I think I’ve written and rewritten this post 20 times. I just can’t seem to get the words right. I have struggled with a handful of posts but of the 270 written in the last 365 days none have been harder than this one. Ironically, today is a day to celebrate. One year ago I started this beautiful blog of mine that has become so much more than I could have ever hoped for.
Many will not understand why this is such a monumental day or why it is even worth acknowledging, but for me today is a day to look back on where I started and the immense growth this blog and I have made in the last year.
On February 24th, 2013 I sat down at my computer and typed my first post. It was a long time coming and I think I had talked about starting a blog for years before I got the courage to do it. This blog was my first step in feeling my fears. A step that gave me the confidence to take so many risks I might have otherwise have passed up.
I remember exactly how I was feeling when I started THM. I was miserable at my job, I had injured my leg and couldn’t take out my frustrations at the gym and another brutal winter was getting to me. I felt like I had no hobbies, nothing to look forward to when 5:00 PM hit. I knew I needed a creative outlet and a place where I could let out the thoughts that were constantly reeling in my head. I also knew that I couldn’t send out one more email with a recipe or workout. I needed one location for all of this. A place where I could share these recipes, express my feelings and most of all, chronicle my journey. I could NEVER have imagined that it would grow into my passion.
In the past year I’ve learned so much about blogging and even more about myself. It is with that I want to share with you what blogging has taught me.
Feel your fears. I wrote a post on this last week. Starting a blog was terrifying and telling people about it even more so. I opened myself up to a whole new world of criticism but what I actually got in return was an incredible amount of positive feedback. There are times when I am certain people disagree with me or don’t like my recipes, but more often than not the response I get truly warms my heart. Seeing you make my recipes, comment on a post with your own experiences or send me an email just to say hey is why I wake up and do this everyday. If you’re considering starting a blog, just do it!
Change is good. I spent most of the past 24 years dreading change. It was something that gave me anxiety and any thoughts about the future were avoided at all cost (or spent calling my Mom declaring my newly found “career”). It is the same story for blogging. I was scared to move away from fitness and focus more on food. I was scared to try out more savoury recipes. Heck I didn’t sleep for 3 days when my blog was redesigned and transferred from blogger to WordPress. But in hindsight I am beyond happy I did all of these things. I’ve come to learn that change rarely feels good while it’s happening but is always worth it. Now to tackle my cookbook fear…
Bloggers are real people. I’ve been reading blogs for years! In my mind many of the blogs I read were celebrity status and would never want anything to do with me. Turns out I could not have been more wrong. I am thrilled when I hear from readers and in my experience so are most bloggers. If you’re too scared to comment or send an email, don’t be! Bloggers also make mistakes and are allowed to have a change of opinion. Bloggers aren’t all experts, but experts don’t always know what’s best for you. Now let’s discuss this hilarious twitter convo with Heather. I was legit starstruck when she responded to me. For the record Heather, I still have a girl crush on you!
You’re allowed to want to be successful. For some reason I’ve always thought I had to hide the fact that I want to improve. Whether it be in becoming a better version of myself , being a successful person or blogger, or in improving the blog, there is absolutely nothing wrong with growth. For those of you who have followed THM since the beginning it’s clear that my photography has greatly improved. That was something that I haven’t be secretive about struggling with or wanting to be better at. And you know what? The struggle was worth it and I look back and am glad I was transparent through the journey.
Less is more. Besides this post of course. One thing that I value in other blogs is when they don’t overload you with words or information. I tend to keep my text relatively short and stick to one subject at a time. While it’s great to teach about ways to motivate yourself to workout, show pictures from your latest trip and share a granola bar recipe, having them all in one post is overwhelming. When I first started I tried to do it all, but less has certainly proven to be more. As it turns out this rule has been incredibly applicable to my workout regimen. What used to be a 6 day a week, well-planned ordeal has now turned into a “workout when I can and when I want to” type of deal. My body certainly appreciates this less is more attitude.
Pay it forward. Me and the blog would not be where we are at today without SO much help from others. I have had incredible mentors and friends teach me about blogging, photography, advertising or just an ear to vent to. The list could go on but I have to recognize four incredible bloggers who without a stitch of competitiveness have shared a wealth of information with me. I am more than happy to do the same for others and am hoping to incorporate more of these tips on the blog in the year to come. The same goes “in real life”. Your success does not depend on the failure of others. So pay it forward.
And to everyone else who is here everyday without fail, stops by occasionally, has volunteered as a taste-tester or has stepped in during kitchen meltdowns, I cannot thank you enough. This place would not be what it has grown to become without you. I feel incredibly blessed.
This blog gave me passion when I was feeling passionless, a creative outlet when I thought I had no imagination and a purpose when I felt I was living without resolve. What an incredible year it has been and I cannot wait to see what the next one brings. I’m sure you’ll hear all about it!
Bloggers, what has blogging taught you? Non-bloggers, leave a comment! I LOVE hearing from you.