“Sarah, how long does it take to build a website?”

That’s a great question. I get asked this question all the time, not surprisingly. And the answer, well–the answer is difficult to pin down.

Because it’s not just about the design, or the bones of the site–it’s about the content. And the organization of that content.

Building this site has been a labor of love.

Building this site is and has been a labor of love (and increasingly a business), and it’s taken me a very long time to do—I’ve been blogging for three years and I’ve written nearly 300 posts. The simple reason I’ve kept doing it is because I love writing. I love learning, ideas, and growth—and I learn through writing, philosophical contemplation, and grappling with ideas.

But how can you show how complex, layered, and deep a site is with a pixelated interface? The surface of a flat screen–whether a tablet, mobile device, or computer–only hints at the edges of the body of work; and often, we only notice the things that work poorly.

The length of time it takes to build a website is directly related to the amount of content that’s within the site.

And content creation is often the most difficult component. (I know: I’ve built and designed sites for people and waited months for the copy for the About and services pages to come; and I’ve done the same on projects where creating the paragraph to describe who I am and what I do takes an incredibly long time).

Adding new systems, getting organized, and site changes:

Over the past few month, I’ve been building into this site several new systems–from changing the frequency of posting to adding a newsletter and creating new sign-up forms–and I’ve also gone back and revamped and updated the archives and best of page. The complete record of all of the posts I’ve ever written (including some of the embarrassing early starts) are there.

How’d I get here? Simple. I wrote 250 essays, and I’m still showing up.

Going through all of the old content, watching my journey, looping together not-before-seen threads–let me discover new themes and do a macro-business audit. What do I continuously feel pulled to write about? What pieces were the standout pieces? Which ones surprised me? Are there areas and places I could improve the quality?

Some essays I would edit, massively. Time gave me perspective and new information. Others are poorly written (yup, happens to me all the time: the only way to get to the good stuff is to write it all out).

The benefit? I have 250 essays (well, probably 100 of those I would actually use). I can take these essays and build them into longer pieces; I can learn from them; I can build out longer documents by stringing them together, and I can start to layer complexity into future thought pieces.

So today, my treat: here’s a sampling of the best of the blog. Dig in, if you’d like. Have a cup of coffee and join me. I’ve curated what I think are the best of the blog, below. Enjoy.

On writing:

Life philosophy and the bigger picture:

Getting started, motivation:

Reminders, or how to keep going:

Making things happen–actually getting it done:

Psychology and the inner workings of the mind:

Useful tools, tricks, and tips:

Reflection, goal-setting, and tools for review:

Modest minimalist, and the art of having less:

Personal narrative and growing into your future self:

Reminders of kindness and empathy:

Swimming, running, athleticism, yoga + movement:

See the full archives or an extended list of the best-of-blog, in the menu up top or in the links. Thanks for being here.

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