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Writing Online: What the Journey Involves and How I Got Started
Posting my writing online has been one of the best decisions I’ve taken. Here are the fears, challenges, and improvements I dealt with while beginning my journey.
On the 21st of June 2021, I crossed a threshold.
I stopped being a passive content consumer and became someone who contributes to conversations that reach all corners of the world.
That day, I posted my first essay on the internet.
What seems like a simple action triggered a chain of transformations that improved my life substantially.
Here’s how I did it and the fears and challenges I faced (and continue to face).
Understanding the Implications of Sharing Online
My status quo was to consume information and give nothing in return, which is extremely easy. Not sharing what is going on inside our heads is a state free of exposure and unsolicited opinions.
The opposite, sharing experiences and ideas openly, pushes us to deal with a level of vulnerability that might be uncomfortable for many. You open yourself to opinions and judgments.
You also open yourself to constructive conversations and growth.
Because the internet brings like-minded people together, sharing experiences and learnings online is a very different experience from sharing anecdotes with your coworkers or friends. You reach people with backgrounds you wouldn’t encounter otherwise.
Taking advantage of it is a quality that those who seek success in today’s world need to comprehend.
Exploring outside your comfort zone through the internet is a transformative experience that can improve your life. In my case, it was through online writing.
A Lonely Start, A Slow Start
Medium is where I posted my first article. That platform seemed ideal as there were writers with different experience levels. It didn’t feel intimidating because my piece would be hidden among millions of others.
A month later, I posted my second essay but realized that if I wanted to write and post consistently, I was missing a big and necessary element for a beginner like myself: Feedback and community.
Joining a Community
Joining a community of writers was the best thing for me regarding online writing. I got to be part of one through the cohort-based course Write of Passage. That experience gave me a sense of direction; I had defined steps, people who were on the same stage as myself, and feedback. I had all the necessary elements to feel comfortable sharing online.
Because I was at the beginning of the journey, Write of Passage was the catalyzing community I needed. It helped me explore topics and showed me how to navigate the online world through the lens of a writer. The push it gave me to become consistent was a big plus; I published six articles in six weeks.
Fears and Challenges
Thanks to Write of Passage, I had the online-writing roadmap, so I was ready to explore.
The scariest part was dealing with the vulnerability of sharing my experiences and learnings. I didn’t tell my friends and relatives I was writing, and even less posting (!) my writing online. I kept my online presence and my real-life relationships separate.
That’s something I regret about my journey. Because writing is something I do every day, I should have embraced this new activity and talked openly about it.
The people that know you the most can be the best advice-givers you encounter regarding your writing. My sister, for example, has been great at giving me topics to write about because she knows everything I’ve gone through, so she’s clear about the events and characteristics of my life she’s the most interested in.
Besides dealing with vulnerability, another constant challenge in my journey is comparison. I can’t help but compare myself with other online writers. It’s taken work to focus on learning about others’ experiences instead of how behind them I am.
Nowadays, instead of focusing on how many reads, followers, or newsletter subscribers others have, I ask myself: What did they do to get there? What should I add to my routine?
Changes and Improvements
When I think about this part of my life, I feel proud. Sometimes I forget it, but sharing and writing valuable content online is not something many people do.
Being part of that small percentage of people who share online, give and receive feedback and learn along the way feels great. I’m sure I’m on the right path.
I am part of conversations, not just a spectator.
Now that I write online, I go through my day with other eyes. I’m constantly searching for what is worth sharing, which may be obvious to me but not others.
That means I also read and consume content with awareness. Time is scarce, so I search for content worth my time. Thanks to it, I have a high-quality information diet, which has improved my motivation.
Because my words can be found online and others have access to it, I’ve reached people I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. That gives me the opportunity of being part of interesting conversations happening online.
Nowadays, I write every day for about an hour. A reflection, something I learned, or an article piece; I’m always documenting my learning and challenges.
I write online because I’m ambitious and because I’ve come to realize it may be my road to personal growth.
Join a community
Talk openly about your pieces and writing habit
Instead of comparisons, focus on what you can learn from others
Read and consume content consciously
Join conversations happening online