Blog Anniversary No. 7 – All of the Lessons

It’s my 7 year blog anniversary! Well, it was last month in November, but who cares about semantics? Where has the time gone? It feels just like yesterday that I was clicking “purchase” on my domain name. So much has happened since the beginning of this blog. I have learned a lot and I’m always grateful for the continuous lessons. In true AP Young fashion, I’m going to share those lessons.

From Myspace to My Space

Suit: www.fashiontofigure.com

2006 was a wild year for me for so many reasons. A fresh 21 years of age, I was growing up and finding my voice as a writer. I had always fantasized about writing for magazines, being a newspaper columnist or even an author. But times were changing and little did I know that the way we consumed writing would become obsolete.

When I first saw the blog tab on my MySpace account, I’ll be honest in saying I had no idea what it was. Through careful investigation, I learned that a blog could be any written thought. So, I started with my poetry; then it escalated to my sharing my journey as a young, single and dating mom in the the city of Philadelphia.

I outgrew MySpace, but not my desire to write and share my thoughts. I’ve been through many blog platforms, but AP Young Blog has been the longest blog home I’ve ever resided in. I wasn’t 21 when this blog began; I was a ripe 29 years of age. I was still learning lessons, growing (sometimes painfully), and learning the power of my voice and thoughts. I’m grateful to say that I’ve grown into my space on the internet.

There’s No One Way to Blog

I remember the countless words of advice well meaning people sprinkled upon me. “Pick a niche” or “stick to one subject” etc. That advice never sat well with me because I understood that I was more than just some niche writer. I’ve lived a life, experienced many things and had a million more things going on in my life! I had to blog the way that felt authentic to who I was as a person; even if that meant I couldn’t be neatly packaged as some microwaved blogger version of me. From mental health, physical health and wellness, chronic illness, disability, parenthood, motherhood, marriage, children with special needs OR fashion; I’ve blogged my experiences in a way that captures the nuances that make me, ME. I’m proud of that.

Everything Doesn’t Have to Be Picture Perfect

The introduction of social media to blogging was a weird space to navigate for a bit. I admit, I didn’t know that the two were so tightly interwoven. For a long time I was out of the loop that bloggers on social media were a thing. In the beginning, there was this pressure to keep my posts lighthearted and more upbeat and positive. However, that didn’t last very long because that just wasn’t the experiences I was having all the time. If this blogging journey has taught me anything, it’s that this a space I created for my thoughts. I should be able to be honest in the space I created. I also wanted other people who weren’t in picture perfect spaces to know that they were not alone. Showing up as myself in my blog space and associated social media accounts meant that I didn’t have to adhere to “blogger image” that is often being perpetuated.

Keep Somethings for Yourself

My blog has been a really transparent space for me to share my truth. In doing so, my subscribers have come to know me as a person who shares pretty openly. However, a valuable lesson I learned in this specific year of blogging? It’s important to keep somethings for myself. I value my ability to put myself out there and be able to teach from a space of experience. But there are some things that are just off limits, and that’s ok! I may share here and there about my marriage or my kids, but the privacy for my family is super important to me. I never share without their permission and there are just some questions I refuse to answer because it’s simply not anyone’s business. My blog, while my space, is still my business. Finding that balance was really important for me. It’s made my family’s support of my blog and subsequent business ventures that much more valuable to me.

Taking Breaks Are Vital

I used to think in order to run a successful blog that I couldn’t take any days off. But that grind was exhausting, and took up so much headspace and time from other things. I had to sit back and ask myself who’s standard of success was I trying to meet? Once I sorted that out, I began to give myself grace as needed. Real life is happening simultaneously as I’m running a blog and a business. Real life is kicking my butt sometimes, and if I need to take a step back from scheduling content, photos, videos, reviews etc.; I should do it unapologetically because I don’t owe anything to anyone.

The Wrap Up

I survived (and I’m still surviving) a pandemic. The last 5 months of this year have been WILD. And so much has changed. I can’t wait to catch up and share all about those changes, the growth, the setbacks, the goals, whats new and where AP Young Blog is going. But right now? Right now I’m celebrating 7 years of running a blog that I can be proud of. I thank each and every one of you who subscribes, reads, shares, likes or comments. Forever humbled and forever grateful.

See ya’ next year,