Posts Tagged ‘reflection’
In the first year, I published 55 blogs. In the second year, 59 blogs. And in the third year. I published 30 blog posts. And yet, the third year was one of the best years in my blog’s history because of two separate, but connected events – speaking at WordCamp Seattle and WordCamp Portland.
I started this blog to find my voice and have a place to write. But it quickly turned into a hub around connecting with people. From random conversations with people I meet on Twitter to coffee shop dates with bloggers I admire, or three-degrees of separation that turn into job offers, most of the people I have met over the past three years have been connected to this blog and the doors that it has opened to me. And for all of the specific and vague connections I have made over the past three years, I am grateful.
My blog’s third year started off with more momentum, posts, and excitement than I could imagine. But after the second speaking event at the end of summer, everything went into a quiet hiatus. I still wrote and published blogs, but things slowed way down over here as I focused my creative energy into a new fulltime job I started in September. But when I look at the past year as a whole and ignore my goal of publishing more posts than I had in the previous year, my blog’s third year was a momentous one.
And to commemorate its birthday, here’s a little roundup of lessons learned, best posts, and the random ways that people find my blog.
The Three Most Important Lessons I’ve learned in Three Years of Blogging
1. You never have enough time to blog as you want to. I laughed when putting together my slides about blogging every day because I knew someone would ask, “How do you find the time to blog?” and the answer I prepared the following answer: you just do. For whatever reason, this fall I really understood what it meant to not have enough time to do anything other than go to work, eat, and barely get enough sleep to be energized to tackle the next day. I’ve had fulltime jobs before, but the one I started was different and I could not (still cannot) explain why. And while, for the first time in my life, I’m happy going through the motions and just being that person who goes to work and comes home, the writer inside of me is aching to write more. And the only way to satisfy her is to steal that time from somewhere else and, sit down, shut up, and pound the keyboard until words appear.
2. The post you pour your heart and soul into writing will never resonate with readers as much as the one you write and publish in the moment. There is a time and a place for epic blog posts that you spend hours researching, writing, editing, and perfecting. And while it feels good to write those essays, when it comes to blogs and writing content that people (you) care about, are posts that are written in an hour’s notice based on the ideas that you’ve been chewing on over the past few days. Stop thinking. Start writing.
3. Numbers alone don’t measure success. I’ve been struggling to write this recap and feel good about my third year of blogging because I haven’t been blogging lately. I didn’t blog every day in November. And I didn’t post at all in December. But when I think about all the people I have met and the opportunities I have had because of the work I have put into my blog since the beginning, it has been a damn successful year. (more…)
Editor’s Note: I realize it’s the last week of January and it’s a tad tacky to post my “year in review” blog post. But do you know what’s even tackier than that? Publishing a year-in-review blog post in February.
Days before the clock struck midnight and we rang in a New Year, I sat on Skype having a conversation with a dear friend about anything and everything that happened in the year that the world did not end. In the middle of the call, my husband dropped in and showed off the framed piece of artwork he illustrated for our nephew. This piece he drew, brushed, and water colored in his studio on a desk that he didn’t imagine owning a year ago. But over the past year, it has been the location where his best work has come to life.
Back on the call, my friend described the successes and detours his business had throughout the past year; a business that was a glimmer of an idea less than two years before. Then I connected the dots that lead me to the day job that I’m so fortunate to have landed, happy to be at, and invested in today.
At the end of my story said the something that I’ve been repeating over and over to myself as I entered the New Year: How did we get here?
Every year when holidays settle down and the clock runs out, I try to reflect on how I started the previous year and how it ultimately ended. It’s at this point when I see the things that were such a struggle, the moments that were absolutely wretched, and the moments when everything happened for a reason and the stress was totally worth it.
2012 was—without a doubt—a crazy year. As I look back on my 2011 year in review, I had no idea how completely different life would be a year later due to things that were beyond my control. I knew the year would take it’s own shape, so I said “no” to resolutions and framed the year around goals, mantras, and priorities. But as the note cards lost their adhesion, goals literally fell off the wall, and life marched on. But unlike last year that ended with me feeling disappointed that things didn’t go as planned, this year I’m okay with that 2012 had a different ending than how it began. (more…)
What’s a quality blog without bestowing some lessons about life and the pursuit of happiness on you? Exactly. So here are four blog posts with a total of 46 lessons and things to enrich your life.
Day 200: 5 Lessons from the part-time writer by Harmony Hasbrook on 100 Days or More
Read this because: You love writing and think that it wouldn’t be too bad to do on a daily basis. Except that passion always changes another shade when it goes from the “passion” bucket into “work,” unless you make a conscious effort to make sure that it never loses its appeal.
