At the beginning of this year (2016), I posted about tracking key decisions on my blog. One of my expected outcomes is that people will hold me accountable, and that is exactly what happened this week.
Yesterday was my first day as a DevOps engineer at Pursuant, a fundraising agency for non-profits. As part of their on-boarding process, they scheduled for me to meet with a small group from each department to become more familiar with the company and my new coworkers. In one of those meetings, a VP enters the room and tells me “Hey, I liked your blog post on tracking key decisions.” Surprised that someone actually read my blog, I managed to eek out a thank you. He continues, “By the way, I noticed you haven’t posted any key decisions yet.”
Thanks, Gary - you got me! Time to follow up :-)
I enjoy blogging, but blogging is intimidating. To do well, it requires time, effort, and vulnerability. I work full time, so it often means staying up late or waking up early to work on a post. When you’re tired, it is too easy to give in to comfort and convenience rather than persevering to the end of a post. But most of all, you have to constantly fight the battle in your mind that what you have to say isn’t good enough.
Despite all of my fears, I find intrinsic value in being able to easily and freely publish my thoughts online. Oddly enough, my greatest motivation for hitting the publish button (well running my Ansible playbook to publish my blog), is Jeff Atwood’s post on How to Stop Sucking and Be Awesome Instead.
- Embrace the Suck
- Do It in Public
- Pick Stuff That Matters
Seriously, I tell myself, “embrace the suck,” as I publish each new post, including this one. Shouldn't we avoid things that we thing will suck? Well, maybe. But maybe they won't suck. Or maybe they will suck, but it will be worth it. This is how I like to think about it:
If you fail to take action because you fear a negative outcome, you are also giving up any chance you have at a positive outcome.
And now that we’re on the subject of outcomes, here are my expected outcomes from consistently publishing at least three blog posts a month.
Blogging will provide me with a creative outlet. Being able to freely express myself and maintain full creative control brings me great joy.
Some of my posts require experimentation or research. Others come from lessons learned through real-life experience. Forcing myself to sit down and focus my thoughts into words, sentences, and paragraphs reinforces my newly acquired knowledge and encourages me to dig deeper knowing that others may read what I write.
Sharing a blog post with someone can teach them something new or give them a much needed motivation boost for the day. In other words, when someone reads an article online, it changes the thoughts that they think. Writing online is also an efficient way of sharing knowledge - write once, share with the entire world. And if you're wrong on the internet, sooner or later, someone will correct you (or at least troll you).
Opening doors to new opportunities
Whether it’s finding new career or business opportunities, making new and unexpected friends, or something I can't even imagine, I expect blogging consistently over time to lead to new and interesting connections with fellow human beings.
Better, faster writer
Did I mention blogging is hard work? I expect that by forcing myself to write more blog posts, I will learn to write both more efficiently and effectively through practice and feedback.
So there. Key decision #2 - write 3 blog posts each month. And with that, I'm two thirds of the way to following through for the second month in a row. Woohoo!
Have you made a key decision recently?
If so, please share in the comments. Or better yet, write your own blog post and send me a link.