For years, I’ve been explaining to people that daily blogging is an extraordinarily useful habit. Even if no one reads your blog, the act of writing it is clarifying, motivating and (eventually) fun.
A collection of daily bloggers I follow have passed 1,000 posts (it only takes three years or so…). Fortunately, there are thousands of generous folks who have been posting their non-commercial blogs regularly, and it’s a habit that produces magic.
Sasha, Gabe, Fred, Bernadette and Rohan add value to their readers every day, and I’m lucky to be able to read them. (I’m leaving many out, sorry!) You’ll probably get something out of reading the work of these generous folks, which is a fabulous side effect, one that pays huge dividends to masses of strangers, which is part of the magic of digital connection.
I’ve been writing or sharing something daily for a few years now, but Seth Godin has been doing it for much longer. I think he’s right that daily writing is “a habit that produces magic”, at least for me insofar as it’s helped me learn to be accountable to myself first.
When I write here, I sometimes think about the possibility that these words will be read by friends or family generations from now. I also realize there’s a possibility some of these words might never really be read by anyone. Both outcomes are alright.
I’ve written here before that I think it will be amazing to future generations that we who were so connected generally said and left behind so little. We share and post and engage on platforms like Facebook and Twitter and elsewhere, but we rarely share coherent stories there, or narratives or anything other than little vignettes. Even assuming those those networks preserve that content, the idea of grandchildren or anyone else trying to make sense of most of it will be like sifting through the charred remains of family letters after a fire; what’s there will still be valued, but very little will tie together.
What got them up in the morning? What did they believe about the world? When did they decide to start a family? What were their challenges and triumphs?
We can think and write out loud now, and if we’re comfortable being a little vulnerable in doing so, we might do more than just create a record of the sort of things we’re doing and experiencing and thinking about—we might just foster a culture that’s a bit more empathetic and connected, too.
And no, writing doesn’t require having an audience in mind and it doesn’t require being perfct. Develop a voice, then speak.