This post is all about me!
It is a selfish reflection as browney237.com turns One. My blog is a personal writing space, and has reflected my own journey over the last twelve months: a period of transition.
I remember sitting at the beach house the Sunday after Adelaide narrowly lost the 2012 AFL Preliminary Final feeling quite unsettled. That feeling was not a product of the narrow loss but my continued reflection on my firm’s transition to retirement seminar, “Pinnacle”or as I refer to it, “God’s Waiting Room”, which we had attended a couple of weeks before.
I had also just finished reading, Herminia Ibarra’s “Working Identities” a book referred to me in preparation for Pinnacle. The basic thesis of the book is that as you prepare for a career change you need to talk to people who do the things you are interested in and experiment. It is a fantastic read but challenging.
I had devoured the book using its themes and the workbook from Pinnacle to start to focus and put into practice what next. Ibarra points out that if you talk to people you work with or who are in the same profession, you simply reinforce what you are doing. A piece of advice, don’t talk to a “head hunter” about career change unless you want to keep doing what you are doing. My discussion with a “head hunter”about what I might do after retiring from my firm was the most useless hour I have spent in the last 12 months and that includes watching Adelaide getting thrashed by Sydney at Aami Stadium!
Back to the point. I have always enjoyed writing and it became clear that I got more enthusiastic as I thought about a post professional services career involving writing. Whilst I have visions of sitting at at my lonely writer’s garrett writing a best seller I know that isn’t going to happen.
Following the “Working Identities” approach, the blog made sense. It was a way to experiment and keep myself honest as I pursued a goal to write a minimum of a thousand words a month on something. By blogging I was actually publishing something and it needed to be regular so my mythical followers could keep reading it, as they would obviously be hungry for the next post!
Publishing was interesting because when I started I didn’t want anyone to read it and told virtually no one about my blog. That said, after Christmas 2012 I started to look at ways to get my blog out there. Should I use Twitter and Facebook to let people know about my new posts? What about Search Engine Optimization? I briefly experimented with each of these, but really didn’t get that excited about them. I was writing just for me and so if no one read browney237.com it didn’t really matter. As the year progressed I started to let people know about it. Whilst I am not addicted to my site statistics I have been interested to see who and where people who read it are from. I also like the occasional comments I receive about my posts.
So after a year
Has it gone in the direction I expected?
Has it been worthwhile?
Has my writing improved?
Have I enjoyed it?
I might start with answering the last question first. I have really enjoyed it. I look forward to getting my iPad out and typing my next post. I find myself thinking about topics sitting on the plane, walking the dog, out on the bike, infact all the time. It’s a great break from my work.
I love the WordPress App, it’s quick, convenient and easy to use. I have taken a low tech approach as is evident to anyone who has looked at my site: simple and easy to read.
In establishing my blog site and in writing my blog I have used WordPress as reference source. The forums are amazing for a novice and as the year has progressed I have tinkered with my blog using many of the forums suggestions and tips, whilst noting the traps. I have enjoyed including photos particularly from our holidays as it gives me an excuse to relive great memories.
My blog has not gone in the direction I expected. I started assuming it would be primarily about Sport and Music, but as I review it, my love of travel has been the dominant theme. Music has featured with Sport a distant third. I expect that travel will remain the major theme as we plan for our three months in Italy, albeit a year later than we originally anticipated.
I believe my writing has improved. When I started twelve months ago my approach was bash it out and hit Publish. There have been quite a few edits of my early published posts. Now, even if the writing quality is still not great, I am thinking about what I am going to write, drafting, reading, redrafting, editing, rereading and then publishing.
As I pursued the idea of writing, I commenced a University degree and also started writing a monthly business column for The Adelaide Review. Each has helped my writing, but has also hindered my blog as their deadlines have taken priority over browney237.com. Both have enabled me to think about writing from a different perspective, as they are completely different from my professional writing of which I have thirty five years experience. I have also enjoyed the critical feedback received in drafting my articles as well as from my assignments.
Finally, has it been worthwhile? Most definitely. I have kept my goal to write at least a thousand words a month, I haven’t struggled for topics and its been fun!