5 Lessons From 20 Months of Writing Online

5 Lessons From 20 Months of Writing Online
Image generated via DALL-E

I have now been writing on this website for around 20 months, so not quite 2 years yet but still quite a long time. I set up this website and published my first blog post on the 25th of September 2022, the day after I turned 24. At the time I was an exchange student in Dublin, Ireland, and it felt like a great time to start something new. It is often easier to make a change or start something new when you change your physical environment, something I learned from Atomic Habits.

This was not the first time I started writing online, but before I had always fizzled out. This time I was determined to make it stick. To ensure my commitment I paid upfront for a year of hosting and a subscription to the blogging platform Ghost which this website is built on. I set out with the goal of publishing a weekly post, something I have not quite been able to do, instead my publishing pace is closer to one post every two weeks. Even though I have failed to reach my goal of weekly publishing, I am proud that I have continued to write and publish as much as I have in the last two years. Writing more has been incredibly educational for me, and it has also resulted in great conversations with both friends and strangers. In today's post, I will share the five key lessons I have learned from writing here, but first some stats about my writing so far.


✍️ 39 Posts published

🔤 51,000+ Words published

📗 10 Book notes published

🔍 3,000+ Unique visitors

These stats shocked me a little but brought a smile to my face. I have invested a lot of time in writing this blog and even more in reading, listening, and consuming the material that goes into producing these posts. We can't control the outcome, but we can control the input and this shows me I am putting in the work. 51,000 words is close to being a novel, when you reframe it like that it feels even crazier. The even crazier statistic is that over 3,000 people have read my writing. At first, it might not sound like a lot, but look at the image below for a visualization of 3,000 people, it is a lot...

Photo of a 3,000 people crowd in an auditorium
Photo of a 3,000 people crowd from https://blog.lime.link/visualizing-crowd-sizes/

5 Lessons

Below I will share 5 key lessons I have learned from writing. Many of them are connected to topics I have previously brought up on the blog such as increasing your chance for luck and the power of compounding. I hope to continue writing for a long time and hopefully continue learning as I do, but here are my main takeaways so far!

1. Consistency is the Key To Success

The key ingredient for success is compounding improvements over time. What enables compounding is to be consistent over a long time. Achieving consistency can however be a challenging task. When it comes to writing I have had highly consistent periods and those that were very inconsistent. My biggest struggle has been capturing ideas of what to write about, which you have to do throughout the week. I sometimes end up staring at the blank page struggling to begin writing.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, suggests that the solution to consistency is to focus on building systems and habits that enable incremental improvements to happen. To begin building these systems we should start with small and easy changes to our behavior to begin building the new habit we want, before upping the intensity. These habits and systems enable compounding to start working in your favor. Below is an illustration from Sahil Bloom on the power of compounding.

2. Writing Into the Void Can Be a Blessing

When I started writing, I had two conflicting feelings; firstly that it might be useless to start if no one was going to read what I wrote, and secondly I was scared of what people would think about my writing. The powerful reframe for me was that the first "challenge" actually solves the second one. At the start, almost no one will read what you write and the few that do are usually your loved ones so writing out into the void can be a freeing feeling. If you keep writing you will become better and eventually, more people will begin to read what you write at which point you most likely will have improved as a writer. This was an incredibly important insight for me to continue writing.

3. Writing Clarifies Your Thinking

Writing is not only a powerful tool to communicate your thoughts and ideas, but it also improves your thinking. In many ways, writing is a process that forces you to think through a problem. For me it is common to change my mind when I see my thoughts in writing for instance, it is a bit like having a dialogue with yourself. This is especially true for journaling, which is like having a continuous conversation with your previous self. I believe the process of writing helps me learn more from my experiences and thoughts as I can keep track of how they develop. Previously I felt as if I would often face the same problem repeatedly or have the same thought often. Writing these things down makes it easier to solve those challenges when you face them again.

"Writing forces you to evaluate your thoughts in a way that just thinking or daydreaming does not. I find the process of writing somewhat similar to having someone question your thoughts, only that in this case you are the one doing the questioning." 
From this post
Writing: Amazing Tool For Clearer Thinking and Learning
How writing can help you understand yourself, and the benefits of journaling. Follow my writing journey and how I developed a writing practice.

A longer post detailing my thoughts on writing

4. Maximizing Your Surface Area of Luck

Most people agree that luck plays a large part in success. Successful people or businesses are often characterized as having been lucky. I don't disagree with this sentiment, however, I believe we can all increase the probability of ending up lucky. Similar to the old saying “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity”, we can increase the odds of being lucky through many ways. The three main ways are by being in motion, being aware, and being unique. Through these three levers, we can increase our surface area and thus increase the likelihood that luck strikes us.

This blog checks all three of these boxes for me. I reach out with my thoughts and ideas, this sets me in motion and introduces my writing to the world, leading to new people seeing and responding to my ideas. In the process of writing, I am learning and gaining knowledge to build my awareness. Finally, I am sharing my unique thoughts and insights, leaning into my uniqueness. This is not the only reason I write this blog but it is a factor. I hope that by publishing to the world I increase the likelihood of serendipity.

Luck and Life: The Four Kinds of Luck
Explaining the framework of the four types of luck and how you can maximize your opportunities for luck in life based on the framework.

A longer post on luck and how to become lucky

5. Creating a Reason For People to Reach Out

I am not very active on most social media, in fact recently I have made an effort to avoid social media in most cases. Social media is often a net negative for me; I spend too much time and it does not bring me much joy. However, one good thing about social media is that it gives you a reason to reach out to people you know that you may not see regularly today. This is especially true when you see people do something out of the ordinary or something you can relate to. Seeing as I don't publish too much on social media my writing has become a reason for me to connect with people. I share my thoughts and what is going on in my life which gives others a reason to reach out. This way I have come in contact with many friends that I had not previously been in contact with for a long time.

Living a Life of Purpose: Saturday Adventures & Finite Time
Life is short, so live a deliberate life, focus on the important things in life, find purpose, and be present to enjoy the good moments with loved ones.

A blog post where I talk about the importance of reaching out to people in your life among other things

Closing Remarks

Writing this blog has been a great part of my life for almost two years now and I don't plan on stopping. I hope you as the reader enjoy it too. If you have any interest in writing, I highly recommend you try it. Life is short and who knows you might love writing too!