I am not big on resolutions, but like many of you, I’d sure like to write more this year. Writing was the single biggest factor in helping my career, and it’s led me to start new projects, find new interests, helped solved problems, etc. I’m a horrible note-taker, and far too many thoughts and ideas permanantly live in my mind. Which doesn’t scale—especially for someone at my age.
One of the earliest blogs I followed is making a comeback. Completely agree with the sentiment here: “Writing was the single biggest factor in helping my career, and it’s led me to start new projects, find new interests, helped solved problems, etc.” My first blog was called Cochon d’Vol and lasted from high school through my early years of college. Then I launched a more fiery blog called From the Gates of Hell, covering theology, culture and life. That went on for a few years until I graduated college and then I launched the original Finley.im with much the same subject matter. That and a development blog called Pixel Faith lived through the end of my job at Community Christian Church in Naperville.
It was the end of that job that snuffed out my voice. From around 2002 to 2011 I blogged a few times a week. It ended abruptly. Part of that was a purposeful choice on my behalf. I was in a bad place leaving Community. After a tumultuous December, coming back in January (the first day back after Christmas) I was one of some 20 employees let go. The way that I was treated that morning scorned me. Relationships I had formed there were burned quickly and I felt at a complete loss. Throw in that I had three months before I was supposed to be getting married and needed a job A.S.A.P., I feel I was just in feeling cynical. Because I couldn’t write my thoughts in a way without rant, I didn’t.
The weeks passed into months without writing, allowing that cynicism to brew. Initially justified by the events that went down, it just became something more. I don’t like what it did to me inside. So much was lost by letting that happen.
When we got married, having luckily gotten a job and sticking to the date we had, I said over and over that we should launch a blog. But I couldn’t write. All designers know what I’m talking about. Redesign the blog a few times a year and not put the effort into the writing. I designed the blog more times than I would like to admit. But finally, in 2013, we launched it. I kept away from the topics that I used to write about, knowing that theology curtailed into that cynicism still, I changed the tone of my writing style to be more family-oriented. Within a couple months we found out we were expecting our first child, providing me more to write about. With the birth of my daughter in August, I was writing more in Day One than I was posting on Finley Home.
Sometimes you just need to write. As an introvert, I do. It’s my way of getting what is in my head out. So I have changed my way of sharing to allow me to write more. Instead of sharing every interesting link I find throughout my day on Twitter and Facebook, I save it as a draft in Ghost. When I have the time (usually in the evening or early morning) I write a small blurb or decide that the link isn’t worth sharing. I’m keeping myself to three to four links a day. I’m also posting less to social media and just journaling my thoughts to see if anything can be developed further.
So far, it’s working. For once in my experience blogging, I have a backlog of entries, keeping to about two days out. It is said that it takes two weeks of consistency to develop a habit. One week in and I’m learning a lot.