During a night out with friends last week an important question came up.
‘Why do you write your blog? What’s your real motivation?’
Bang – straight in there. Genuine curiosity. Love it.
‘I’m doing it for me. I said I was going to do it and so it’s a personal challenge to stick to it.’
So it’s to have personal integrity. Sounds reasonable.
The response – ‘I don’t get it. Come on, be honest – what actually drives you to write it every week?’
Ok – this is interesting. Time to delve a little deeper.
I’d love to be able to articulate myself verbally and spontaneously when asked a question like this, but I’m not too good at that yet.
To think about this on the spot and give a full answer was tricky, as I wasn’t expecting it and for something close to my heart like this I like to have more time to think about it first.
Anyway the conversation got interrupted and so we didn’t get to discuss it fully, but the question still remained in my head.
I’ve now had time to ponder over it.
I often wang on about the importance of knowing why we do things at work. About having goals and understanding the benefits.
The original goals when setting out 6 months ago were simple:
- To create a blog about making work less shit.
- To write and publish a post each week for 6 months minimum
- To reach 50 subscribers
The benefits were also clear:
- Learn some new skills (I’d never heard of WordPress 6 months ago)
- Do more of something I enjoy (writing)
- Make people smile
So 6 months later what’s the deal?
Well, I’ve met my goals. Hooray! But the pub conversation was a reminder to revisit these and come up with some new ones.
Here are some of the questions that have been rattling around.
The reason 90% of you read this blog is because you know me and I asked you to sign up (thanks again by the way). But how to extend the target audience outside of my own network? Why do I want to have my voice heard on a bigger platform?
Do I write this blog
- to seek re-assurance from others about what I believe is right or wrong? Yes, a part of me is.
- because I think I know best and people should do what I say? Definitely not.
- because I want to make money? Not at the moment.
So the revised goals are:
- Continue to write and publish a post a week for another 6 months
- Reach 200 subscribers
- Develop my writing style to be more punchy and humorous (please tell me if I lose sight of this one)
And the benefits:
- I still enjoy writing. It’s an outlet to get things off my chest and keep my mind active.
- It keeps me honest – You have to practice what you preach.
- It keeps me present at work. I’m always looking out for things that happen that I can poke fun at, do better, or share with you.
- I like the feeling of trying to help others have a slightly less shit day and of doing something mildly useful, (all be it in a very small 2 minutes a week kind of way)
OK enough personal reflection, this is all getting a bit self indulgent.
What’s the bottom line?
Putting the goals and benefits to one side for a minute, if asked today to sum up ‘Why do write your blog’ I would simply say this. ‘It nourishes me.’
Steve Jobs famously said that he wanted to make a ding in the universe. Well I just want to make a ding in my own tiny little bubble, and why the hell shouldn’t I be able to try.
If there is something new you want to start to do then just flipping well go for it.
Try it, see if you like it. If not stop and try something else.
If you have already found things you love then do more of them.
If you don’t feel the need to try new things (or you have 50 ideas but only want to try one at a time) then enjoy that contentment.
Either way life is short. And your life is what you make it. You choose your own path.
So embrace today. Live now. Who knows what tomorrow brings.