30 Things I've Learned from 3 Years of Blogging

I’ve become so interested in the unhappiness epidemic lately (a woe-is-me attitude that runs rampant among my peers), and I hope that this blog can at least help one of you work towards a more positive future.

That quote is from my first blog post on Minimal Millennial, a blog I started over three years ago. Minimal Millennial wasn't my first blog, but it was the first blog that actually stuck around longer than one or two posts.

It's actually coming up on 150 posts, and that's something I'm really proud of. It's helped me lay a foundation for myself, and thanks to that practice I've been able to build a fairly strong writing habit for Ennaree.

So I wanted to compile a list of all the personal discoveries, blogging insights and online savvy that I've gained throughout the past three years. There's no particular order!

30 lessons from 3 years of blogging

  1. I've loosened up & created a better flow in my writing. Communicating my thoughts via the written word comes easier and easier the more I write. Who would have thought?
  2. Whenever you see a photo of a well-styled scene, there's likely chaos behind it.
  3. Just because someone has a lot of followers and a popular blog doesn't mean I have to like it too. Trends come and go, but you can never go wrong with your authentic likes & dislikes.
  4. I've learned to take better photos with my phone. I haven't had the disposable resources for a high-end camera, so I've made do with what I have!
  5. Writing is a form of self-care. It's a treat that I far too often deprive myself of, and I notice a difference when I fail to take care of myself by pursuing my interests. Which brings me to my next point...
  6. Writing is necessary for me. Days where I don't write feel lost and blurry, but when I do write things become a little more clear. Even if I just write a little to-do list or jot down a quote that I heard in a podcast. It's cathartic.
  7. I don't give my writing the credit it deserves. I spend hours of my time each week writing, and yet I have trouble considering it productive work. It is productive work.
  8. There's power in an individual story. "There is nothing new under the sun," so the most unique thing you can offer is your own personal story and perspective.
  9. I've learned that I'm actually more interested in intentional living than I am in minimalist lifestyle. The difference isn't extreme, but intentional living just seems much more freeing to me than minimalism.
  10. I've really only scraped the surface of intentional living. I'm at the beginning of a lifelong journey, and I've been discovering so many great resources and creators in this space.
  11. Writing out my feelings helps me structure what's going on in my head. For some reason, the more I'm able to put words to my emotions, the easier it gets to process them.
  12. I do my best work outside of the house. I feel more productive and enjoy seeing & being seen. Plus, I love interacting with baristas. There's something about baristas that is just the best. Is that just me?
  13. There is inspiration everywhere. Eavesdropping, little mistakes, interactions with strangers, pets. Literally everywhere. My favorite thing to do is to put my headphones on in a busy coffee shop without any music. I can listen in on other people's conversations without looking obvious.
  14. Blogging has allowed me to be more honest on the internet. Largely because I get to hear from other people who are going through the same struggles or feeling the same emotions as I am. 
  15. I've become more curious. I've started reading more blogs, following more people on Twitter and Instagram, and reading way more books.
  16. Support means the world to me. Friends and family who take the time to read my blog and talk to me openly about it will never know how much that truly means to me. You have my deepest gratitude. Thank you.
  17. Beverages help, but only the non-alcoholic kind. It's not often that beer and blogging go well together for me.
  18. I love sharing. If I can connect and help others by sharing my experiences, I have done what I came here to do.
  19. Writing has helped me gain confidence online and offline. I've found myself actually thinking what "online Emily" would do, because I've really started to find my voice through blogging.
  20. I'm starting to feel like I can tell people I'm a writer. I'm still working on how to say it without undermining myself, but it's a step in the right direction.
  21. Planning is hard. I need to take the plunge and start using the 100% rule in my life.
  22. I have so much to be grateful for - more than I ever bothered to consider before. Being able to write my own blog on my own laptop with actual people who listen? That's a dream come true.
  23. Putting off something you don't like doing (like dishes) is always okay if you put it off by doing something that you really love (like writing). If you're doing something just to procrastinate (like watching TV), it only makes the original thing worse.
  24. I have a greater appreciation for people who produce good, original, interesting content. It's tough.
  25. Social media is a time suck, and not as great of a place to get ideas as you'd think. I still lie to myself though, and spend way more time on it than I should "looking for inspiration."
  26. This is not a competition for me. I love to lift up other bloggers and writers who I believe are doing good work. It's a different environment for me, since I'm naturally competitive.
  27. Blogging helps me live more fully. If I'm in a slump and need new material, it's likely because I haven't had many interesting experiences. Blogging reminds me to go out and seize the day. Then write about it.
  28. The more I try to help others, the more I actually help myself. I have a habit of being instructive (which can be irritating to my loved ones), but in the end it's often me who learns the lesson.
  29. Connections are everything - sharing work you genuinely appreciate by others and interacting with them online can help you get your name out in the world. Also more generally, human connection is a resource we all need more of.
  30. You're never going to know what people think if you don't put it out there. I've stopped myself from posting things because I make up elaborate stories in my mind about what everyone will think. The truth is that if you build it, you'll attract the people that are really interested and yes, you'll have people who disagree. But you're not writing so that everyone will agree with you, are you?