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Hard to Believe: I’ve Been Blogging for 16 Years

Hard to Believe: I’ve Been Blogging for 16 Years

On the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, we've been discussing why it's helpful to identify and celebrate personal anniversaries:

  • it's a reminder of what we've accomplished—even when it doesn't feel like we've made much progress
  • it energizes us to keep going
  • it's a whimsical minor holiday

The days are long but the years are short—and it's astonishing to me that I just hit the 16th anniversary of my blog (which I usually don’t even call my "blog" anymore; now I just call it my "site").

April 2006

Here's a link to my very first entry: The blog begins.

When I started this blog, I had no expectations for it.

I started it as an experiment to test the research showing that novelty and challenge bring happiness. What could I do that was novel and challenging? I decided to try starting a blog.

 

I felt very intimidated by the prospect of writing in such a public, unmediated way, but I reassured myself, "Oh, no one will ever read this. I'll do it for a month, realize that this experiment doesn't make me happier, and move on."

I would never have predicted how much I would love writing here, or what an engine for happiness it would be.

It’s funny to look back and realize that I started my blog before I started using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube, hosting the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, sending out my "5 Things Making Me Happier" weekly email newsletter and my "Moment of Happiness" daily quotation email, posting my Four Tendencies quiz (taken by more than 3.5 million people), launching the Happier app, offering journals and other products...not to mention the four books I hadn't yet written!

I’m sure that my happy experience with my blog made me more open to the possibilities of using new outlets to put my ideas out into the world, in addition to doing the traditional work of a writer.

Best of all, this site—and everything that followed from it—has allowed me to engage with people in so many ways. I've learned so much. The world is my research assistant.

Readers, listeners, and viewers—thank you. You've done so much to deepen my understanding of my subject—which, at the core, is human nature. I so appreciate your enthusiasm, your support, and your brilliant, thought-provoking insights, observations, and questions. It makes me so happy.

Sixteen years later, I'm still writing away. If you'd like to get this blog content delivered to your inbox each week, instead of coming to the site, sign up here.

Thank you.

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