How to Live Vicariously through Yourself by Steve Kamb on Nerd Fitness
Read this because: Someone that you used to know did some amazing, ballsy thing that you never expected them to or went somewhere awesome and it completely changed their life for the better. And every time you think about what they did you think, “I wish I could do that!”
I really like Steve’s approach to live vicariously through yourself as a way to stop wishing that you could do something and start doing it. Going to try this one out myself.
25 Years of Havoc Making and 25 Revelations or Things I Wish I Did Differently – A Quarter Life Crisis in Review by Alexandar Heyne on Milk the Pigeon
Read this because: Everyone is or has been in that weird 20-something phase of trying to figure out what the heck we’re doing on Earth and how we’re going to make the most of our lives. One of my favorite bloggers, Alexander, just turned 25 and has shared a list of 25-things he wished he knew before this birthday. Unfortunately you can’t help not knowing what you don’t know, but according to this list, he’s got big plans for how he’s going to use this knowledge now, and you can too.
15 More Things You Should Do Before You Turn 30 by Ryan O’Connell on Thought Catalog
Read this because: You’ve just turned 25 and there’s a whole lot more mischief you can create before you turn 30.
What did you read this week?
Photo Credit: inju
Two years ago I was a wannabe blogger. The kind who want a blog so desperately that it paralyzed me from picking out a theme and sitting down to do the hard work – writing. So with the help of my husband, I slapped a landing page on my domain with a gorgeous (and accurate) ticker. I set an arbitrary date for launch, and I watched the months, weeks, days, and hours disappear.
Then, hours before I was supposed to launch, I did what most people do when they’re faced with a deadline – I freaked out. Lucky for me, John was still there to hold my hand. He helped me decide on a theme that would work, add a little branding, and got it live. Then he went to bed, while I stayed up to write my first post.
The date was a Sunday, February 14th, 2010, and I didn’t crawl into bed until 6am the following morning.
But I wrote, edited, and published my first post. My blog went live, and I tweeted, and then caught up on my sleep.
When I woke up, my life changed.
There were tweets, comments, and mentions galore. I remember going over to a friend’s house for dinner on that evening and checking the most comments for the first time – there were fifteen.
Oh. My. God. People were actually reading my brand new blog.
And they liked what I had to say.
My legs went weak. I felt like I was going to throw up.
But I didn’t.
Instead I calmed down and replied to those tweets and those comments. I thanked my new readers – people who heard my excitement about launching a blog in the past and were thrilled that lamiki.com was finally live.
I became a blogger.
Over the course of the past two years, I have thought, I have written, and I have published. Through this blog I have met people, landed some amazing jobs, and built some deep relationships. Blogging, and this identity that is “lamiki” has helped me open doors that I never knew existed before.
In college, my screenwriting professor said that down in LA, every other person has a screen play in their back pocket. In these days of the hipster generation, I’d say that every other person has a startup, a side-project, or even a business that they’re working on in their spare time. And in tech communities like Seattle, I’d say that’s every person.
Ideas are everywhere. And the Internet makes it so easy to turn a ‘hobby’ into a business.
Are you a habitual side project starter?
You are full of ideas. You look at the world and problems that need fixing. And you know exactly how to do it.
You think up new projects and jump on them. When you start, it’s like you’ve caught a fever — you brainstorm, purchase the domain name, snag the Twitter handle, and tell everyone you know about what you’re working on. You can’t be stopped.
But then it happens again. You get a new idea and it’s better than the one before. You place your current project on hold or abandon it entirely.
The cycle repeats itself.
Question, are you jumping from project to project, because:
- You haven’t found that ‘one’ project that you really, really, really want to focus on?
- You believe that you can work on every single project at the same time (or switch as you follow your folly)?
- You don’t have the confidence that any of your ideas are ‘good enough’ to succeed?
Stop juggling side projects. Commit.
Projects, like goals, are most successful when you focus on one or two at a time. That way you can make an honest, full-blown effort at seeing one of those ideas through before choosing to go all the way or jump ship.
You need to specialize and focus on one project at a time. It’s why top companies focus their entire business on one thing, either having the best price, the best quality product, or the best service than anyone else in their industry. It’s why Zappos is known for great customer service, Southwest Airlines for price, and Apple for product (though the fan boys do help).
If you juggle too many projects at one time, you’re bound to drop one or keep them in the air at half mast. And multitasking may be bad for your brain.
If you’re constantly starting new projects, stop. Pick one and start working on it. Follow your curiosity and see where it goes. It might be everything you hoped it would be or it might be an utter failure. If it’s the latter, then scrap it and move on to the next one.
You may be surprised by what happens when you focus.
Photo credit: ryantron.