I Wasted My Twenties By Being Successful Too Soon, Too Fast

There, I said it. 

I started my first blog on the 22nd of April, 2012. A month or so later, after having published a bunch of mediocre blog posts, one of my articles went viral.

From then on out, it was all rather confusing. Yeah, Neil Gaiman mentioned one of my articles on Twitter. So did Random House. I was gaining anywhere between 500 to 800 new followers per day.

By November the same year I was earning around $100 per day. 

I see everyone running around for success. And I wish that everyone could have their fair share of success and fame and glory and the respect and admiration of others, but the truth is that we do not enjoy the victory, but the struggle.

Without struggle, the victory no longer pleases us.

It didn’t please me. Not at all.

Because I didn’t know what to do with my success, didn’t know how to replicate it, or even teach someone else to replicate it, all my future projects failed.

It took me about a year to get to over 100, 000 followers, and then… nothing. I did not feel like blogging anymore. There was nothing to aspire towards, nothing that motivated me.

When you think you’ve reached the top of the mountain, that’s when everyone else starts to surpass you.

I couldn’t see a way out. I used to complain to my mother, that there was no way to earn more, to do more, or even become more.

The obvious side-effect of this is something called high-functioning depression. You look like you’re okay, you act like you are okay, and everyone else might think you’re okay, but you’re far from okay.

I struggled with this for years and years, and I slowly lost my appetite for success.

I desired comfort more than anything else, which is the surest way to a life of discomfort and pain.

Success has to be built. In time. With patience and care. A lot of failures form the building block for success. 

Without failure, without struggle, we cannot even understand what success means.

What did it mean to me that I got thousands of readers within a few short months? I’ll tell you. Almost nothing.

We learn so little from success. After all, experience is the name we give to our mistakes, not our successes. 

In case you are wondering, I am writing this words, so you don’t wish for something that might destroy you.

Do not wish for success. Do not feed this urge to be successful as fast as possible. 

Do not crave the destination so much that you stop enjoying the journey, unless you want to look back on your life with regret.

I know that there are some phrases in this article that you might consider cliche. They are.

But you know what’s funny about cliches?

They are true. Every single one of them.


  1. And those cliches are empowered by much shared experience. Thanks for reminding me that the process is sometimes more important than the goal of the process because the process is where all the character is built.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for such an honest post!- it really made me stop and think and reminded me to never lose my enjoyment of blogging, or why I blog in the first place, in search of popularity and acceptance.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve never heard this opinion before, and it is an interesting one.
    I started reading it and saw that you started blogging in 2012, and I was really confused because I thought you had been blogging for eight years…until I realized that 2012 WAS eight years ago. 😮😂
    Thanks for the advice; I’ll take it with me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are such an incredible and evocative writer! I came to ask you to look at my chapbook, but by the end of the article, found myself stilled by the truth you delivered. You honestly have a gift. This article is what I was searching for this week. I’m really moved by your work, I mean it. This is why I’ve been your fan for so long. Thank you for your honest and meaningful writing. Wow!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you so much for an enlightening post! I think I understand where you’re coming from. The feeling of fulfillment comes from the journey after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel you, Dear.I even stop blogging for some quite time ’cause there are better things ahead of me. My family obligations; my duties being one of their employers; my passion in cooking and baking. My drive to read books or watch different genres of movies and series. And many more to mention. I have realized that blogging is just a part of the many things that can shape me in becoming a better person. And thank you so much for saying that. We don’t need to be okay a hundred percent. All we need is to slow down and enjoy every bit of it. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Did you earn the hundred bucks with writing assignments, or did you also have income from adsense and affiliate programs? Five-hundred new followers a day, that sounds unreal I am lucky to have ten on a good day :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, a hundred bucks per day via donations. Simple as that. People were throwing money away back then. Well, then it got ever crazier, as I had some sponsors paying me anywhere between $1000-$2500 per month just to blog.

      And the most followers I got in a day… some 800. I also had about 1500 views in an hour.

      Different times, a lot less competition, both from other bloggers and other platforms. No Instagram, Facebook was still pretty much a baby, you’d get 500 likes on a post for $10.

      Liked by 1 person

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