14 Key Lessons I’ve Learned Since I Started Writing

That has nothing to do with money

Lea O


Photo by saeed karimi on Unsplash

When I launched my first blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know anything about sourcing images, SEO, digital marketing, or email lists. I didn’t know about Wix, WordPress, or Bluehost.

I did know was my heart was broken after a rare pregnancy complication that cost the life of my son and almost me. I knew if one more person told me it happened for a divine reason, I would explode.

I was desperate for connection and validation, and I knew there had to be somebody out there who felt like that, too. So, I dusted off my lifelong dream of writing and launched a blog.

That was almost five years ago, and since then, I’ve made a good chunk of money writing online. I joined this platform in 2020, grew a decent following, and then launched a Substack.

My blog, born from grief, turned into a full-time writing career and grad school. And yet, along the way, I lost sight of what I was doing and why. Lured by the self-help articles and marketing strategies for making more money, I quit writing on this platform as much.

I burnt-out. After a months-long break, here’s what I remembered in 14 lessons. (I promise they aren’t about making money doing this.)

1. Following your own intuition is more important than anything

All the big wigs of writing will tell you about keywords and analytic trends, but almost nobody talks about following your intuition. The biggest stories I’ve ever written have come from a place of observation, desperation, or personal essay. There really is no rhyme or reason as to what may resonate and when.

Keywords and trend research are for business blogs, and to me, that is not the same as a person who loves to write.

2. There’s a big difference between a writer and a marketer

Writing means putting words and emotions on paper to convey a story and a personal anecdote. That’s what I am, though it took me a while to accept that. And, it’s what most people join this platform for…real writing.