The blog metrics plugin in my WordPress install reports that this is my 2,000th blog post. It tells me that the words that I have written total 1,472,090 (but that plugin doesn’t count the 100 or so newsletters that I have written over the last 2 years). Here is what I’ve learned.
I have been learning. There is no better way to discover what you know and what you believe that tops writing. The act of writing forces you to think things through. It forces you to make decisions. You are what you write, and you become what you write at the same time. I am still learning.
I have been practicing. I am still not a great writer. But I am better than I was when I started writing daily, five years ago. It is nearly impossible not to gain some greater competency when you do something deliberately every day for years. I have been practicing writing, and I have been practicing what I write. All the great masters were practicing. You can practice too.
I have been growing. I am a different person than I was five years ago. I have grown both personally and professionally, and a good part of that growth has come through writing and posting here, as well as the work that has come to me through this vehicle. Growing is something you do forever.
I have been serving. I still hear from some people who reject the idea that you should share your ideas freely. They believe everything is a secret unless and until someone pays you. I disagree. Every week I receive emails from people who have been helped by something that I have shared here. Sharing is one way you make a contribution.
I have been practicing awareness. You don’t know how many great ideas pass through you until you start writing every day. Once you start to need ideas, you start to become aware of just how many good (and bad, and fair, and exceptional) ideas pass through you. The demand for ideas creates a vigilance, and constant awareness (and a notebook). There is power in noticing what has your attention.
I have been improvising. I am still improvising. My plan was to write every day, and other than a list of big ideas, I’ve had nothing else to guide me, except for a few role models. You don’t have to wait until you have the perfect plan to start. You just have to start.
I have been making a ruckus. With a hat tip to Seth Godin. I have shared my ideas and my art. I have created work and put it out into the world. Seth always talks about the fear of being judged, and you will be criticized. But the people you want to reach will find you, and you them.
I have created a body of work. What I have written is my work. The first book to come from the ideas here will be printed in 2015. But there are a half a dozen more books that will follow, all of which have come from work that started here. There are also the roots of some of the frameworks and methodologies I have created here. Your work is trapped inside you until you free it.
I have been building relationships. I have made new friends. I have reconnected with old friends. I have developed new business relationships, many that have helped me create new relationships with people from around the world. There is nothing more important than relationships, and the people who you need to know and who need to know you can be anywhere on Earth.