It’s hard to believe it, but today’s post marks number 500 on Duchess of Disneyland. Since I started this blog in December 2013, it has grown and changed so much. But one thing that remains the same is my seemingly endless need to learn more about the happiest place on earth – and share it!
I started Duchess of Disneyland with no plan, and no idea how to blog. Over the last 3-ish years, I feel like I’ve been learning every single day – about the park, about blogging, and about trying new things. So I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned, and include a few of my favorite photos taken along the way.
1. Blogging is a LOT of work.
It doesn’t seem that hard on the surface; you type out a post and then publish. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to blogging. Setting up and managing a website is hard work. And once you’ve got that figured out, you have to come up with content (in my case, 3x a week), research that content, take photos, hyperlink, all that stuff. And that’s not even counting social media, responding to comments and emails, and keeping up with the latest park announcements. Blogging is so much fun, but it’s definitely not a passive hobby.
2. Being open to new experiences ≠ saying yes to everything.
When I first started getting responses from readers, I was SO excited. I’m a fairly shy person, so I went into this journey very adamant that I would say yes to opportunities, even if they seemed intimidating. And by saying yes, I’ve had the chance to try so many awesome things. I’ve joined a podcast with five other “Disnerds”, as we call ourselves, and I’ve made so many wonderful friends in the Disney blogger/podcaster/vlogger community.
But saying yes is about balance. If you say yes 100% of the time, you’ll face two real problems: 1) you will overwhelm yourself, and 2) if something doesn’t feel right, that’s probably because it’s not right. Sometimes people will give you an “opportunity” that’s really just taking advantage of free work, or not really in line with your voice. And when that happens, it’s ok to say no.
So I’ve modified the saying. Instead of “say yes to opportunities”, I now go by, “say yes to learning more”. Say yes to a discussion, and then you can accept or decline an opportunity.
3. The more you learn, the less you know.
Or, to put it in a more confusing sentence: the more you learn, the more you realize you have left to learn. I thought I knew a lot about Disneyland when I started blogging. And I guess I did. But as I continue researching the park’s history, exploring each land end to end, and talking with other Disneyland fans, I realize there’s just so much out there that I don’t know. I’m not at all exaggerating when I say that I learn something new every single time I visit the park. At the end of the day, I think wanting to learn is what keeps me motivated to blog, even after 500 posts.
The other thing that keeps me motivated, of course, is connecting with readers. Thank you so much for following along as I explore this magical place, and for teaching me and guiding me and supporting me along the way. My conversations with you on the blog, over email, and on social media are so much fun, and I’m so grateful that the Disneyland community has been so welcoming to me. THANK YOU!
Some of my favorite park snapshots!