Blog TipsInspiration

3 Ways Blogging Makes You Brave {How To Be Brave}

By Jan 9, 2013 July 8th, 2014 83 Comments

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I looked out the window at the grey clouds and the majestic Chicago skyline. Sitting in that too-warm taxi, heart thudding against my chest, I allowed myself about one minute to freak out. What if my roommates kill me in my sleep? I’m not ready to die. I’m not a real blogger! I don’t even know what on earth SEO is–why did I come to Bloggy Boot Camp? Do taxis take credit cards?

I’ve been blogging for almost four years. That’s like a high school career. A college degree. And funny enough, I’ve learned just as much—wait, maybe more in my blogging education than anywhere else.

As the taxi rounded a corner and the Hyatt Regency came into view I swallowed my pounding fear and powdered my nose. I realized then and there that the most valuable thing blogging has taught me is how to be brave. I swiped my credit card, whirled through the revolving doors, and entered my first blogging conference with swagger.

blogging brave button

Blogging has made me brave.

Here’s how:

1.) Leap of Faith

I took that first “leap” into the great abyss when I hit “publish” for the first time. It was scary as heck. Four years later, and I still feel an exhilarating rush whenever I send off a post.

I never really know what sort of response I will receive. Will this post go viral? Will this post be ignored? Is this going to make someone angry? Regardless of the response, each post is a sort of precipice from which I can turn back or leap off.

2.) True Grit

There are many gifted writers, humorists, crafters, photographers, fashionistas and chefs out there who have made their mark in the blogosphere. Those who excel in their craft do so through talent, yes, but more through tenacity than anything else. In blogging, it is not enough to just be a good writer, or a creative crafter, or an excellent photographer.

Showing up, week after week, day after day regardless of feedback is required of bloggers. Of course it’s fun to write new posts when sweet comments and affirmation are waiting on the other side. But this is never guaranteed, and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. It takes a certain level of grit to show up to practice every day when you never know if you’ll really get to play on game day.

3.) New Things

You absolutely cannot succeed at blogging unless you are willing to learn new things. Since starting a blog I have learned about photography, photo editing, html, WordPress, SEO, monetizing, pitching, and all sorts of networking. I was alarmed and overwhelmed when I learned that there is no overnight method to master these skills. All I can do is chip away, piece by piece, at learning these skills and applying them to my craft. I’m no where near where I want to be, but I’m even further than I thought possible. Does that make sense.

It’s scary to try new things. It’s scary to show up and not know anyone–even your roommate at a blogging conference. You can be afraid of something and still choose to act with bravery. Because really, bravery is measured not by how you feel, but by how you act. Blogging has made me act on my plans and dreams–it has given me the chance to take a leap of faith, to channel true grit, and to try new things. Scary, yes. Fun? Absolutely!

About the Author
leonardfam-87.jpgMeet Hillary. She’s a wife/mommy blogger who feels the need to share with the cyber world the scoop on her fascinating life. She’s quirky and cynical. You have been warned. You can find Hillary on her blog, Because My Life is Fascinating and on Twitter, @thehilljean.

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  • Paulin says:

    This is a wonderful post and there is a great deal of truth in it. The lack of feedback was the hardest part of blogging for me. It was discouraging at first. But, there came a point where I had to decide if I wanted to blog because I enjoyed blogging or because I wanted feedback. Once I made that decision the feedback didn’t matter to me anymore and strangely once I stopped looking for feedback I started to get feedback.

  • This resonated with me since I started blogging last summer. Setting up my blog and then moved from Blogger to WordPress all by myself was nerve wrecking but it’s worth it. It is challenging but ‘m learning a lot. Blogging certainly taught me to stop procrastinating (relates to no. 1) and just be bold and fearless. Really enjoy this!

  • Alethea says:

    I agree 100%. Blogging does make you stronger. I haven’t been blogging that long but some of the things I’ve shared about my life has given me confidence in areas I did not think possible. Much sooner than I anticipated at times. I’ve read such exciting things about the Blog Conferences. Prayerfully I will be able to attend this year. Great post!


  • Awesome post! I still don’t know about SEO haha, it’s a goal of mine for the year!

  • ! I love ths! Excellent advice

  • I learn something new everyday with blogging. It never gets boring!

  • Chris Carter says:

    Well look at you!!!! LOVED your post (as usual) and SO excited to see you RIGHT HERE!!!!! I am scared… brave in other areas but scared to go to a conference. I think it’s because I seriously don’t understand the tech side of blogging…and basically that will kill me as a blogger. I know I NEED to learn, but I truly (I’m not stupid- but kinda in this respect) don’t get all the numbers and codes and blah blah blah. Oh how I wish I did!!!

