I looked at what Google brought up as lessons learned from blogging and was amazed to see no thoughts like the ones I’m about to write. Mostly people share advice on how to make money from a blog, increase traffic to a site, implement SEO, or stand out… For me the lessons learned are very different. Bottom line, I am simply amazed how educational this experience has been so far.
Writing is therapeutic. Every day (and especially on difficult days) thinking about an interesting topic and sitting down to write about it has been a blessing. I have enjoyed this process immensely. Being not much of a writer in my school years, I am very excited that this has become an enjoyable hobby.
Days are “empty” quite often but we have the power to change them. Given the nature of my blog, I found it sobering to realize that not every day something worth writing about happens. Some days are full of work, chores, commute… uneventful, uninteresting, unexciting, mundane… This process has forced me to focus on having more interesting days and seeing life in slightly brighter colors.
Even though I write for my kids (and now for myself), I have realized that being read is all of a sudden very important. Perhaps, it’s the deep need to be understood and accepted. It seems especially important to be understood by family and friends. When I started writing (following the example of a friend), I thought to myself that I didn’t care if anyone read my blog as I was writing for the kids. That didn’t last… I now understand why scientists write in academic journals and get critiqued by peers before their discoveries are accepted.
Newspapers and magazines are nothing but commercial, large scale blogs. I understand them better now. I also understand writers slightly better. I am even more skeptical about authorities on a subject matter. Based on these, my reading (actually sifting) has improved. Most blogs I have come across so far (and also most articles in papers and magazines) are not worth reading (perhaps same goes for this blog).
Expressing personal “new” discoveries, thoughts and lessons and realizing that there is absolutely nothing new in what I write or say has humbled me. I’m reminded daily Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Based on this experience, I feel many of us are often guilty of not hearing, when hearing not listening, when listening not understanding, when understanding not caring enough, when caring enough not acting, when acting not finishing, when leaving unfinished not apologizing… Introspection is a powerful way of adjusting our compasses for the days yet to come.
Writing my posts, sometimes I’m terrified of raising children like thousands out there who read sensationalized garbage and leave uninteresting comments simply to drive traffic to their own web sites so they can increase their advertising revenue. What’s the point… Have we learned nothing over thousands of years of civilization? Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 comes to mind again…
I have learned that we’re really FAR TOO BUSY. Years ago, during a stroll around the Wellesley College lake with my friend (later my best friend and now my beautiful wife), I noticed that she was walking faster than I. We purposely tried to slow down and enjoy every step. Years later I find that I would probably walk even faster now… slowing down only recently to reflect and write a few lines.
My blog design and its content reflect who I am. I could not accept any cluttered designs, any advertisements, and unworthy automated or generated content. I also could not write about trendy topics, news, or anything unrelated to daily experiences or thoughts.
With the fear to have a post that’s too long, I’ll stop here. The lessons and the experiences are far too many. I’d recommend this to everyone!
PS. If you came to this page expecting tips on how to increase the traffic to your web site, I’m sorry to have disappointed you. 🙂