movie or album that you enjoyed. Sometimes all it takes is to share a picture of a quiet moment or a brief contemplation through a quote.
I mentioned private posts earlier. You don’t have to blog in public. Some of my ideas and posts stay private. You’ll benefit a lot from writing down your experiences and having a place where you can visit them later on, but you don’t have to put them out there for all to see.
And what you find after doing this for a while is that there are patterns and structures. Life ebbs and flows. Within that structure you can take comfort in repetition and familiarity, and you can also use the very same thing to support your experiments and abstractions. This is not a trait unique to blogs, it is central to most of life.
Get started today. It really helps. Give it five and a half years. You’ll see.
Cover image is “pink takeaway” by Jes, creative commons license.