During the past seven years, I’ve used blogging to motivate and entertain myself, to share other blogs and resources, to think out loud, to meet readers and writers. I know it goes against rules of personal branding, but I treat my blog as I did my childhood bedroom—changing the furniture arrangement when I’m bored, sewing new curtains, repainting the walls, decluttering now and then.
2017 feels like a time to return to some serious blogging, with a renewed focus and plan, starting with a new tagline: Writing my way to meaning.
Meaning is, after all, the role that writing plays in my life, in at least a couple of ways. First, the act of writing itself brings meaning to my days. Whether it is writing a blog post or poem, short story or essay, for publication or not, I end my day better and fall asleep more satisfied if I have written. It took me most of my life to figure that out—that meeting specific writing goals are not, in the long-term, as important to me as the act and process of writing itself. Writing is an aspect of finding authenticity: when I write, I am more myself.
Second, writing is and has always been my go-to way to find meaning, to understand better the world and my place in it, to discover a purpose. In my particular search for meaning, writing works better than talking, better than reading, much better than thinking alone—as useful as those activities are. When I’m feeling particularly flummoxed by life, I am probably not writing much (it took me a long time to figure that out, as well).
A fun fact: this is the 735th published post here. Of those, these three have the most all-time views:
Finally, I plan to use blogging in 2017 as a way to push through the natural second-guessing and self-doubt that plague most if not all writers at least some of the time. Once I get in the habit of talking myself out of writing—of allowing silent hesitations and uncertainties to call the shots as I type a sentence and then letter by letter delete it—I can quickly grind to a stop for an unbelievably long time. After all, there are so many reasons not to write:
a) The topic is not original.
b) The topic is boring.
c) I’m not sure of what I think.
d) Readers will roll their eyes.
e) Who else cares besides me, anyway?
f) I’m not smart/skilled/worthy enough to put my words before readers.
g) All of the above.
Goodness, I’m deflated just typing out that inner dialogue!
However, the good news is that when I return to the habit of writing through those doubts and hitting PUBLISH anyway, the thoughts lose their power and diminish, and the momentum of writing can return. As the authors of The Confidence Code remind us: “Nothing builds confidence like taking action.”
So, dear neglected blog, I promise to pay attention to you in 2017, knowing that you will repay me many times over.
What role does blogging play in your life?
Is 2017 the year for you to attend to a neglected blog?