Today almost passed me right by.
It was just going to be like any other day. Just another October 4th.
But a few days ago, I suddenly realized that today would be Tendril Wild’s first anniversary.
It’s been almost 2 years (just shy 1 day) since I started my very first blog.
In that time, I’ve learned more and grown more as a person than I ever thought possible. Over the past couple of years, I’ve stretched myself and forced myself out of my comfort zone.
I’ve faced and conquered fears.
I’ve met incredible people along this blogging journey.
And I’ve learned life lessons along the way.
In honor of this blogiversary and to help celebrate it, I’m sharing a few of those lessons here today. Whether or not you’re a blogger yourself, these are lessons that I believe are applicable to anyone, anywhere.
Lessons Learned in Two Years of BloggingLessons I've Learned in 2 Years of Blogging Click To Tweet
1 | If something doesn’t work one way, don’t give up.
I’ll be the first to tell you a little secret: my first blog rode the struggle bus all the way up until I shut it down and started this one.
It was my first pancake. A little burned on the edges and still gooey and raw on the inside.
My “oops“, my learning curve with this whole blogging thing. Where I first got my feet wet.
And I loved it and all the experiences and lessons it brought along with it. It wasn’t a failure; it was just one way that I found that didn’t work. But it was fun. And it was me trying to do my thing and grow as an individual. I wouldn’t take it back for anything because that first little blog taught me so many valuable things, embarrassing Pinterest graphics included.
It taught me to see that overnight success happens few and far between, especially in the blogging world.
It taught me that the blogging community can be incredibly supportive and incredibly lonely, something that many seem reluctant to admit.
It taught me to cherish those first pancakes for what they are: baby steps you can look back on and be proud of because at least you did something. You thought up an idea and went for it, even if no one else understood.
So, if you’re currently working at something, and you’re not moving and shaking like you want to, just do it again in a different way. The next time you go at—because there will be a next time…don’t give up now!—just do something different.
2 | If you’re currently in a transitional phase of life, create something you’re passionate about that can sustain your creative energy.
Create something you're passionate about that can sustain your creative energy. Click To Tweet
When I graduated college with a bachelor’s in journalism and a minor in Biblical Studies, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew I didn’t want to take the most logical career route for my major, which would be working at a newspaper most likely.
And that was scary to admit—it still kinda is.
I was working as an intern writing blog posts for a small startup when I graduated, and that held a lot more interest and promise for me than anything else.
Let me back up a little bit more, back to the winter of 2014, right before the spring semester of my senior year.
I had just started researching social media marketing and blogging as more than a hobby. I was a woman on a mission…well, I was more like a woman obsessed, if we’re being totally honest here. My research continued on even when I went back to school from my Christmas break. Almost any free time I had, I was reading articles on blogging that I found on Pinterest, through Google, and just pure happenstance. I signed up for blogging webinars and workshops, trying to gain as much knowledge as I could in a short amount of time.
I didn’t know what I was aiming for, but I did know that the outcome would be me starting my own blog. About what, I wasn’t sure. How, I wasn’t sure.
I just knew it needed to happen, or I would go crazy. So, about 5 months after I graduated, I started that first blog I mentioned above. I wrote about anything and everything to do with post-grad life, because that was where I was currently at. I didn’t know what would come of that blog, and I didn’t know what direction I wanted to take in my life, but that blog sustained me until I could figure that out.
Blogging gave me purpose every day.
It gave me something to work on. It helped me harness all the creative juices bubbling up inside me and gave that creative energy somewhere to flow. I put into practice the social media marketing and blogging strategies that I was learning, and began to see what worked and what didn’t.
I needed that time period to learn more about myself and what I wanted. And I needed that blog to give me a passion to pursue in the meantime.
If your life isn’t going like you thought it should be by now, make sure you’re leaving time to work at something that encourages you during times of drought.
Maybe that doesn’t look like blogging. Maybe it looks like writing poetry or dancing or motivational speaking. Or taking night classes for something that’s not remotely financially lucrative, but it makes your soul happy.
Whatever your creative passion is, you must do something to feed that. Even when life feels sucky or you’re confused as to what you should be doing. Especially during those times.
Just be willing to do the work to make something amazing that you can be proud of.
Be willing to do the work to make something amazing you can be proud of. Click To Tweet
That is what will get you through.
Related post: 15 Twenty-Something Bloggers Who Inspire
3 | Be a dedicated learner for life.
