A Reflection on 3 Years of Blogging + A Giveaway
I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for three years.
Erin’s Inside Job initially started out as a way for me to share my health journey and ramble about running because that was what was most important to me three years ago. It wasn’t until a couple months into blogging that I actually got real and shared my whole addiction story with you — partially because I was still working in an office setting and worried what it may do to my job if my employers found out. Then I said F it.
I rushed my early posts to get done in an hour, since that’s all I had during my lunch break. I ate while scrambling to think of a topic and get something written before I had to go back to work. My pictures were awful, I did no post planning whatsoever, and it really was just an online journal of whatever I felt was important that day.
It wasn’t until last year that something solidified in my blogging plan. I didn’t want to ONLY talk about physical health, since emotional, mental, and spiritual were also important in my recovery and what got me to the place I am today. Only talking about exercise felt incomplete to me and I realized that I wanted this blog to encompass ALL elements of healthy living. That’s why some days there’s fitness, some days there’s emotions, and other days I talk about going on antidepressants.
It’s all important in creating a life worth living.
So to celebrate three years in this wonderful space, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the most important things I’ve gotten from this blog and from all of you.
It’s true that as a blogger I’m able to partake in some awesome events and experiences. One thing to mention, however, is that it took continuous work to build up enough of a brand to be able to get anyone’s attention. If you’re new to blogging, realize that the invites and products and emails won’t immediately come as soon as you hit publish on your first post. It takes WERK.
I was able to attend my first paid blogging trip this year and I remember that being a goal of mine when I started. I loved reading about other bloggers getting together to visit a company and share their experiences and it was surreal being able to say I’ve now done it as well.
Also, if you’ve never been to a blogging conference and you are a blogger, you need to change that immediately. I’ve been going to them since I started and they are the most wondrous thing ever. As I continue to blog, the information isn’t always new and awe-inspiring, but the PEOPLE you meet will change your life.
I absolutely love reading your comments and hearing that pretty much everyone can relate to myself and to each other in some way. As an anxious and introverted person, I used to have a very hard time talking to people about how I was feeling or things I was experiencing. This blog taught me that we are far more alike than different and that even by reading about similar experiences — not even just writing about them myself — we (and I) begin to feel a little bit better about who we are and our place in the world.
I started this blog after feeling a tremendous connection to the blog Oh She Glows. I felt like I could relate to what was going on in her world and I found her discussion of beating an eating disorder insightful and inspiring. It caused me to take a step back and look at my own life, realizing that if I was able to derive hope from her story, others may be able to derive it from mine.
Oh my oh my. This blog has gotten me through some of the hardest times in the past three years.
I work through a lot of problems and situations through writing. I’ve always been much better at a keyboard or on paper than I am spur of the moment, out loud. My brain likes to systematically process events and feelings by pouring itself out onto paper (or monitor) and this space has given me that.
When I was injured, I heard your comments about what it was like for you, which helped me put my situation in a new perspective. Most of my thinking out loud posts simply come from things I’ve learned in recovery that I had no conceptualization of until I was told over and over and wrote out my feelings to help solidify the lessons I’d learned. On the more serious side of things, it helped me process what was happening in my marriage and how I felt about being diagnosed with depression.
I’ve lived a life of secrecy and hiding and I’ve lived one of transparency and honesty and I don’t know that the latter would have been so easy if it weren’t for this platform and those of you who keep coming back.
Closely linked to connection are the friendships I’ve made through blogging. Not just superficial, comment-for-comment friendships, but ones where we talk, text, and meet up for lunch. If I look at all the friends I have, I’d say about 75% of them came from blogging. I’m not so hot at creating new relationships right off the break, so being able to glimpse into the lives of others and realize that we have a lot in common is almost like an icebreaker at starting a new friendship.
It’s kinda like online dating. You’re able to check someone out, get a feel for their likes and dislikes, and figure out if you’ll be compatible. Feel free to creepily stalk them for months before actually reaching out and sending an email or approaching them at a conference. I’ve done it. No shame. In fact, it might make me like you more (unless you want to kill me, then maybe I’d be worried).
Ultimately, there are so many things that I can thank this blog for. Blogging is not without its headaches, frustrations, and commitments, but everything I get back from it far outweighs any of the negatives. It’s the reason why I make time during my days of bebopping around the city to get. it. done. — because it’s truly something I don’t know that I can live without.
So thank you all for following me on this journey and not only reading about my crazy life, but also sharing yours.
To celebrate, I have a pretty EPIC giveaway to share with you. This picture doesn’t even have everything in it, but the list below tells you what brands are included in the awesome care package I’m making for one of you fine friends. If you’re lucky, I may even throw in some of my homemade almond butter (unless you’re allergic to nuts, in which case that would probably kill you. So tell me if you are).
- A MONTH of Siggi’s yogurt
- DAVIDs Tea
- Navitas Naturals
- Hemp Hearts
- Simple Squares
- Charmed Bar
- Love Grown
- Square Bar
- California Figs
- RX Bar
To enter, simply use the widget below. The giveaway will be open for one week, ending at midnight CST on Wednesday, Sept 14th. Entries are open to U.S. residents aged 18 or older. Good luck!
Also, if you can’t get enough blog reading, here are my previous blog anniversary posts:
Thanks as always to Amanda for letting me think out loud!
- How long have you read this blog?
- What are your favorite types of posts?