Blogging Financial Independence Early Retirement Joy & Happiness

Why I write

Can you believe that it took me close to 6 months before I decided to start this blog?

Yes it is true.

I almost didn’t start this blog.

I read a lot of personal finance and FIRE related books and blogs since our financial epiphany. Thanks to these books and blogs, I gained great insights. In late 2013 I started contemplating about starting my own personal finance & investing blog.

  • Do I really want to start a blog and publish posts regularly?
  • Do I want to share private personal information on the internet?
  • Do I want to share financial numbers on the internet?
  • Do I want to blog anonymously? Or do I want to blog using my real name?
  • Do I have interesting topics to write about?
  • Do I have enough topics to write?
  • Would people find my writing interesting to continue to follow the blog?

A lot of questions went through my head and I was debating whether to start the blog or not.

In the end, I set up the blog and published the very first post back on July 20, 2014.

I started blogging anonymously but I revealed my identity earlier this year. Now you can see my face and name on here.

280 published posts, a few dozens of draft posts (I have been working off-and-on on one post for the past 1.5 years. It’s still a draft!!!), and 8214 comments (half of them are probably mine) later, this little blog has been in existence for 3 years.

Blogging for 3 years seems like an eternity. At the same time, 3 years isn’t all that long either.

Why do I continue to write?

To me, I am not writing a personal finance blog; I am not writing an investment blog; I am not writing a financial independence retirement early blog.

I don’t want this blog to be just another personal finance blog, another investment blog, or another FIRE blog.

I want this blog to be different and unique.

In many ways, this blog has become an extension of my life. 

I write about topics that I deem important. I don’t just write about money, frugality, investment, and FIRE. I write about life philosophy and things that are important to me in life. After all, writing about money all day long is pretty boring.

So I love writing posts like

Some of these posts took days sometimes weeks to write. Some never end up being published (see above point on the 1.5 year old draft). In fact, most of my posts are probably not search engine friendly/optimized. I have never paid much attention to SEO. Writing these “How to,” “Top 10,” “How much,” and “Why this,” posts put me to sleep. I have published a few of these before but to be honest, they are boring to write.

I don’t want to write click bait posts.

I don’t want a huge pop-up window asking you to sign up for the newsletter so I can sell you stuff later.

I want you to follow the blog because you legitimately find my articles interesting.

I want you to sign up the newsletter because you want to get an email update whenever there’s a new post.

Yes, I realize that some of my articles can probably do a few rounds of spelling and grammar edits.

But I am not a professional writer.

I am ESL (English as Second Language). So please bear with me if you see some spelling and grammar mistakes here and there. I am doing my best to edit articles before publishing. Since the two kids take up a lot of Mrs. T’s time, she doesn’t have that much free time nowadays to proof read my articles. And from time to time I simply don’t catch my own mistakes. 🙁

In essence…I write because I enjoy writing.

I write because through this blog I have connected and met with a lot of awesome people.

I write because I want to share my knowledge and exchange ideas.

During a recent discussion about investing & retirement on Facebook, a friend of mine wrote the following…

I want my outdoor sporty friends to be financially independent, so we can spend more time playing outside.

Well said and totally makes sense!

So I will continue to write about my quest for joyful life and financial independence…. and everything in between. I hope that some of you will stick around. And I hope through my writing you can connect with me on some personal level.

Finally…. I would really appreciate if you could fill out this reader survey.

Thank you!

 

 

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41 Comments

  • Reply
    Mrs. Adventure Rich
    July 24, 2017 at 8:08 am

    We took several years to start our blog(!?!) asking many of the same questions you did prior to diving in. I really like framing the blog as an extension of your life. It opens up the flexibility to write what you are passionate about vs. following a formula for success or a strict guideline to maintain a specific blog category. Keep on blogging, we’ll be here reading along!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 24, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Wow several years, that’s crazy! I thought my 6 months debating period was long. Thank you, I appreciate your kind words.

  • Reply
    Chris @Smart Budget Life
    July 24, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Congrats on publishing 280 posts! I also think that it’s important to define our main purpose for blogging. I had many questions before starting my blog 5 months ago. The best thing to do in such a scenario is to get started.

    Instead of having doubts which will do nothing for us its best to see the positive outcomes. While I only have 30+ posts these past few months I hope to one day publish as much as you. Thanks for sharing.

