4 Years of Blogging: I Haven’t Quit Yet

Blog Birthday Cake 4

I don’t have any of the metrics you might expect or want to see in a blog birthday post. I still don’t monetize my site directly, nor have I activated Google Analytics. (The plug-in is downloaded, though!)

But I can tell you these things:

I’ve blogged for…

  • More than half of my marriage.
  • My son’s entire life.
  • The duration of my second Master’s degree and my National Board certification.
  • Every Monday and Wednesday for the past year with no breaks.
  • Essentially the same schedule for three other years with only a handful of days skipped.
  • Plus the first few months of blogging when I had superhuman motivation and no readers and blogged five days a week (lolz).

In that time, I’ve typed a lot of things. Some of them have been good; occasionally, they are brave.

But more often than not, it’s me putting one keyboard click in front of the next, just to keep my blog going. And I have.

For four years.

You Will Feel Like Quitting

I don’t think I was prepared for this. In fact, I know I wasn’t. I had no idea when I started blogging just how often I would want to quit.

To this day, I want to quit almost as often as I want to keep going. And so far, I continue to choose to continue. It shocks me, and it thrills me. I am so happy to have this space still, and looking back, I see how much my blog has changed.

Even if my blog design hasn’t.

I Don’t Need My Blog Anymore

When I first started blogging, it was a desperate attempt to carve out a space for my thoughts and to align my living and my spending with my intention.

I had recently lost my grandma, who was probably the single most influential person in my life. She was My Person. She’s also the person behind my blog name.

RELATED POST: Why I Pick Up Pennies: A Manifesto of Sorts

Now that so many years have passed, the grief isn’t as raw. I miss her all the time, but I’ve channeled that sadness into a direction. I’ve found a way to live the life I want with her spirit in mind.

So, no, I don’t need my blog anymore.

But I want it.

I want to keep writing, not because I feel like I have something profound to say, but because I can be honest. And truthfully, the internet isn’t always an honest place.

I don’t have to be an expert here (and that’s a good thing — because I most certainly am not). Instead, I can share my triumphs, my tragedies. I can offer small snapshots into my life. And of course, I can confess when I’ve done something awkward.

I Do Want The Community

I love to write, and I love it when people write back. Though there are less comments on my blog–and less comments on blogs in general–now, every single one means something to me.

The same is true for the emails, the tweets, and the direct messages. Whether it’s someone asking a question or sharing a story or cheering me on or laughing at me with me, it matters.

The community is why I blog. It keeps me going more than anything else. 

This year, I’ll pull in five-figures thanks to the freelancing, ghosting writing, and smattering of other side hustling that I do thanks to the connections I made on this blog.

This is another year where my blog is nominated for an award. (Apparently honest content usurps the fact that my blog header slips into Comic Sans on some browsers as of late. Don’t worry. I noticed. I just don’t know how to fix it. Or really care to. It’s quirky, right? Right.)

Those things are amazing. Truly. No matter how many times I type them or say them, they don’t seem real.

But that isn’t what keeps me going, not really. Blogging is hard, and it can be lonely. The internet can be an amazing place, but it can also be a hard place.

Last year, when I took to Twitter to share my shock and amazement over having won a Plutus Award for my blog, there were tweets and messages already waiting for me. In the midst of the congratulations and the excitement, there was a message from someone who had a seen a photograph of me.

“Fire the photographer.”

That hurt. That was hard to read. And without this community of friends–no, family–that might have been enough for me to call it quits. Not because I care about someone’s opinions of my looks. Not because I question them. 

It wasn’t the comment itself actually. (It was an awful photo.) It was the fact that someone would take the time to say something so unnecessary and that I would then allow myself to waste the time and space and heart by dwelling on it.

That isn’t the first time I’ve been insulted, argued with, yelled at, or trolled, and it certainly won’t be the last as long as I continue to exist online. Which is actually a great reason to quit blogging. In a world that is chaotic enough and mean enough in real life, why compound it online? Why add any extra aggravation or irritation or stress to my day?

The answer is quite simple.

No community–virtual or otherwise–is perfect, but there is no better community than this one.