    • hilljean says:

      I am not techy at ALL either. And that did hang me up for a long time with blogging. But the wonderful thing about going to those conferences is that people will sit down with you and walk you through it. It’s so inspiring to be in a room full of people all passionate about the same thing. You really MUST go to one. And tell me which one you’re going to so that I can try and be there too! I wanna attend a bunch this year 🙂

  • Tree Lindsay says:

    I completely agree with you… 100%!! I’ve learned SO many things through blogging for the past 4 years. And made such wonderful friendships too. Great post!

  • Kim says:

    Such a great post! The line you used: “I’m no where near where I want to be, but I’m even further than I thought possible” makes perfect sense, for that is exactly how I feel too! I have yet to go to a blog conference, but it is on the list of things to do – but unlike you, I am not sure I would have the nerve to do it alone…I may have to try and convince someone else to go with me 😉

  • Ashley says:

    Great article! Blogging really does make you brave. Blogging is the reason I started my graphic design business and it’s turned into something I LOVE so so much!!

  • Whitney says:

    Blogging makes me take a good look at myself. I’ve always said it was self medication.

  • Yes, I agree. Great article. I definalty try more things since I have started blogging!

    Julie @ Naptime Review

  • Lyndylou says:

    When I first started blogging, I felt like I was speaking and no one was listening, pretty much the reason why I started blogging in the first place. I didn’t have a clue about how it all worked, mostly it was trial and error! My most open and honest post was this one:


    • hilljean says:

      Oh my. I just went over and read that post. I cannot even imagine what that must have been like for you. I am sending up prayers right now. You are a very strong woman, and a wonderful mom. I know we’ve never met, but just after reading that post I can see your heart, the heart that you feel is breaking. I pray for restoration, peace, and the right people at all the right times. Keep writing. Your story and Jacks and Holly’s need to be heard!

  • TOI says:

    my heart is at peace after reading this because it’s truth blogging is pushing out of my comfort zone and it’s scary but lovely!

    happy day my fellow sitsgirls!

  • Great Post Hillary! When I first started blogging several years ago, I was a newbie and not sure what my niche was. After trial and error I am proud to say that I have grown and learned so much about blogging. Stepping into new territory is always frightening at first, it is through this experience you learn who you really are and what you are made of. Attending conferences and networking events are great ways to expand your blogging knowledge. Positive feedback always helps and confirms you are making a difference!

  • Kat says:

    Love the blog Hillary – and yes, I do believe it makes you brave, but it also causes me to have writers block/anxiety and then not write. So frustrating…

  • Alison says:

    Great post, Hillary.

    Blogging has made me brave in other ways too -I’ve opened up about topics I didn’t think I could write about. Opening my heart and mind, has been a great gift from blogging.

  • Carla K. says:

    I can agree to all of it… I didn’t know I needed a blog until I started blogging. How is that for taking a leap of faith. I HAD to learn new things especially a new way of thinking in order to write and even seek out guest authors. And the biggest thing as far as learning and leaping was my first Bloggy Boot Camp On-Line and I WANT to do it again. And Grit… well, I have to figure out how that fits in but… I’m sure I have it…

    Thanks for this post.

  • Kristen says:

    This is a great post! When I first read the title, I thought to myself, there is no way I’m a brave person. I’m about as wimpy as they come. But after reading this, you’re right! There are certain things we do as bloggers every single day that make us brave.

    And may I just add that I never knew taxis take credit cards? 🙂

    • hilljean says:

      If you’re putting yourself out there, you’re brave. And you know what? The more you push yourself, the braver you’ll become.

      I was so scared that the taxi driver would make me find an ATM. Phew.

  • Buhle Goslar says:

    Great post. Facing your fears head on, taking chances, putting yourself out there .. It all happens with blogging.
    I love it!

  • Look at YOU, girl! Excellent words of wisdom. xo

  • Jamie H says:

    I am SO glad I wasn’t the only one freaking out about my first blog conference (and I even knew a ton of people there!). I had no clue you didn’t know anyone in Chicago. You fit right in! Yes, blogging does make you brave!

    • hilljean says:

      Well that’s a relief! I found friends within minutes of being there. I felt like everyone in the room was a friend 🙂

  • Amen! There IS an element of bravery that goes into being, not just a blogger, but a successful one. You’ve said it here beautifully.
    Keep doing what you do 🙂

  • Keely says:

    Speaking as a gal who got to meet you in real life at that conference…I’m wicked glad you were so brave.

  • I’ve only been blogging about a year and a half, so I’m still very much a newbie. I still don’t get much feedback, so it feels like I’m tossing my thoughts into the Grand Canyon. However, I have seen my views go up little by little, so someone is reading (even if it’s only my friends and family!). I am happy to say that thanks to a friend who’s going with me, I’m attending my first Bloggy Boot Camp this spring! Thanks for making me feel like a part of the community.

