Three thousand blog posts published over eight and a half years of daily blogging…
I’d say it’s a decent amount of content. Could I have written and published more? Sure. More is always the answer when it comes to how much work one can do. I could have written better posts, developed my projects better…
But the truth is that my writing has developed a lot since I wrote my first post on this blog, back in April 2012.
I’ve also learned a few other things I’d like to share with you.
1. Most of My Articles Are Awful
Looking back, reading articles I’ve written in 2013–2015, most of them are just bad.
Articles that I had to write and publish because I was trying to adhere to some dumb rule of consistency (an impossible one that required me to publish at least 2 different articles a day on 3 different blogs).
Articles I rushed to publish because I had not enough mental clarity to properly discuss the topic.
Articles that, well, were badly written, riddled with typos and errors, formatted in a way that that it all looked like a neverending chunk of text.
Heck, even the articles I was most proud of, the ones that got thousands of likes and hundreds of comments, the ones that I wrote under the effect of the muse, made me feel like I could have done better.
Of course, there are two main reasons for this:
- The articles were indeed bad.
- I had progressed in such a way that I could no longer relate to or even appreciate my own writing.
After eight years of blogging, it would have been troublesome, to say the least, to read some of my first articles and notice no progress in terms of quality or writing style.
Count on skills to develop over time, and also count on not being able to relate to (or be proud of) most of your creative output. It is what it is. Failure is the path of any creative endeavor, and we never quite manage to create something perfect, so we just give up and click publish.
2. I Switched Niches a Few Times
When I first started in April, 2012, I was writing book reviews. Yes. I was a book reviewer at first, even though I had no natural inclination towards reviewing anything.
There’s an art to that, and I won’t dwell too much on the topic, but it requires, among a keen eye for detail and killer taste, an almost superhuman ability to write in an entertaining and fascinating manner.
After a couple of months of reviewing books, I began writing essays about art and the creative process. About writing, but without giving advice or trying to preach.
Then I wrote a (mostly) inspirational article about my journey as a writer, ever since I wrote my first story when I was 14 years old. It did extremely well, and it made me realize that I both enjoyed writing and sharing inspirational articles.
That’s when I changed my niche yet again, deciding to write about motivation and inspiration, and a couple of years later I was writing about self-development, self-help, and success.
Sticking to a niche, no matter what, is guaranteed to lead to burnout and creative bankruptcy.
As we accumulate knowledge and skills, the topics and ideas we want to write about change. Our notions change. It’s natural.
I began by sharing blogging advice on The Art of Blogging, but also wrote an entire series of articles on mindset — a bit of inspiration, a bit of motivation, and some psychology and persuasion techniques thrown in as well. Oh, and the occasional wake-up call as well.
Do not be afraid to slowly shift towards different niches, or to write about related topics. It’s how the journey is supposed to be.