For every instance in which this blog has felt thankless or directionless, there are hundreds of other moments where I am filled with such gratitude to have carved out a place online to call home. To be raw. To be real. To ugly cry and laugh hysterically through an awards ceremony, not because winning a blogging award matters.

But because finding a space where people believe in you more than you believe in yourself matters. And it does.

The people here make blogging worth doing, and I’m so glad I haven’t quit.

Thank you, fam.

31 Comments

  1. 4 years‽ That’s incredible! You’re incredible!
    I’m trying to write something heartfelt and sublime, but I’m bleary-eyed and teary-eyed, and I hope you already know you’re my best blogging buddy. And I can’t wait to see you soooooooon. Perhaps there’ll be another trophy involved, because you’re the Best!

  2. Congrats on four years! That’s a long time to stick with writing.

    I started blogging when my youngest was two, and sometimes it feels so weird to think that I’ve been blogging for almost her whole life. She’s 13 now and she’s never known a mom who is not a blogger, really!

    I totally get when you mean about the few mean comments trying to outshadow all the good. There’s so much more kindness than unkindness in my blogging space, but boy, it’s hard to not give those thoughtless, hurtful messages too much weight.

    Here’s to many more years of writing!

    • It’s funny what sticks with you, isn’t it?! Sigh.

      But this community truly is fantastic, and I’m so lucky I have a teeny slice of it to call my own! Thanks for the support, Kristen!

  3. Hannah

    It gives me so much joy to continue to read your blog, see you grow as a mom, frugaler and proponent of generous giving. Keep up the great work (if you want)!

  4. Amelia Shannon

    Love your blog. Congrats and thanks for sharing with us. This post is very inspiring and comforting to me at the moment as I am in the process of launching my own blog, and second guessing it at every moment!

  5. Jo Anne

    Congrats on sticking it though for 4 years… I don’t even think I have stayed at one job for that long!! You continue to be one of the blogs i check back religiously for as I enjoy what and how you write so keep it up!

  6. Big congrats to you on making it this long! Some of your posting schedules sound absolutely grueling! Reading this post reminds me of exactly why I continue to blog even when I feel like quitting. Relating to (and learning frrom) people around the world is changing me on the inside. I’ve learned to look at things from multiple viewpoints and truly developed my views on money for the better.

    It’s good to know others go back and forth on on what they are producing for content and why. You’ve created such an open and honest atomosphere with your brand. Your grandma would be proud.

    • Revanche…I knew someone would make me cry and *of course* it was you. Thank you for being the most amazing blog idol turned friend (but still idol!).

  7. “I want to keep writing, not because I feel like I have something profound to say, but because I can be honest. And truthfully, the internet isn’t always an honest place.”

    I feel the same pay, Penny. So much of why I write is just to have a place where I can be honest with myself and the people who read: where I can work through the feels I have about money or whatever else is on my mind.

    I’m so glad you keep deciding to write more. I hope you continue, friend.

  8. Happy 4 year anniversary Penny!! Grateful that you are part of the blogging fam and being able to stay for that long. I really love reading your blog every week because you provide great content with your honesty and the happenings in your life with your family and teaching career. Really impressive that you are consistent with your postings for that long.
    Thanks for being you expressing yourself on the blog!!

  9. Happy 4 year anniversary Penny!! Grateful that you are part of the blogging fam and being able to stay for that long. I really love reading your blog every week because you provide great content with your honesty and the happenings in your life with your family and teaching career. Really impressive that you are consistent with your postings for that long.
    Thanks for being you expressing yourself on the blog!!

  10. Happy four years of awesomeness! Penny, you are a constant source of inspiration for me and I’ve loved reading your words for these last two years (I was late to the game, I know). I honestly can’t think of anyone more deserving of the recognition you’ve had for your writing.

  11. Congrats on four years! Glad to have you in the community, and I’m always relieved when there are good, honest voices out there. Whether you’re talking triumphs or awkwardness, it all needs to be said.

    Also congratulations on another nomination this year. One of these years they’ll even stop citing me instead of you. Maybe next year is our year!

  12. So glad you are still writing, Penny! And on such an impressive schedule.

    I don’t think the community would feel the same without your voice. I am always interested in hearing what you have to say.

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