After a break, I have started uploading consistently again, with one new post per week for almost three months now, for a total of 10 articles since May (and a grand total of 25).
An update on the blog and how it’s going is a great way of documenting the process and what I’ve learned, precisely in the spirit of the blog itself. Here are some of the things I learned and observed during these first months, in no particular order.
First steps – just start!
The initial setup of the blog includes several things: the choice of the host and the domain name, using WordPress, and figuring out how plugins work. These are just the first few things to do. Everything was new and I don’t think I’d ever heard of the word “self-host” before toying with the idea of having a blog myself. There was a lot to learn, but thanks to online resources and discussions with a friend in the same position as me, it was all sorted (or at least in a good enough position to start posting and experimenting). It’s exciting and fun, as well as scary.
One of the things I mentioned in my first post on the benefits of publishing frequently and regularly is that, especially at the beginning, you can measure the progress made. This has definitely been the case for me. I can already see the improvements made and the things I have learnt along the way, simply by practicing more. Specifically in terms of writing, post structure and formatting, as well as idea presentation.
A new identity
I realized that making progress on my blog had become part of my routine. I didn’t see it as a “job” or a chore, but just “something I do”. It has become a habit and something I look forward to and expect. This is linked to an identity change: I see myself as someone who has a blog and maintains it regularly.
There are always new things to learn and I am just at the beginning! I have:
- read several articles on different topics
- researched technical aspects of having a blog
- looked for tips and discussions by those who have more experience
- made some changes to the html/css code
You never know
Some posts which I was particularly proud of and excited to share had fewer views than others. Viceversa, some posts which I wasn’t sure would be interesting to many people were received better than expected. It’s a good reminder to not get too attached to your ideas and beliefs. And to experiment and try new things because you never know what will come from them.
One of the advantages of having a blog is that it gives me the chance to connect with people and to discuss new topics with my friends. I have been talking about the ins and outs of blogging with one friend in particular (she also has a blog). By sharing posts I think my friends will find interesting, I have also had wonderful chats with them on topics that might not have come up otherwise. I also have been discussing this with a fellow blogger online, and it has been pretty cool to learn from her and exchange ideas.
Although not strictly connected, via sharing my posts online, they have been seen by thousands of people across the world and many (for a beginner, of course) have written to me to say some of my posts have helped them, which is really amazing!
Better at observing things
I have noticed how much more I have become able to notice small things and focus on observing my life from a different lens. I will look for opportunities to reflect and learn, noting things down when I think I can write a post about them. The idea of documenting my life is broad enough that it allows me to go in any direction I want and by being more mindful of my life I have been able to post consistently for three months and I have many other topics in mind
Overall, I am very glad I decided to create this blog! It’s been really fun learning new things, writing down my thoughts. I’m happy to see the progress and keep documenting my life. It has also given me the opportunity to have a lot of interesting discussions: the blog itself or a specific article can be great conversation starters with friends and family. The most unexpected thing was this identity change and “new normal”, after only a couple of months.
On to the next six months!