    -Chris

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 24, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Thanks Chris. It is best to just get started. If you sit on it you’ll never accomplish anything.

  • Reply
    Norm
    July 24, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Good to hear! I must be stuck in some old-school blogging mindset where every blog is just a personal blog. I even had a LiveJournal! Whenever I see bloggers making obvious moves to monetize, I find it really distasteful and I find them harder to relate to or take seriously. I start hearing bias in everything they write. Needless to say, if a blog has a pop-up window, I’m not subscribing!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 24, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      I’m starting to date myself if I start talking about Blogger, LiveJournal and *gasp* Geocities! Yeah the way I view blogs is that they should be personal. But nowadays there are so many business blogs so it’s harder to draw that line now.

  • Reply
    Mr. Tako
    July 24, 2017 at 9:30 am

    It’s an honorable quest Bob, and a very good reason to write. I think you’re a great writer actually.

    I’m a pretty slow writer myself, and most of the time I beat myself up and tell myself “Ugh this post is terrible. I write like a deranged 3-year old.” Does it help? Probably not, but I keep trying to improve.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 24, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks Mr. Tako, I appreciate that very much. I beat up myself about my posts too. It always takes longer than expected to write a post. Often I would tell Mrs. T I need 5 minutes to write something up. Then she always jokes that she’ll see me in an hour. 😀

  • Reply
    Lance @ My Strategic Dollar
    July 24, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I just jumped into blogging and started learning by doing!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      That’s a good motto. Learning by doing is the best way to do thing. Learn from mistakes and learn from things that are good.

  • Reply
    Jing
    July 24, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for sharing your reasons for writing! I love all of these, and I definitely want to diversify my blog too with more life knowledge and everyday life philosophy. Those are topics I love, but have felt don’t fit into my “niche”, so this gives me some courage to start writing those! Thank you 🙂

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 24, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Diversifying is good, just like diversifying your investment. Diversifying blog topics also mean there are more things to write about and less chance to run into writer’s block.

  • Reply
    Ms. Frugal Asian Finance
    July 24, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I really like this post, Bob! Like you, I’m not too crazy about getting people to sign up as much as I can so that I can sell them stuff later. I want them to sign up because they want to get updated on my blog content and what’s going on with the FAF household.

    I don’t remember ever seeing any errors in your posts. English is my second language too. But I find that as long as the substance is there, the reader won’t care if English is your first language or not. 🙂

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 24, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      I hate these email popups myself, so I would never put one on this blog. I want you to sign up newsletter or RSS feed because you want to keep reading my blog. I don’t want to shove it down your throat. 🙂

  • Reply
    Oldster
    July 24, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Happiness is the ultimate goal. If what you do makes you happy, then you are successful. I’ve gotten the sense that your life is continually moving in the direction of happiness. Keep doing that, and everything else works out. I enjoy your writing, Bob. Keep it coming!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 24, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks Oldster. Writing on this blog makes me happy. It also helps to get encouraging words from readers like you. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lily @ TheFrugalGene
    July 24, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    I always think it’s crazy of me to ask people to visit me and love what I write because there are tons of amazing blogs out there. But even if I get 30 real people, I’ll keep going. I don’t need a large slice of the pie. Just a whiff. Great post Tawcan!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 24, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      There are A TON of amazing blogs out there, that’s for sure. It’s crazy to think so many ppl come back to read this blog on a regular consistent basis. I really appreciate that. 🙂

  • Reply
    Dividend Diplomats
    July 24, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Tawcan –

    Pumped that you started and I am sure we are all hoping you never stop. The journey is awesome that you share and each post someone can take something from it. Keep Writing T!

    -Lanny

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 25, 2017 at 7:10 am

      The journey is indeed awesome, thanks Lanny.

  • Reply
    Pia
    July 24, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    I think you are doing brilliantly. I gave up blogging years ago because of the exact things you said you don’t do. Trying to chase traffic, fame, writing click-bait , being caught up in the spiral of the blogging world that was exploding left, right and center. But I love writing even if grammar is not my strong suit. So I came back, and anonymously this time so that I don’t fall into the same trap of chasing fame. You write because you want to, and I am the same and want to always remain that way. Thank you for writing!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 25, 2017 at 7:11 am

      Hopefully second try will work out for you. I’m sure you have learned from your previous mistakes. 🙂

  • Reply
    Palmetto Millennial
    July 24, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Nice reflection and good progress! It is good to reflect on the how and why. I am just starting and have similar sentiments. It also took me awhile to actually start a blog. I look forward to your future contributions!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 25, 2017 at 7:11 am

      Thanks Palmetto Millennial.

