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I only have one regret about blogging.
I used to live the “I have no regrets in life” lifestyle but then I learned regret is to feel sad or disappointed over something that has happened, especially a loss or missed opportunity. And so, I regret. But here’s the big thing though, I don’t dwell. I regret but I learn and move forward with things.
With that being said, I do wish I had done one big thing differently in my blogging journey and it’s the very thing that drives my blog forward.
I regret that I didn’t start blogging sooner. A classic regret amongst the regrets, wishing you had done something sooner.
I have reasons that I didn’t start my blog sooner. Some are valid, most of them are just excuses. But it’s the one thing I look back on and can say “Yep, I definitely should have started this a long time ago.”
I spent years, YEEEAAARRRS in the “How do they do that? I wish that were me.” category. I was fascinated with blogging and the blogger lifestyle. I didn’t want their lives, I just wanted to be in the positions they were in, the things they were doing, the opportunities they had. The traveling and writing and taking photos, exploring new places and telling the stories. I wanted that, I just had no idea where to start.
I remember being in Barcelona in 2016. It was soon after I had my major life change and left my job to travel.
I was solo backpacking around Europe, staying in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, meeting new people, eating new foods, and I found myself spending hours in my hostel hunkered down reading blog after blog after blog of travelers. I was trying to uncover the secrets of how I could do what they were doing. The kicker? I was literally doing what they were doing but inside reading about them doing it!
I couldn’t get myself to believe that I could do those things. I couldn’t see how I would get people to read and respond and enjoy the content I had created. But I think my biggest hold up was I had absolutely no idea where to start.
Starting is scary. Always.
And so I didn’t. I kept putting it off. I kept reading blogs and half-heartedly trying to create my own.
Fast forward to June 2018 when I was reading a blog (go figure right?) and the gal spoke straight to my heart.
(* I cannot, for the life of me, find the specific blog post she wrote, but know this, it changed my way of thinking. That’s how those things usually work though. Sometimes in life, you get that little nudge you’ve been waiting for and just shake your head at God’s timing. Below is my summary of what I got out of her post. Be sure to check out her website!)
Erin was someone who was doing what I wanted so badly to do. She was blogging and traveling and taking photos and sharing stories and inspiring others and living the dream in my eyes. I would read and re-read her blogs looking for a quick fix of how I could do it too. I was hoping for an answer to the question “How can I do this but more importantly how can I do this now?”
Well, an answer I got but it wasn’t a quick one. Erin wrote a blog post that said, “The only difference between you and me is 3 years.”
She was talking about her blogging and traveling and making a living out of it all and how just 3 years ago, she didn’t know where to begin either. She wasn’t perfect in her website or writing or delivery but she started. She started and she was consistent and wrote and sometimes didn’t write and learned along the way. She said something like, “I’m still figuring it out just like you are, the difference is I’ve been doing it for 3 more years, so of course, I’m going to look and sound like I know more because I do. I’ve had to do it. But know this, it’s all because I decided to start.”
It was everything I needed to hear and then some. I thought back to my days in Barcelona and realized I was in the exact same position now that I was almost 3 years ago. Nothing had changed. I didn’t know any more about the blogging world because I hadn’t actually done anything in it. It scared me.
I knew I was capable of making this thing work but I realized I was the one standing in my own way and that things wouldn’t change unless I really, really. wanted to change them (I wrote a blog post about making things happen that you can read here). What really lit the fire under me was thinking of where I could be with blogging if I had actually started 3 years ago.
And so, not wanting to make that same mistake again, I started blogging.
I started by buying a domain, building a website, and writing. I made a plan for my writing schedule, posted, and wrote again. I’ve had days when the writing was easy and had to give myself grace when the writing was not. And people responded. They reached out and encouraged and wrote and shared and suddenly I have a vision for what 3 years of doing this had the potential to look like.
It makes me excited. I get giddy talking about it. Because I’ve learned what’s harder than starting something new is realizing where you could be if you had started 3 years ago.
So let my story be one for you. Is there something you’ve been thinking about trying for a while but don’t know where to begin? Is there something on your heart that you’re wanting so badly to do but aren’t sure how to make the first move?
My friend, I don’t have all the answers for you. I don’t have magical words or a quick fix that will get you where you want to be. All I can say is start.
Pick a day and commit to it and start. Create a plan and tell people to hold you accountable. You don’t have to know what you’re diving into, you just have to dive.
Start today so that in 3 years you can look back and say I’m so glad I started when I did. Better yet, start today so that in 3 years you don’t look back and say I wish I had started then.
I’ll leave you with this note I keep by my keyboard and see every day. “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb
You’ve got this my friend.