This has been a theme for me recently — writing about my journey here on Medium. It feels like every article I write begins similarly, mentioning how I’ve learned from publishing over 250 articles, gaining over 2,000 followers, and earning nearly $2,500 in total.
I feel that I am at a bit of a milestone at 1/3 of the way through my original 18-month commitment, and my mind continues to reflect on everything I’ve learned.
And, based on how these first 6 months have gone, that 18-month commitment just might turn into a life-long one.
I hope that you can learn something from what I’ve learned on my journey here so far. Here are just 6 ways that I have changed after becoming a blogger.
The extra money relieves a lot of stress
Last month I made nearly $1,000 from my writing on Medium. If I am able to work hard and keep that up (and I’m committed to doing so) then that’s like a $12,000 per year raise.
While I’d love to quit my engineering job and write full time, I know my plan and my current job has its place in that plan. But the knowledge that I can work fewer hours if I want or need to is a huge relief. I’m not so connected to this lifeline of income as I once was.
And it’s doing wonders for my mental health.
I learned that I’m not an introvert
As an engineer, I’m often grouped as being introverted just like most other engineers. I used to believe that, mistakenly, for an unfortunately long time. Until I began writing and realized that this engineering persona is not who I really am.
It was very telling when, after many conversations with another coworker I heard them tell me: “you know, you are way too personable to be an engineer. No offense to engineers or anything.”
That made me smile because I knew that this whole Medium thing is really helping me find myself in ways I never thought I would. I’m learning my strengths and preparing to leave the engineering field in due time for a career that is better suited to who I really am.
Blogging has helped me become more true to myself, and that means the world to me.
I read way more
Last year I read 35+ books, and this year I hope to break 50. I was gaining momentum with reading when I started on Medium, but since beginning writing, I read so much more than I did before.
I’m not sure exactly why this is. Maybe there is some sort of reciprocal connection between reading and writing. But I do know that the more I write and interact here on Medium, the more I want to read.
And it’s not just books that I want to read. I find myself hungering to read the many wonderful articles written by other authors here and in many places across the internet. It’s like my hunger for knowledge has been turned up 10x.
And I couldn’t be happier about that.
I am more confident in public
This one was weird. And totally unexpected.
Many times in the last few weeks I’ve bumped into old friends from high school. Normally, I find myself afraid to talk with them, not having much to say or ask.
Probably because I was under the assumption that I was just an introverted engineer.
But now, and this is weird for me, I have suddenly found this confidence that I never had before. Or maybe it was always there and I just never knew it.
When I began writing I was terrified of being ridiculed for what I wrote. But I had committed to myself that I would do it, so I wrote and published anyway. Over time, I am getting over the fear of sharing my true self over the Internet.
And somehow that’s helped me become more confident sharing my true self around other people as well. I believe it also has to do with finding myself, as mentioned previously.
I’ve always wanted to grow my confidence and now I can finally, confidently, say that I am.
I sort through my thoughts in a healthier way
Writing is like therapy for me. I actually think it’s better than therapy (in my case at least) because I can access it 24/7.
Something about sitting down and having to face the thoughts in your head after you’ve let them out onto the page is helpful for seeing your negative thought patterns and improving them.
I find that I am more positive, grateful, happy, and confident now. I have always tried to look on the bright side of things, but blogging has been a great catalyst for deeper levels of finding the good in just about everything.
Blogging makes me a more positive person, and I’m loving that about myself.
I have friends across the world
When I lived in England for 2 years as a missionary, I was amazed at the great and wonderful people that I got to associate with from around the world.
I became great friends with people from amazing places like Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Peru, China, Finland, and of course, Great Britain. I still miss these friends and wish that I had been better at staying connected with them.
But writing on Medium has rekindled that feeling of what it was like to get to associate with people from all over the world. Being from a kind of small town that is often referred to as a “bubble” makes it hard to feel connected with the world.
Writing has again helped me feel connected with the world around me in so many wonderful ways. It’s making a wonderful difference in my life to again get to associate with people from all different countries, walks of life, and opinions.
I am forever grateful for the way that writing on Medium has changed my life, and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me in the next 6 months.