The Orange Slate

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50 Things I Learned From Blogging

April 1, 2015

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that on March 26, my blog turned 5 years old. I feel like such a milestone necessitates a cake, lots of confetti, cute straws, and a pretty flag banner, but since I can’t invite all of you over, some reminiscing and a long list will have to do.

Five years is a milestone for me. Five years is just a baby blog compared to some of the really great, long-surviving ones out there, but it’s also long enough to prove that I made it past the statistical certainty of a blog funeral.

A lot of things have happened to me (and to this space) over the last five years. I’ve blogged about food, about books, about writing, about organization, about photography, about travel, about English degrees and unemployment, about marriage, about Miles, about Mark, about motherhood, about creativity, and about change.

As I’ve perused my archives, gleaning some lessons from the experience of blogging, a few things stuck out to me:

I wish I’d blogged more “life” stuff. I know everyone is afraid to share too much online (at it’s wise to be thoughtful about one’s media sharing) and we all know those blogs that are too personal. But one of the major purposes of this blog is memory-keeping for me and my family. I know it’s popular to talk abut how we wish we kept more private, but I honestly wish  the opposite – that I had a better journal in this space of the private events that have transpired while I’ve been blogging about more editorial topics.

Secondly, I have been challenged recently to spend more time developing longer essays in addition to the other, more easily digestible content that I produce on here. This is in part for my own growth – writing coherent longer pieces is more difficult (at least for me) than developing a bulleted list and I want to keep developing my writing. In part, this is an outgrowth of my thoughts above – essays are a good way for me to encapsulate events, thoughts, and emotions as they happen.

So expect more life posts from me and a few longer pieces occasionally around here as I try to maintain the balance of both recording my family’s journey and using my blog as a creative outlet for myself while providing my readers with content that is meaningful and encouraging to them.

Finally, I’m celebrating this 5-year milestone with one of my very favorite things of all: a list.

Here are 50 things I’ve learned the last five years of blogging, in no particular order, with no particular thread tying it all together except for social media and this delightful journey on which it has taken me.

Hope you enjoy it!

  1. Anyone can blog.
  2. And that some people are really really fantastic at blogging.
  3. There are apps that can help you with this.
  4. Blogging can inspire you to create great stuff.
  5. Or finally scrapbook all of those pictures.
  6. Or make a balloon arch.
  7. Or create an activity board for your baby.
  8. I learn how to set a table.
  9. And how to make flowers last longer.
  10. And how to clean everything.
  11. How to decorate a small apartment.
  12. How to set goals effectively
  13. I learned that my friends have lots of good parenting ideas.
  14. And great gift ideas.
  15. And better insight.
  16. Through blogging, I learned better writing skills.
  17. And how to get rid of that annoying “picked for you” option on Pinterest.
  18. And how to use Twitter effectively.
  19. I learned to take more pictures.
  20. And better pictures.
  21. And to record those pictures.
  22. And to record our stories.
  23. And that I wasn’t alone in that postpartum panicky stage.
  24. And that it’s ok if Baby doesn’t do what the books say he’ll do. Ever.
  25. I learned the best strategies for visiting a farmer’s market.
  26. And all of the books that I should read to Miles when he’s in kindergarten.
  27. And how to make the perfect grain bowl. With my own twist.
  28. And all sorts of tips for our DIY wedding.
  29. Like my invitations.
  30. And that my wedding dress didn’t have to be white.
  31. I learned to ask my friends questions.
  32. And my mom questions.
  33. And my dad questions.
  34. I learned that if you want someone to listen to your advice, that putting it in a blog post is a good idea.
  35. I learned that Sunday lunch is highly underrated.
  36. I learned how to say goodbye.
  37. And how to make memories with friends.
  38. I learned the best way to say goodbye at a party.
  39. I learned that it’s ok to quit.
  40. But that sometimes, you just need to lean out backwards over a cliff.
  41. I learned why it’s important to read fiction.
  42. I learned that this truth about kindness.
  43. I learned that excuses are worthless.
  44. I learned that free dates can be the best dates.
  45. I learned how to make those cute social media icons.
  46. And how to make a great blog header.
  47. But mostly I learned this.
  48. And this.
  49. And this.

Thanks for reading! Here’s to another five years of life well-lived offline.