As often happens, there was a great thread at Hacker News that inspired this post:
1. When I was 15, I started my first blog at Blogspot. (It’s still there!) It became a source of great fun and advertising money as a teenager. Because I wrote enthusiastically about technology, I eventually also met other people who wrote about tech, and demonstrated that we did similar work. My blog created opportunities for me to work with publications as a writer, and eventually with tech companies in marketing. In my senior year in college, I got my first job as a communications associate at Xtreme Labs managing its corporate blog, ghostwriting for its team, and doing research for its reports. If I didn’t start a personal blog, I’d probably be doing something similar right now, but probably not with the depth of expertise I have. Eventually I built an entire editorial studio in the business of helping teams write blog posts. I also worked a full-time job at Lifehacker, one of the old fashioned blogs.
2. The blog provided a place for me to just write. The advice is simple, and yet super difficult to apply, for all sorts of reasons—including fear (what if I suck?), worthiness (what if I’m just adding to the noise? Do I even deserve to write?), and confusion (I don’t even know what to write yet?!). Writing at a blog all of these years was a practice that helped me balance all of this trepidation out; I could just write. I started writing every day last year, and it took this practice to the next level.
3. It makes me happy. I experience an inclination to start things, and a blog post is so easy to start and finish that I can do one every day. This fills the rest of my day with a very positive, open, expansive energy, which makes me more present and pleasant to be around. My blog feels much more comfortable to write on, as a surface, than a social media platform.
There’s definitely more to write on this—as there always is!—but I’m out of time for the day. That’s another thing blogging has done for me; it’s kept my writing practice alive, through thick and thin. As publications and platforms shift, my blog remains a place where I can write. I don’t have to worry about algorithms, or pitching editors, or getting paid. I can always publish, every day. The excuses my brain comes with aren’t acceptable.