What A Difference A Year Makes

My first ever blog post was in 2006 (I just reread that, can't believe it has been that long), I spent a year back then exploring this online writing forum craze that took off and trying to have a voice as I attempted to sell technology solutions. I think that helped show me that I didn't really like trying to market myself and wasn't really a salesman at heart. After a career change I realized that I still had a desire to write within me. For the next 10 years I was trying to figure out what I wanted to say, who my audience was, what my "voice" was. But I failed more times than I care to remember, never knowing how I was unique, or if what I wanted to say was any different than any number of writers who were far more talented. I told myself that it was pointless because nobody would want to read what I had to say.

I don't know if I needed to struggle for 11 years to figure this out but one year ago a switch flipped. I became determined to set an interval of writing twice a week. I didn't know what my theme was, what topics I was going to focus on or if anyone would even read what I wrote. But here I am a year later, not perfect in hitting my twice a week goal (I missed some entries for vacations, holidays and a week of the flu - I decided not to beat myself up over it), branching off in to all kinds of different subjects, yet still feeling pretty good about where I am at. Here are the highlights of what I've learned in the last year:

  1. Discipline of doing the work gets you farther than trying to stay motivated.
  2. I write posts like I'm talking to myself. Writing is therapeutic and at times the kick in the rear I need myself.
  3. Comparing what I've written in the past I think I do a better job just saying what is inside me rather than trying to figure out what people want to hear. I can't try to copy anyone else, I have to be me.
  4. I write about what interests me. Faith, family, sports, leadership - one topic doesn't define who I am, all of those things are who I am.
  5. If people don't agree with what I write, that is okay, people don't need to think alike in order to find common ground, they just need to listen to what the other person is saying.
  6. If nobody reads anything I write, I'm okay with it. However nothing gets me more excited than when someone makes a comment about how much they enjoy reading my work.
  7. Everyone has a voice, has a story worth sharing and is a person worth understanding more.

So, here I am, one year and 99 posts later, knowing more about who I am and enjoying myself immensely every time I sit down in front of a keyboard. I enjoy the times that I have no idea what to say and learning how to struggle through that creative process. I enjoy the times I start drafting multiple posts at the same time because the ideas are just flowing and learning how to organize the chaos into something coherent, though maybe the jury is still out on that one. Yes, I had to develop a discipline, but from that discipline came something that I really enjoy.

I don't have a plan for what I'm going to say in the next year, but I am so grateful to those of you that take the time to read and will be with me through the process. If you could do me a favor and drop a comment about what you enjoy, send a recommendation to a friend that you think would enjoy or even just give this post a Like I would appreciate it. I'm really curious to get a better idea of who all is reading. I know what this year has meant to me, I hope to learn about what this year has meant to you. I hope that I have made a difference in your year too.

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