My blog just turned 40.
Like most that experience age 40, my blog is questioning itself in a weird mesh of reflection and bewilderment.
“How has there already been 40 posts?”
“Ugh, those paragraphs aren’t as tight as they used to be.”
“Have I, after 40 posts, been successful?”
The interesting thing is that I feel a forty-year old would come to terms with the above comments much like I am coming to terms with this blog. A lot has happened over the time period of those 40 posts. The writing may not be as ambitious or written with the same intellectual vigor, but it has developed a tone; it now has structure. And yes it has been successful. It may not have won any awards, but it has carried a message, and has been received well by people.
So… am I supposed to buy a Corvette now or something?
Well, my blog is 40, not me, so I think the Corvette will have to wait. But in the meantime I do have some ideas for what I am going to do:
1. I am going to write to an audience, an audience that will listen.
When I started this blog it was intended to demonstrate that I was familiar to blogging, and meant to be a device to help me develop my writing skills. But I got tired of writing to some mythical job recruiter, and I decided to focus on writing to people who can identify with me. I will continue to offer this blog as a tool to recent graduates, employment seekers, and emerging communications professionals.
2. I am going to tell a story.
As I look back on some of my past writing, I realize that my best posts reveal something to the reader, and give them something that they can feel. A persuasive argument has no emotion, but an inspiring story can be quite persuasive and can hit people in the gut, where it really counts.
3. I am going to continue to strive for excellence.
While I feel I have made great strides in my writing, I want more. I want to engage a readership. I want to see a conversation take place via comments sparked by a thought-provoking post. I want people to tweet about my posts; to ignite conversations of their own. I want my pursuit of betterment to make other people better.
I do realize that those are some pretty lofty goals. But how else do you achieve greatness other than by setting the bar high?
I am fortunate though, to know what I need to do to achieve those goals: Listen. I will listen to criticism, I will listen to advice, and I will listen to my audience to make my online presence, worth something to others.
There is one more thing that I will try do start doing more frequently; leave with a call-to-action. So I say this to you: write. Write with everything you got. Put your head down on a piece of paper; punch out your thoughts on a keyboard. And if you are already doing that, great. Show me what you got. Share your writing with me, as I share with you. So that by the time you and I turn 40, our achievements will allow us to afford that Corvette.