This blog is 6 months old and I thought I’d share some learnings from the experience, so far. I ripped this title concept off from the Runner’s World segments. They crack me up. One’s like this one. I digress.
After 119 posts, I’m really not sure what I’ve learned, but I’m going to try to pull some nuggets of wisdom out of it. When I got started, I was challenged to write every work day. For the most part, I have succeeded in this, with the exception of a couple of vacations and just plain ol’ lack of desire or content. I’m not sure if the point was to build and audience or to be therapeutic, or both. And I still don’t have an answer.
I started this blog for a few reasons. First, I wanted to be able to share my voice on my platform. I have written primarily for SHRM on HR-related topics, but not all of what I wanted to express would necessarily resonate with that forum. I wanted to be able to talk about HR. And pancakes. And running. I can now do that.
Second, I wanted to be able to share some of the knowledge and experiences I’ve had after 20 years in the HR trenches. To provide a practitioner’s perspective in how I see the world of HR. I value a lot of different perspectives and the blogs and articles that resonate most with me are those I can relate to. I hope I am providing the same.
Third, I wanted a place to write about more than just HR. Many people have been encouraging me to start a site for Huddy’s Hotcakes. At first, that seemed like a lot. But I started getting some momentum and a little bit of a following so it only seemed natural. I also wanted to share my perspective on running from an amateur’s perspective. Why not write about all of them? Who wants to read about HR all of the time? I don’t always want to write about it.
For this monumental event, I’m struggling on the format. Do I create a list? Add a meme? Lists are supposed to drive traffic, so here are a few things I’ve learned after 6 months of blogging:
- I haven’t reached total consciousness or had any type of enlightenment. My skin tone hasn’t improved and I’m not experiencing any life altering changes, but I do enjoy the outlet. I enjoy taking a thought and making a point of view.
- My first post was about my goal to run 1000 miles in 2017. This blog has been my accountability partner. By putting this goal out there in front of 20+ regular readers, I feel I can’t let you down! I am in the best physical shape I’ve been in a long time and I’ve shed about 10 pounds so I guess I got that going for me which is nice.
- I don’t understand the stats or traffic reports of WordPress, and I’m not that interested in them anymore. I’m not Seth Godin or Lolly Daskal and I’m not trying to monetize this thing. Yet. Maybe one day I’ll pay more attention to it, but for now, I just want to keep the habit of writing.
- I appreciate all of the emails, texts, and calls of encouragement. I get tons. Well, ok, maybe just a few, but it is nice to know some people are reading this and getting something out of it.
- I have been able to get a few speaking opportunities because of the blog. That’s been a goal of mine for this year and for the years to come.
- I have an opportunity to reach more people in my company so they can get a better idea of my views. I work for a consulting firm and am the internal HR guy. Our employees are spread out all over and I don’t always get day-to-day interaction with them. I am able to send some relevant posts to them and have a little more reach.
- I really enjoy when one of our employees comments about one of my posts or sends some follow-up content because my post inspired them or got them thinking about a topic.
- Finding the time to write has evolved over the past 6 months. Early on, I was spending my evenings writing posts. This was very distracting to my family, and ultimately to me. I vowed not to write during work hours and I have held true to that. My bosses read this so don’t worry, it’s all on my time!
- I have been writing a majority of my posts on my commute in to work(but not this one). The topics and thoughts around the post start on my morning runs. I’ll typically start the opening paragraph while cooling down on my back porch (I haven’t figured winter out, yet.) And then complete the post on my 30 minute train ride. The WordPress app has been pretty decent. Although, they need to add spellcheck. Yes, I get your emails about my mistakes, too, grammar nerds.
- I really don’t know how to tell if my writing is getting better or worse. I don’t know if I know how to tell stories or weave a good narrative. Frankly, that hasn’t been a goal of mine and I haven’t put much time into breaking it down, but I’ve been reading a lot about storytelling and need to get better at it with some of my presentations coming up in the next few months.
- Sometimes this blog feels very selfish and narcissistic. I have written several times about Impostor Syndrome and some of my self-consciousness. I look at the very action of writing a blog with my name as the title and wonder why anyone would want to read it. What do I have to offer and why would I be so vain as to write every day and post to my various outlets? Who really cares what I have to say? Well, I’m getting over that. My parents read this and that’s all that matters.
11 seems like a good number to end this list. I’m looking forward to continuing this blogging journey as long as the ideas and inspiration keeps coming to me. There are plenty of topics to cover and I’m looking forward to expressing my thoughts about them. Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement and don’t hold back on your constructive feedback, either. I appreciate those just as much.