  • Nicole says:

    blogging is liberating! and yes, i learn something new every day. i’m just starting to blog and vlog so i feel as if i’m always lost BUT it’ll get better. 🙂

  • Sierra says:

    When I was reading this, I felt like I was reading myself. The fear of the unknown, of what is out in cyber space. Too often all we hear is the negative and although it is out there, we forget how scary it can be go share a piece of ourselves. I do often wonder every time I push the send button, if anyone will read what I wrote, or if they like what I wrote.

    Then I remind myself that when I write, my blog is my outlet. A place for me to voice what’s going in my world.

    I didn’t realize how brave it is to write and put out into the unknown, that piece of vulnerability we all have.

    • hilljean says:

      Beautifully said! There is a whole separate post to be written on how blogging makes us vulnerable. maybe you should write it and send it over to the SITS gals 😉

  • Wow, this sounds familiar! Since I started blogging, I feel and act differently and often my friends don’t understand me (none of them writes a blog). But it’s easier for me to tell the truth, in that way I’m definitely braver.

  • Charlotte says:

    Yes, yes, and yes. Blogging is incredibly scary and nerve-wracking but liberating at the same time. It has helped me to step out of my comfort zone and become a much braver person.

    Now if only I can calm the nerves enough to attend my own bloggy conference…

  • First off, blogging is my only creative outlet right now so it gets my full attention.

    Three ways blogging has made me brave:
    1. Mainly in the fashion realm, I am taking more chances in combining ensembles AND wearing more color.
    2. I am posting pictures of myself in my outfits – that takes guts to put your image out there.
    3. You do have to keep current with technology to keep the blog skills sharp.

  • Sonia Barton says:

    Totally makes sense. It’s hard to know all the stuff you just don’t know about blogging that at some points it’s almost amazing that you realize you are actually ‘getting it’. I’m not there yet but I just keep showing up.

  • I was thinking these same things, how much of a different person I am since blogging. I’m definitely more brave and confident!

  • Very true! Nothing like that deep breath before you hit “publish.” We’ve all become brave.

    • hilljean says:

      Yep, and then there’s that sudden intake of breath when you realize you have about five spelling errors in that post. ahah

  • I love this! I relate to feeling the fear. (I was so scared to hit ‘publish.’) But each new thing I have learned has helped boost my confidence. So true!

  • misssrobin says:

    I keep expecting the angst I feel when I am about to hit publish to go away over time. It doesn’t. My writing is often raw. I offer up a piece of myself in a very real way. Even when I love what I’ve written and am confident it will be well received, there is that nagging, “What if they don’t like me?”

    Great post.

  • OneMommy says:

    So true! I have learned so much about computers and the Internet in the past almost 2 year years I’ve been blogging. And bravery, gained some of that too! (But I still haven’t made it to a conference…)

  • Kate Burt says:

    True true true!! I haven’t been blogging as long as you have; I’m only in the infancy stage and still scared as heck! May I borrow some of your bravery???

    • hilljean says:

      Haha! This bravery came on unexpectedly. I think it started when I finally realized that if I wanted to be successful I would have to bite the bullet and start making things happen on my own.

  • So true! I felt the same way when I went to BlogHer ’12. Talk about overwhelming! But, yes, there’s something about blogging that makes us a bit braver.

  • True, true and true.

    Congrats on keeping up with your blog for four years.

    • hilljean says:

      Thank you! There were many times I almost called it quits. I’m glad I powered through though–its just getting more fun now!

  • Jamie @ Roubinek Reality says:

    Blogging sure does take a lot of bravery. I hate the moment after I hit publish with a pit in my stomach. Not fun. But all of the good moments make it worth it.

  • Stephanie says:

    great thoughts…. it is so super scary whenever I go beyond the DIY stuff I usually post and write about me. I call it the “what if I get picked last in gym class” syndrome, lol.

  • This is so true. There are new things to learn everyday.

  • Great article Hillary..Blogging does take us to new height’s doesn’t it..I love it too!!

  • It’s a brave new world out there for bloggers. I’m glad you’re sticking with it. Great post.

  • First of all, I LOVE Hillary’s blog! Secondly, this is an AWESOME post! 🙂 I love it! It is SO TRUE!!

  • Felicia says:

    I find it kind of funny that this was posted today because I was just thinking the exact same thing. Blogging has changed me quite a bit, but being braver was never one thing I expected to come from it. I never expected to get so much out of blogging when I started it, but it’s a nice change. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about others through it. I hope that I continue to learn and grow as time passes by.

  • Angie Nelson says:

    I 100% agree. Such personal, and unexpected, growth comes from blogging. It does a body good. 😉