For my first recommendation of the year, I felt like I should offer something more reflective that felt relevant to my past year.
I played with a lot of ideas—different apps, websites, books, and movies—to recommend, but only one thing—one activity—genuinely resonated with me this year: blogging daily.
So let’s discuss why it resonated.
At the start of last year, I hated my newsletter.
I took a hiatus at the end of 2021, then tried to find my way back over the next three months. But I was lost. I wasn’t enjoying the work, I was burnt out, and I was seeing minimal reward.
I paused for a few weeks, wrote one last newsletter in April, then quit. I was done and didn’t have any interest in returning.
But of course, this wasn’t true. I missed writing. I missed sharing. And I missed helping others.
I also missed writing fiction, something I had fun with throughout 2021, including a month where I wrote a story daily.
I had read about atomic essays and thought shorter posts might be easier to write. As a piece of content on the internet, I always found shorter articles (like Seth Godin’s writing) a far more consumable read.
So on July 13, 2022, I started a daily blog to share my thoughts about writing and storytelling, and each Monday, I’d share a piece of fiction.
It was hard. It still is. I fail a lot and have to fill in the days I miss, but it feels good to be doing what I love. And 173 days later, it has become one of the best choices I made for me and my website.
I quit worrying about the audience and started writing for myself
Chasing after the numbers and the recognition of others is an unrewarding path. (It’s why I likely was so miserable at the start of the year.) Now I write for me: me now, me 35 years ago, and me somewhere in between. Every blog post since July has been me working on something I’ve struggled with over the years.
It forces me to write and share without an editor
I adore my editor. She makes me look good. But she also has a life and can’t edit my every word. So writing and sharing forces me to practice daily.
It’s a pressure-release valve for creativity
I’m pretty moody when I’m not writing or expressing myself (one of the many reasons why my wife is fantastic for tolerating me.) Having to show up regularly not only makes me feel better but also challenges me to come up with new ideas regularly.
I’m more personal
For the longest time, I’ve always remained guarded on my website. It was a defence, but it also made my writing stiff. I’m still working on finding that right balance, but it’s hard to hide when you have to write daily.
I’m grateful to blog every day.
Even if no one is looking at it, it’s significantly impacted my happiness. I love talking about writing and trying to help others, but also it gave me a place for self-expression, and that’s been the greatest gift of all.