Hey friends, big news: it’s my birthday! Ok, so it’s not my birthday, it’s my blog’s birthday (4 years!), and that was actually over a week ago, so I guess I’m just a few days behind. Oops! I didn’t do anything really special for this blogiversary. In fact, I took last week off of blogging just cuz 🙂 In honor of my blog’s 4th birthday, I wanted to share some personal reflections and random thoughts on 4 years of blogging and where I’m going from here. Enjoy the read, friends, and don’t forget to leave a comment, I love to hear from everyone 😉
4 years is a long time but then again it’s not. It’s a long time for a blog to be around since many come and go, but it really is a small drop in the bucket when you think of a full lifetime. But they are years well spent with many lessons learned. My mission in starting The Fit Cookie was all about helping people with food allergies find delicious and healthier recipes for their families. Fitness content played a much smaller role back then, and actually wasn’t even on the same blog. I had 2 separate blogs for a while (1 was all about food and the other about fitness) and merged them to save time and energy (one of the best decisions!).
Even though I have been blogging/writing for 4 years and really could consider myself a professional blogger since I make a modest income off of my blog, I still don’t really consider myself a writer. I have always aced my writing classes in college and I enjoy the process of writing mostly, but I’m not obsessed with it and I am by no means a prolific writer. Writing and coming up with creative ideas doesn’t always come easily to me, so I never really call myself a writer.
Whether I consider myself a true writer or not is neither here nor there, really: I still enjoy the whole process of creating content. That includes making recipes, creating workouts, designing images, taking photos, and then the writing. I’m a very visual person, so I think the visual content creation comes more naturally and easily to me than the writing part of blogging. But it all fits together very well and lets me create in different ways (cooking, fitness, design, etc.).
Things have changed a lot in the last 4 years: I am blogging more consistently, doing more fitness posts (still trying to balance the content here!), posting more sponsored content to supplement our income, and I am finding my voice as a writer (finally lol). The quality of my content and photography has improved, though there is still room for lots more! It hasn’t been perfect but it has been great. Blogging has stretched me in so many ways, it has helped me become less fearful about the unknown future and embrace adventure a little bit more. It has helped me to respect my fear but still move past my fear and keep going forward.
I stopped working so hard on becoming like other bloggers and finding my own place in the blogging world. “Finding your voice” seems really cliche since everyone says it, but it is true. It is something that has taken me a long time to do, and I still am not 100% there yet. I’m not a super clever or hilarious writer. I’m not edgy, or poetic. I use a lot of exclamation points (!!). I’m just me, and I write like me, and that’s okay.
Despite how far I feel like I have come sometimes, I often still think about how far I haven’t come. My blog has grown, but it has been very slow. I keep thinking to myself “Man, I really should have more readers by now” or “I should be more successful by now”, or “that blogger has only been blogging for a year and they are way ahead of me”.
Yep, performance anxiety hits sometimes, but then I keep telling myself that this journey I’m on is my journey. No one else is walking in my shoes or taking these steps each day. I used to feel guilty that I wasn’t as busy as some people and didn’t have a packed schedule of things to do, but I have come to acknowledge that while I enjoy staying busy, I really don’t like having a schedule so jam packed that I can’t take time out for myself or my family. Instead of feeling guilty for that, I have accepted it and stopped making apologies for being myself.
I have met some amazing people during my blogging journey!
The bottom line is that ultimately I’m here to help other people and I’m here to enjoy all aspects of this life journey (family, blogging, fitness, etc.). I may not be as driven in my blogging business as others are, but I don’t regret that because in the end my family comes first. I don’t want to miss out on the wonderful adventures out in the world because I’m too wrapped up in my computer world. I want to be able to enjoy blogging for a long time, and if that means taking a week or 2 off of blogging to take a break, then I am absolutely going to take that little break.
Through the last 4 years I’ve been finding a way to balance being content with continually working to make things better in every aspect of my life. Sometimes it takes a little word from someone to remind us of how good our life really is, and that it’s okay to enjoy what we have. I was talking to a client of mine one day and told her what I do: part time personal training and group fitness, and part time blogging. She said “You’re living the dream”, and it reminded me that I am truly blessed to be where I am right now. Plenty of people would love to be able to make their own schedule but don’t have that opportunity. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to embrace my passions for fitness, food, and family and share it with the world 🙂