It has been precisely one year since I began this blog, making the conditions for a reflection (on my reflections) ripe.
While it only takes a seed of inspiration (and a domain name) to get started, a year’s worth of consistent writing takes a lot of seed watering. Looking back, this site has been such a precious gift for me; it’s as if my self of a year ago is presenting my current self with some flowers from the garden of my mind.
The process of writing a public blog (with my name at the address bar) has taught me an unexpected amount about myself and my writing. I’d like to share three lessons learned:
1. Be prepared to face your fears
With every post I need to be prepared for the entire world to read while simultaneously being okay with only 5 people reading. This has opened me up to directly facing two very strong fears: a.) everyone knowing my business and b.) no one caring.
These fears may be explored in later posts.
2. The bar is higher, but there’s no need to stress
If I write in private I am more comfortable with half-baked ideas containing some connections that aren’t quite fleshed out. When writing publicly my standards are much higher. Regardless of how many people read, just the knowledge that it is public domain raises the bar for me.
My initial reaction to this was being petrified that I wouldn’t have anything to add to the ever-expanding information behemoth known as ‘the internet’. I spent hours pouring over material, treating each topic as if it was a research paper. This was quite stressful.
Over time I saw this raised bar as an opportunity to reflect deeply and sharpen my ability to articulate. This gave way to a much more relaxed state of ‘doing’ whereby writings flowed (a tad) more gracefully.
3. Your influence will surprise you.
At first I would check the blog compulsively for comments. Each time I received an email about a comment I would be giddy. After a while I stopped placing so much importance on comments. I started writing just to write, not necessarily to receive praise by others saying how much they liked my writing. Funny thing is, once I stopped grasping for validation, it came.
Many times I’ve been with someone who I didn’t know read my blog (or even that I had one in the first place) and they’ll mention being affected by a certain line.
To mark the one year anniversary, I’ve added a couple new features to the site, including an email sign-up for notification of new posts, a ‘popular posts’ widget, and a “New? Start here” page. If you have suggestions on how I could improve this site, please reach out.
Smiling to you,