What I’ve Learned From Two Years of Blogging

Two years ago I created “Is This Why I’m Still Single?” Since it’s inception the blog has published over 330 articles, received over 270,000 views, and been visited by people from all across the globe (even people in India read this nonsense.) Writing this blog has single-handedly been one of the most rewarding and fucking annoying things I’ve ever done, but I’m incredibly happy that I’ve been able to commit to it for as long as I have.

I made “Is This Why I’m Still Single” on a whim as a response to my ever growing frustration with Her Campus, an online magazine I was writing for at the time, and my desire to publish content that I actually wanted to write. I came up with the name and enlisted the help of three close female friends of mine because I wanted it to be this big thing, like BuzzFeed and Her Campus, but better. I wanted us to be the go-to blog for pop culture and social commentary and I sincerely thought that it would catch on quick. I had this unrealistic expectation that we’d be an overnight success and I became somewhat tyrannical in how I approached my friends for content and what I deemed worthy of being published. After a few short months I became the only blogger on the site, but don’t fret, I’m still friends with the original girls!

I’ll be honest and say that most of the content I produced in the first year was complete and utter garbage. I was posting almost every single day, and most articles were titled something along the lines of “7 Types of Gay Guys In Boston”, “11 Reasons Why Your Sandwich is Bae”, or some other type of god awful listicle that had been already done better by BuzzFeed. I received a good amount of hits, and even an offer to write for another very successful blog, but I didn’t feel particularly proud of what I was writing. I felt like I was just churning out garbage to get views, that I wasn’t doing anything meaningful with my talent, and I didn’t feel too fulfilled because of that. Side note- it still haunts me that my article “The 5 Most Annoying Things People Do On Snapchat” has over 12 thousand views; it is a GOD AWFUL article.

One day I decided to write an article about privilege and academic elitism because I felt very strongly about the subject after having listened to people debate about it in a club meeting.  It was the first true opinion piece I wrote with some sort of message, and upon being published, it became widely shared and scrutinized for what it had to say. And for the first time, in a long time, I felt a rush of excitement. I felt like I had published something meaningful, something that had spoken to people, and I couldn’t help but be thrilled over the fact that people were being receptive to what I had to say as a person. It was in this moment that I realized that I didn’t have to be BuzzFeed, I could be the flawed writer/person that I am and still achieve success; I didn’t have to pander to simple audiences, or sell my soul to the devil like the staff of most media outlets. I could write about issues I cared about and do so in a way that was accessible to other people.

Ever since that breakthrough, I’ve written about things that I feel compelled to speak on and topics I think need to be discussed. I’ve written about my struggles with self esteem and depression, my strained relationship with my alcoholic father, and have focused a good deal of time on trying to bring to light the complicated issues LGBTQ+ people face. I know that my thoughts are not always perfect, I’m aware that I am a white man of incredible privilege, and that I am often talking out of my ass, but that’s honestly what I love most about this blog. I love that it’s messy and ever changing; I love going back to old articles and seeing how much my views have changed or how much more I have learned. Sometimes when I’m having a really bad day, I go back to an old article and read the “inspirational” stuff to remind myself that I should take my own advice. While this blog may tackle a wide array of issues, it’s ultimately a memoir of sorts, or even an abstract autobiography. It shows my transition from an amateur writer obsessed with click-bait to a semi amateur writer obsessed with telling all of his horrifying secrets in some attempt to make the world a better place.

To be clear, I’m no messiah; I don’t expect to change the world, or be someone’s muse. But I can’t tell you how incredibly reassuring it feels when someone reaches out to me and tells me that they related to my article or that it meant something to them. I write my pieces for myself as much as I do for other people, so when someone tells me they know what it’s like to deal with depression or alcoholism, it makes me feel like I’m not only making a difference but that I’m not as alone as I often convince myself that I am.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with “Is This Why I’m Still Single?” when I graduate; there is very real chance that it’ll come to an end. I certainly love writing it and would be happy to do so forever, but if not, I am so fortunate to have received as much support as I have and to have given it in return. I’m not sure about all of you, but sometimes I feel like kind of a selfish person, I convince myself that there isn’t much good in me, and this blog is one of the few things that counteracts that. Not to be dramatic but- I think this blog has saved me to an extent. It’s shown me that no matter whether or not I pursue my passion as a career that I always have the ability to share myself with the world and express my feelings; it’s taught me that life is messy and that we are constantly growing. If there’s anything I want you to get out of reading this article, or this blog, it’s that you’re never alone as you think, your thoughts are always more significant than you believe, and we can all find a special way to make the world a better place.

 

 

 

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