Keeping the Promise
A couple of weeks ago, I received notification from WordPress, that I’d posted my 100th blog on their site! As a novice blogger, there is no number as significant as the big “100.” For me, it represents a commitment I made to really “give it a go.” In the past, I’d only dabbled with blogging for myself, writing a handful of posts a year – it just wasn’t much. But after writing a weekly assignment blog for a “real” company for almost a year, I finally felt prepared and capable of keeping up with one of my own on a regular basis.
Even though I reached this milestone in only a year, there were still challenges to publishing 100 posts and hurdles of mental, emotional and physical magnitude to overcome! And if you do the math, you’ll see I actually averaged two posts per week, a number that really surprised me. I had a goal and I’d made a promise to myself not to let a week go by without writing something and hitting the “publish” button.
“You have to begin at the beginning,” I told myself, “if you want to get to the end.”
In the one year and a month that it took me to write 100 posts, there has been no reward for getting that content out the door on a regular basis. It took me writing on evenings and weekends (outside of my normal work hours). It required paying attention on a daily basis to what needed to be said and then finding an interesting way to say it. It took courage to hit the “publish” button – what if no one liked it? Committing to something that has no tangible benefits might seem a little crazy, but it was a deal I made with myself. And now looking back, I’m really glad that I did. Now I can call myself a real blogger – if there is such a thing.
Keeping up a weekly blog taught me a lot about myself in a short period of time, like:
How to stick with something no matter how insignificant it seems…For the first few months that I was blogging, I was pretty sure no one read a single word I’d written. No one commented or “liked” the articles I was putting out there. There were some posts with only one or two views and those were probably just me checking to see if I really did, in fact, hit the “publish” button. But still, even without any feedback, I continued to write because I had promised myself to do it – no matter what. And a promise is a promise.
Learning to value and honor my ideas requires trust and time…I was talking to a friend recently who said she’d always wanted to write a blog, but she didn’t think anyone would care about her ideas. The truth was she didn’t value her perspective. And neither did I, in the beginning. It was tough at first to say what I wanted to say without pre-judging what others might think about it. But the more I did it, the more I began to value my ideas and better yet, to honor my truth by sharing it right out loud. And in turn, my beliefs have solidified, becoming more distilled and honed over time, yet also more flexible and open all the time. My blog has been like my personal “thinking machine,” a place I can go to work through the complexities of life and the living of it. Not everyone agrees with my perspective, but you can’t please everyone, now can you?
You don’t have to have all of the answers (or any, for that matter) up front…In the beginning I spent a few months on the fence trying to figure out the “focus” of my blog. I had a lot of things I wanted to write about, but there didn’t seem to be any way to marry them into one neat and tidy package. I wanted to write about dance, yoga, being single, travel, parenting adults and making the most of your life. In general, any one of these topics would have a made a great blog on its own, but I couldn’t seem to choose and I couldn’t find a way to bring them under one banner. Finally, I made up my mind to keep it simple and just get started. Over time, I would figure out what I liked to write about most. The funny thing is that a lot of my posts started out in a similar fashion. I wasn’t always sure what I wanted to say, or the point I was trying to make until I got to the end of writing it. What I know now is that we are all mysterious and multi-dimensional and that is what makes us so interesting.
And now that my blog just celebrated its one year birthday, I realize that I don’t have any more idea where it is going than on day one, and I’m okay with that. I think life is a lot like that, we don’t know much at all about the end. But we do have a pretty good idea about where we are right now and a vague idea about where we are going. And, if we point our energy in a certain direction, with a little commitment and trust, we are probably going to like where we end up tomorrow – enough to share that with others and keep it going, building momentum along the way.
Thanks for reading 100, and maybe 100 more…