After 1,789 blog posts here, I may have learned something about blogging — and about myself.
And if I’ve learned something, I’ve also learned that I have to share it.
What did you learn today?
Imagine for a moment that, like me, you have decided to do a substantive blog post every weekday. What would you do? Where would you get your material?
You’d have to range all over, but focus on things that affect you personally.
- Did you complete a project, or pass a milestone in one? What did you learn that was different from all the other times that you did that? What did you learn about writing, marketing, customer service, customer experience, efficiency, productivity, interpersonal relations, management?
- Did you read something that made you think? Did you have a different reaction or a different insight after reading whatever it was, based on your experience? Or did you read several seemingly unrelated items and start to detect a pattern?
- Did you see someone doing something wrong (inefficiently, badly, with the wrong emphasis, in a way that was counterproductive) and want to warn others about not following that example?
- Did you see someone doing something right and want to share why you thought it was well done.
- Did you have a personal experience that you wanted to share, to get support, sympathy, or appreciation from others?
- Did something happen that reminded you of a past experience or story that you think people would enjoy?
If you had to blog five times a week, you’d tap every one of these sources, and many others.
What all of these types of insights have in common is that they involve learning something, thinking about what you learned, writing about what you learned, and sharing it.
Blogging creates growth
Learning is growth.
Thinking about what you learned creates more growth.
Writing about what you learned forces you to think harder about it, and how it fits into your worldview, and how you would explain it — which creates still more growth.
And sharing what you wrote demands courage, which creates even more growth.
This is one reason I have found daily blogging to be stimulating and fun. It keeps me on my toes as I reach the straightaway at the end of a long career. It keeps me moving forward.
If you’re not moving forward, you’re probably fading away.
I understand if you’re too shy to share what you learned. Not everyone is ready for public exposure.
But it’s still worth the exercise.
Take 30 minutes at the end of every day — or at the start of the next day — to reflect on something you learned. Write it down. Call it journaling or blogging, whatever you like. Force yourself to figure out what you learned that you didn’t know before. And conceive of an audience who would want to hear about what you learned — even if you’re not ready to make that learning public.
Doing this every day forces you to think about what you learned every day . . . and eventually, to seek out new things to learn, every day.
Do this and you’ll get smarter.
You’ll build on what you observed and expereinced.
You’ll become a more effective writer — because there is no better teacher than practice.
And you’ll grow.
It’s an exercise worth doing. Let me know how it goes.