Your education doesn’t stop once you’ve graduated high school or college or when you’ve landed your “dream” career.
No. Now is when the fun actually begins. Now is when you can research and learn about things that you actually care about, instead of following a set curriculum.
Now is when you choose your passions carefully and dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to learning as much as you can about them. Always stay committed to learning as much as you can, about anything and everything. You never know when that random tidbit of information that’s stored in your brain from 3 years ago will come in handy.
Push through the boundaries you long ago set for yourself and strive to gain as much knowledge as you can. Not so you can feel superior to anyone else but because we’ve been blessed with these amazing brains for a reason, and there is no reason to waste them.
Push through the boundaries you set for yourself + strive to gain as much knowledge as you can. Click To Tweet
Our minds can store so much information, but we rarely learn as much as we are able to. We get lazy and become complacent with where we are. But I want to know more…don’t you?
- I want to learn as much as I can about the online marketplace. I want to be a BOSS at social media marketing because I find it fascinating.
- I want to perfect my shrimp linguine recipe. Because why not?
- I want to learn how to brew the perfect cup of coffee for ultimate blogging success. 🙂
- I want to travel and dive head-first into different cultures and become familiar with new customs and ways of doing things.
- I want to master the fish-tail braid.
- I want to read more history books because it’s my favorite subject.
- I want to be a faster typist because honestly, that would probably be my super lame superpower.
- And I want to flawlessly rap my favorite Big Sean song and impress my friends. Because priorities.
Now I ask you: what do you want to learn?
I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my blog. I wouldn’t be this confident without conquering the fears that becoming a blogger has made me face.
I wouldn’t be more outgoing if I hadn’t had to network with fellow bloggers in order to build a thriving community.
I wouldn’t be this assured of the talents I have if I hadn’t had to dig deep to find them and work at them to create something successful.
I wouldn’t be a problem solver if I hadn’t begun this endeavor with no idea how to accomplish anything and having to figure out each step of the process on my own.
Blogging is not my whole identity, but it’s slowly introduced me to myself more and more each day.
Blogging isn't my whole identity, but it's introduced me to myself more each day. Click To Tweet
Since October 2016, I’ve worked to grow Tendril Wild into what it is right now. Behind my copper logo and curated Instagram, there have been a lot of long, late nights—as many other bloggers know all too well. A lot of effort. Tears, frustration. And a lot of Googling.
But I’m happy with the growth and experience I’ve gained. It’s easy to look at where we’re currently at in life and become dissatisfied with our progress, forgetting all the incredible things we’ve accomplished along the way. When I think back to where I first began with this blog, I’m amazed at the progress I’ve made.
I’m not saying that to brag. I’m saying that as a young woman who believed in an idea she had and created something out of thin air. I’m congratulating myself because women don’t do that enough.
If you’ve accomplished amazing things this year (and even if you haven’t), be proud of where you are. You’re not in the same place where you started, and that’s worthy of admiration.
So please, if you haven’t lately, take the time now to recognize how far you’ve come. I’ll wait.
…feels good, doesn’t it?
Over the last year, my blog has provided some amazing opportunities that I never thought I would have. When I think back to where I began and where I am now, I’m reminded that I’m capable of doing what I love with success and pursing what makes me happy.
Blogging reminds me that I AM capable of doing what I love with success. Click To Tweet
A few things that have happened since I launched the Tendril Wild blog…
I made income from this blog for the first time in January of this year—just 3 months after launching Tendril Wild. A friend of a friend saw my website and hired me to help her with her own blog. Through her, I was able to do the things I love best: help others build their own websites and express myself through graphic design.
I’ve had my work featured in several influential publications that I absolutely love. I never thought something like this would be possible for me. You can read more of my published work online here.
I’ve become adept at social media marketing and strategy and have been able to add this (as well as website design) to my resume to extend my influence into new areas and job opportunities.
I’ve established my own personal brand that is unique, professional, and authoritative, with a perspective and design that is 100% me.
I’ve begun a community of dreamers. Of action-taking, self-assured, flawed, talented, supportive women.
I’m psyched to see what happens next.
I've begun a community of dreamers & I'm psyched to see what happens next. Click To Tweet
Read this next: How to Give Yourself Grace as a Twenty-Something Woman
What’s something you’ve accomplished this year that you didn’t think you’d be able to do? Share your wins and successes in the comments below, and let’s work on encouraging one another more.
I wanna get to know you better.