I’ve been writing about sobriety for over two years, and blogging about it daily for the past four months. I know many people keep daily sobriety journals, but I’ve never heard of anyone else writing a daily reader-focused sobriety blog, so I thought it might be helpful to share my experiences with anyone thinking about doing something similar.
Beginning to Blog
I quit drinking in December 2016. Roughly two years later, in October 2018, I began blogging about my experiences with addiction and sobriety.
Initially, I had only planned to write one post. My first article was about how I use to put off getting sober by telling myself that I’d quit drinking “tomorrow.” Day by day, I postponed sobriety, until the days added up to years.
Writing about this was an incredibly cathartic experience, and I really enjoyed sharing my own struggles with others who were trying to quit. Within a week, I had decided to write another post. From that day on, blogging became a regular part of my life.
For the first two years, I had no real writing schedule. I would write whenever inspiration struck, sometimes posting two articles back-to-back, and other times going weeks between posts. Despite my inconsistency, my readership steadily grew and I got a lot of great feedback.
Writing about sobriety has been a great experience from the start. It’s helped me to grow stronger in my recovery and to learn more about myself. Many readers have told me that it’s helped them to stay sober, which is the highest praise I could ever ask for.
I started writing way more often four months ago after getting laid off at work. I thought that it would kill two birds with one stone: keep me occupied and using my time productively, while also making some money to tide me over.
After the lay-off, I still had a little side work, but not nearly as much. Since I wasn’t working many hours, it was very easy to ramp up my writing. If I had been at a full-time job, I don’t think I could have done it.
As I began writing about sobriety every day, I quickly discovered that it’s a very different experience than just blogging occasionally. I had never had to worry about coming up with writing ideas before, because if I didn’t have any ideas, I simply didn’t write. Now, I had to come up with an idea every single day.
I usually keep a list of ideas on my phone, but I ran through these fairly quickly. To get more inspiration, I looked back over my old articles and searched for ideas that I could expand on.
Sometimes this means that I’ll end up repeating myself a bit. I try to avoid completely rewriting ideas that I’ve already used in other articles, and to always present a new take when I go back to topics I’ve talked about before.
Lately, I’ve also used celebrity sobriety stories as a starting point to riff off of. It keeps my writing feeling more fresh, and readers seem to enjoy those posts.
Of course, even with these strategies, a little repetition is unavoidable when I’m writing literally every day. Sometimes I write a post and don’t realize until afterward that I had already written something very similar!
I don’t think repetition is necessarily a bad thing though. It’s okay to sometimes repeat ideas, because there are always new readers and even old readers may have forgotten or missed the older posts. So, I try my best to avoid it, but I don’t beat myself up over it when it happens.
As I said earlier, my readership has steadily grown since I started writing. Once I started blogging daily, however, my readership exploded. I went from around 10,000 to 20,000 views each month to nearly 150,000 over the past 30 days. I’ve just about doubled my followers over the past four months too.
Before this, I always thought the idea of writing consistently was overrated. I had tried posting daily for a month before, and didn’t see great results. I think I just needed to stick with it a bit longer.
My growth in readership jumped a lot the first month of writing daily, but didn’t really take off until the third. Some of the increase in views has been due to a few articles that really took off, but my posts are doing better in general too. I still wonder whether it will settle back down or keep increasing.
My biggest takeaway is that writing consistently really does have a big impact, and I was completely wrong to ever think it didn’t.
One question that I keep asking myself throughout this experience is what effect it’s having on my sobriety. When I started blogging, I only spent an hour or so on it each week. Now I’m spending about ten times as long. That’s a lot of time to spend thinking about sobriety.
To be honest, in a way I don’t like that alcohol now feels like a bigger part of my life again. Sure, I’m not drinking it, but I’m spending a lot of time writing about it. Then again, an hour or two of writing each day is nothing compared to the amount of time that I used to spend drinking.
Also, writing so much has made me more confident than ever in my decision to get sober. It’s brought back memories of just how awful being a daily drinker was, and it’s reminded me of exactly why I quit.
Overall, I’m still enjoying the writing process, which is what’s most important to me. If that ever changes, my daily writing habit will end.
As my readership has grown, I’ve also started getting way more comments and questions than ever before. Unfortunately, this includes more negativity than usual.
I’ve definitely seen an increase in people who hate me for being sober, or for writing about it so much, or for whatever other problems they can come up with. I’ve gotten better at just brushing it off. I think that the idea of writing rude, angry comments to a blogger is just crazy, and has way more to do with their own problems than anything that I wrote.
Fortunately, these negative comments are the minority. The vast majority of feedback has been positive. There are a lot of fellow recovering addicts who have gone through similar experiences. There are also a lot of people thinking about getting sober, who have used my articles to learn more about what it’s like.
The absolute best comments I get are the ones from people who say that my posts have actually helped them stay sober. It really makes my day to hear that I had a tangible, positive impact on someone else. That alone makes all the time I’ve spent writing worth it.
Overall, daily sobriety blogging has been a very positive experience for me. It’s likely that eventually I’ll get tired of it, but I’m not there yet. For now, my plan is to stick with it and see where it leads me.
Thanks to everyone who has read my posts, whether you’ve been following me since the beginning or just found me today. It means the world to me, and I truly hope that my writing has helped you in some small way!