What I’ve Learned From Five Years Of Blogging

Wow, how time flies! This February marks five years since I created this website and embarked on the journey of blogging. Over the past five years, I’ve written more than 100 posts, averaging about 1,000 words per entry, meaning I’ve written at least 100,000 words for this website. That. Is. Crazy. (When I pulled out my calculator to do the math on that, I made myself redo it, because I couldn’t believe I’d written that much. Wow!) I’ve also managed to keep up a semi-regular posting schedule, with a few prolonged breaks or inconsistent bouts when life got a little too hectic. Blogging has been a fun addition to my writing portfolio, and I’m excited this year to experiment with different content and entry styles. Perhaps someday soon I’ll also revisit some older topics and develop them further with fresh ideas.

To celebrate this momentous anniversary, I wanted to reflect on the value blogging has added to my life as a writer over the past five years. If you’re considering starting a blog or new to it, perhaps these lessons will be an encouragement to you in your own journey!

To start, I appreciate blogging because writing regular posts helps me stay disciplined. This discipline not only impacts my fiction writing, but also translates to other aspects of my life. While I set my own deadlines and posting schedule, I still think it’s valuable to stick to what I’ve set out to do. After all, if you want to be a fiction writer, no one’s going to make you write unless you make the effort. Blogging helped train me to be self-motivated and work through writing droughts. While most of the time writing my blog posts are interesting to me, there are more than few times where it doesn’t excite me, or where I struggle with how to phrase ideas or structure a particular post, or when it’s not fun at all. If I gave up on blogging simply when it got tricky, I’d struggle to stick with writing my own books in moments when writing my stories felt tedious and draining. Blogging taught me how to persevere through hard tasks, in writing and in life.

Blogging also gives me a space to process what I’m learning, both personally and professionally. This is part of the value of writing blog posts for me. In some ways, it forces me to journal and reflect on my life. Whether I’m writing about writing, books, or my faith journey, blogging gives me insight into how I’ve changed and grown for the better. For that, I’m super grateful.

Similarly, blogging lets me explore new ideas and genres. There’s some overlap with processing my learning and exploring new ideas. Sometimes, when I get inspired with a blog idea on a writing topic, I haven’t fully explored that concept and its implications in my writing. Choosing to write a blog post on that topic, then, gives me the opportunity to fully develop and apply it, whether it’s thinking through the value of novellas in series, writing with a day job, or how Christianity intersects with writing. In a related vein, blogging also lets me branch out into nonfiction writing as I write on spiritual topics as a potential precursor to future devotional material. I also occasionally experiment with creative nonfiction, such as with my piece on my Nashville trip at the end of 2021.

Speaking of experimenting, blogging is part of my practice for about my own writing to other people. I used to be very tight-lipped and secretive about my stories, but blogging about it has provided a safe way to learn how to present my own work to others. Whether it was through writing material about Our Company of Fools during its publication period or learning how to talk about Whitman Court, blogging helps me shape my language for pitching my various projects. This helps me in the publication process as I write query letters and learn how to best summarize my work, as well as gives me the courage to start sharing more about my writing in conversations with others. While I can still be relatively shy in person if you ask me about my writing, I’m gradually gaining courage to talk about my writing, and that’s in part to this platform and how it’s allowed me to share about my writing journey and books.

While processing my own growth and experimenting is certainly a valuable part of my blog, the most valuable piece of blogging for me is the opportunity to contribute in a positive and helpful way to my fellow writers, Christians, and other readers. While I’m certainly not always perfect at it, my hope for my blog is not to be self-glorifying, but to always put out content that encourages and inspires others in their faith and writing. That’s why I try to be honest about my own failures, whether that’s providing insight into the pitching process and the rejections we face as writers, opening up about my faith struggles during my unexpected gap year, or writing about my singleness. I never want to put out content that is degrading or discouraging, and appreciate having a platform to potentially speak light into others’ lives, even if it’s just one other person. It never fails to make my day when someone lets me know that a post on here encouraged them in some way, and I thank God for using my blog in this small way.

Whether you’ve been reading my blog since the beginning or you’re a relatively new reader, I want to thank you for being a part of my blogging journey. I hope, just as I expressed in the paragraph before, that this is a space of encouragement for you as a writer and/or Christian. Thanks for supporting me through reading my words—it truly means a lot! Looking forward to the next five years ahead of blogging—and hopefully I’ll get some books published between now and that milestone, too!