3 = number of blog posts that I published in 2016
19 = number of blog posts that I actually wrote in 2016
Not publishing… I think that this may have been my most impactful discovery in 2016. Writing with no intent to publish is something I hope to continue. I have been writing so often this year… to help me reflect… to help me structure otherwise scattered thoughts… to help me focus.
“You’re letting your brain dial turn your fear volume up” – Finn
For years, it seems that my lifelong fear of public speaking has been secretly impacting my ability to blog without me knowing it. Those who know me best know what I go through before stepping on stage to speak. Even standing up to ask a question causes my heart to race. This seemed to creep in when I wrote blog posts as well. I would often be so very inspired to start writing, but then constantly be thinking of the reader, and how they might (or might not) be entertained or inspired by my every word. I was incapable of simply letting the words flow from me (with some rare exceptions when I was compelled to share something very personal).
This year I decided to try writing just for me. “Just ignore that magic Publish button Martin”. It was a self imposed challenge, and in many ways an experiment. I wanted to know a bit more about how I structure my own thoughts, and how my loosely connected ideas might change when I tried to explain them to others. I also wanted to further explore my own fears of public speaking, and see how they may have manifested in other areas of my life.
“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something” – Jake
Interestingly enough, with the pressure of “Is this good enough?” gone, I discovered that the very act of writing is a powerful tool for me. Not just challenge my ideas and strategies, but also as an effective method to perform thorough self-retrospectives. I started experimenting with writing extensive retrospectives on my workshops, my business trips, and even started revisiting my failed efforts in answering difficult questions throughout the year. There seems to be something very powerful about how one chooses to structure recent memories when converting them into text. It helps you extract so many subtle details that are not easily remembered when just quietly reflecting or simply talking about the events.
To be clear, I am not simply describing a personal diary. I am in fact talking about blogging here. On each occasion, I am intending the reader to be an unknown “someone else”, “somewhere on the internet”. The only change that I have introduced was removing the pressure that I have always felt about quality, and focused on fully exploring the topic to MY satisfaction. I guess, you could call it a “Potentially Publishable Blog” or “Minimum Viable Post” (sorry… I could not resist).
Okay. That felt good… So now the question: do I publish this?