  • Reply
    Divnomics
    July 25, 2017 at 2:47 am

    This is also why I keep coming back here 😉 Found your blog before I started my own, and still really enjoy it.

    I just jumped in and learned along the way (and still do). After a few months I shut down any ads because it wasn’t what I wanted to get out of writing. In the past year I’ve met really interesting people, learned a lot about finance and personal development, have been growing as a writer and many more. So glad I just started.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of blogger integrate the happiness flow and ‘money is not the goal’ aspect. It brings a deeper level to what we are doing here. Thanks for sharing all your adventures, an keep on going!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 25, 2017 at 7:12 am

      Thanks Divnomics, I really appreciate that. I love connecting with like minded people. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mrs. Picky Pincher
    July 25, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I think this is the best reason to write. 🙂 I really don’t think you can successfully blog if you don’t enjoy writing. After all, it takes a lot of time to blog, so you might as well like it!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 25, 2017 at 7:13 am

      Blogging is totally like having another full time business.

  • Reply
    Financial Samurai
    July 25, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Howdy Bob, thanks for sharing your why. Is everything OK? I’ve been around long enough to know that whenever this type of post goes out, there’s often a frustration associated with it. The hard part, but also the key, is to stop reading sites that shout from the top of their lungs how successful they are, b/c it’ll just keep you down.

    I think most of us just write for fun. And when we have the opportunity to optimize for mega bucks, we will!

    Sam

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 25, 2017 at 7:16 am

      Hi Sam,

      Yup everything is OK. I love connecting with like minded people and share things. I guess maybe I’m the oddballs when it comes to this kind of posts. It has been really cool getting responses from readers and I have been getting great responses from the survey at end of the post. I don’t follow sites that shout rom the top of their lungs how successful they are, I only follow sites that I like (i.e. yours). Writing for fun is the way to go.

  • Reply
    J. Money
    July 25, 2017 at 7:36 am

    That was a fast 3 years! Congrats on finding something you enjoy like that 🙂

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 25, 2017 at 9:22 am

      It was a fast 3 years but at the same time not really when you aren’t sleeping b/c of kids. :p

  • Reply
    Jess
    July 25, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I’m contemplating whether I should be anonymous or not in my blog. I’d like to write about my ‘exploits’ in entrepreneurship & investments and conspiracy stuff.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Can always start blogging anonymously then switch later. You can’t do it the other way around. 🙂

  • Reply
    Alex @ The detectorist
    July 26, 2017 at 4:23 am

    What keeps you motivated to write Bob? I mean, 3 years it’s a long way in my opinion, even if you like what you are doing, keeping yourself motivated for so long it’s a big issue for me. Can you share some tips and tricks of what you are doing right and keeps you on track every time?

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 26, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Hi Alex,

      What keeps me motivated is my desire to share what I’ve learned and my journey. Having friends that read the blog helps keep me motivated too.

  • Reply
    Andrew
    August 2, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I love this post and feel the same way. While there is nothing wrong with trying to monetize, I find that bloggers who truly just like writer are the ones I enjoy reading the most. No I don’t want to read another list or review of Personal Capital or how to guide on how to start blog using Blue Host.

  • Reply
    Andrew
    August 2, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Great post Bob and I feel the same way. I’ve been at it about 4 years but the consistency has waned a lot and I don’t have the discipline to post all the time. It’s also tough with 2 little ones…how do you do it?? Anyway, I have no problem with bloggers trying to monetize their blogs but the blogs with constant posts on lists, the reviews of personal capital or how to guides on how to start a blog with Blue Host, etc, etc does leave a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

    • Reply
      Andrew
      August 2, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      sorry about the duplicate post…I thought it didn’t post…

      • Reply
        Tawcan
        August 2, 2017 at 2:16 pm

        Haha no worries.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      August 2, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      Agreed. I think good contents will always win. 🙂

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