It has been exactly 2 years since I started my blogging journey on Hashnode. Although 2 years may seem like nothing, I am proud to say that I am still fairly consistent in publishing articles.
In this article, which I'd like to dedicate to my readers, allow me to share my journey, the realities and the behind-the-scenes (or behind-the-articles) moments I experienced throughout this journey.
Warning: This is a long read.
Discipline >>> Passion
Passion is what gets you started and discipline is what keeps you going. This is what I believe in.
You need passion to get started, but it’s not very sustainable to rely on it alone. Like any other emotional response, passion can rise and fall. You can’t always expect to feel the same way about something 100% of the time.
From writing over 200 articles on this blog and more, I learned that relying on passion alone wasn't enough to write consistently. I learned that it was self-discipline that kept me writing for this long.
However, just like how there needs to be work-life balance, I believe there needs to be passion-discipline balance too. Too much discipline and being too strict with yourself can lead to burnout, while a lot of passion with no discipline will not be sustainable. Here's an interesting article I read that goes more in depth about this topic.
"Discipline aligns your passion with purpose." - Sanish Singh
Ultimately, I have learned that passion is the reason why I started and why I want to continue to grow. It is the emotional aspect that we need to begin our journey with excitement and fuels us to reach greater heights. But discipline is the one that gets me going whenever I feel like giving up.
You Have To Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
It was not easy to put yourself out there. Writing and publishing articles for the public to read was very much out of my comfort zone at first.
The first obstacle I faced was with my own perfectionism. When I wrote my first article, I knew my English was not phenomenal (it still isn't to be honest) so I delayed publishing it for over a month. After clicking that 'Publish' button once and stepping out of that comfort zone, that area of uncomfort gradually becomes my current comfort zone!
The next obstacle I had to face was difficult, especially as an introvert: social media. Even today, I'm still struggling with this, but thanks to the incredible people I met on Twitter and Hashnode, I was able to participate in podcasts, Twitter Spaces, AMAs, 1-on-1 video chats, etc.
At the end of the day, I learned that sharing my knowledge and learning from others through blogging is also about being a part of a global tech community. By engaging online, we can support each other, learn new things together while making new friends.
It Is Not Easy And You Will Get Stuck
Writing articles every week is not an easy task for me. Throughout these 2 years, I have told myself many times:
- You will run out of ideas at some point
- You will start staring at 1 unfinished article and wonder how to finish it
- You will feel like your writing is not really helping anyone
- You will question why you work so hard on every article
When I tell myself these things, I felt like it has helped me keep my expectations real. It's inevitable to get stuck in your writing from time to time. That's why I wrote My Top 6 Strategies to Overcome Writer's Block article. And remind myself that it's okay to feel stuck.
Not recognizing that you're experiencing a writer's block can eventually lead to getting burnt out. I have learned that it's better to stop and take a break when this happens.
It Is A Never-Ending Commitment
Ultimately, there is nothing wrong if writing is not for you. Many readers have told me how they're busy or tired with work, so they can't write. You don't need to blame yourself if you missed a schedule, or you have stopped writing for months.
Writing is a never-ending commitment. Just because you stopped once, doesn't mean you can't start again. It is just about your priorities.
I prioritize publishing articles consistently, but I also know that if I get busier, I can always adjust my publishing schedule. It's a continuous system to be adjusted, and that's okay.
For me, I try to allocate time to blog, code and do my other hobbies. I constantly adjust and re-adjust my priorities and my habit system if things are not working. I try to align my goals to my focus, as highlighted in my What it Means to be Focused article.
Behind-The-Articles: How Blogging is Healing for me
Let me share something personal. I lost a family member the week I launched my GraphQL series, one of my most well-received series. It was difficult, but I wrote. There was a time when I did 3 hackathons back-to-back while keeping up with my writing schedule. It was difficult, but I wrote. And that's how I discovered that blogging is healing.
Writing those articles was my coping mechanism when I lost a family. Typing words on a keyboard while listening to Lo-Fi beats at night becomes a therapy session for me in those difficult weeks.
Blogging is like an escape and a way to de-stress for me. By setting weekly goals and priorities, blogging helps me establish a routine, which helped me feel calm and grounded in times of turmoil or burnout.
Behind-The-Articles: Amazing Friendships
Before I started blogging, I would have never imagined that I could make friends with such inspiring and wonderful people.
Hi there, Megha Pathak, Chris Bongers, Tapas Adhikary, Catalin Pit, Ayu Adiati, Favourite Jome, Anita Ihuman, V Thulisile Sibanda, Mr. Unity Buddy, atinuke oluwabamikemi kayode, and many other precious friends~ Very glad to have met such inspirational people like you!
So, what's next?
So blogging is a climb, a journey. There is no end to it, but the process is always a thrilling and unforgettable ride. With each article I wrote and published, I can remember how my week was when I wrote it and how easy/difficult it was to write it.
Each article is like a snapshot of a memory, and these past 2 years of writing has been nothing but a joyful experience. We have come to the end of the recap of my 2-year journey with blogging on Hashnode.
If you have read this far, thank you for experiencing the journey with me and please look forward to more Articles by Victoria Lo! Wherever you are in the world, I wish you all the best! Cheers!