It’s already been two years since I published my first post here on Selfication. Wow!
A quick look in the archives shows that I’ve hit ‘publish’ more than 50 times since then.
Not an amazing number by any means (consistency takes practice), but I’m happy and proud of the fact that I’m still going strong.
I’ve learned a lot along the way and today I want to share these lessons with you.
The Benefits of Blogging
What I want to do more specifically is to suggest that you start your own blog. Why? Out of all the hobbies I’ve tried over the years, blogging is by far the most rewarding. Writing consistently has helped me become better right across the board. Here are my top 10 reasons (in no particular order) why I suggest you should take up blogging.
1. You’ll become a better communicator. When you sit down and write, you are forced to clarify exactly what points you’re trying to get across. The more I’ve practiced blogging, the better I’ve become at expressing myself in a clear and concise way. Although I still have plenty of writing sessions when I can’t explain certain ideas or concepts as I would have liked, it happens much less often since I started writing regularly.
2. You’ll become a more effective learner. When I was researching my article on ‘The Science of Learning’ I came across the quote: “You don’t fully understand a topic until you have to teach it”. I’ve since realised that this is exactly what I do when I’m writing my blog posts. The process of researching, breaking down and clearly explaining the topic I’m studying has helped me gain no end of knowledge and expertise; much more so than if I had taken the default route of reading textbooks and passively consuming lectures.
3. You’ll get accountability. Your blog is a perfect medium to leverage the power of accountability. Whatever change you’re trying to create in your life, you are bound to increase your chances of success considerably if someone is monitoring your progress. A great way to do this is to do 30-day challenges and chronicle your adventures to an audience (your Mom, the entire internet or anything in between).
4. You’ll become disciplined. Sitting down and writing once a day or once a week, (or whatever frequency you choose), is an important skill. It teaches you the difficult lesson that some of the best things in life happen as a result of delayed gratification. Hitting ‘publish’ and discussing ideas with readers feels great but it can be extremely tedious to get the work done. Writing is just one of those things, but there are many, many others.
5. You’ll develop an extra sense for big ideas. Whenever I stumbled across a great insight before I had started Selfication, I tended to quickly forget about them. Today I’m always actively looking for interesting big ideas to research and write about. This helps me understand and remember important insights much better.
6. You’ll develop better habits. If forgetting about great insights was a problem before Selfication, so was stumbling on them in the first place. I used to read right about zero books per year. This year, it looks like I’ll comfortably surpass my goal of 52 books (I’ve finished 22 so far). I owe a great deal of this success to the fact that the more I learn the more I can share with my readers. In order to practice what I preach, I regularly read books, meditate, practice mindfulness, workout, write a journal and, in general, I study and plan my days much more effectively than before.
7. You’ll get to share your ideas with the world. I believe we all have a need to be creative and blogging is an awesome outlet for this. Your ideas are important and if you’re not sharing them with the world, the rest of us are losing out.
8. You’ll get feedback. A great benefit of actually sharing your thoughts with the world is that you’ll get feedback. Some of it will be… how should I put it… unfriendly, but my experience so far is that 99 percent of the feedback is well-meaning and constructive. Discussing ideas with smart readers helps you dig deeper, understand more and become better.
9. You’ll help others. We all have special traits and skills that are valuable to others. It’s easy to neglect this, but the things you’re good at are likely to be very difficult for other people. Whether it be grammar, design, raising children, cooking, fly-fishing, day trading or something else, there is someone out there, right now, who would love your help. As Zig Ziglar famously put it, “You can have everything you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want”. Also, helping others feels pretty damn great.
10. You’ll meet amazing people. I’ve crossed paths with some truly amazing people over the last two years. The people in the blogosphere (cool word, by the way) are generally very kind, helpful and super-inspiring. I’ve also been blown away by the generosity and helpfulness of my readers. Some personal thanks coming up. 🙂
Finally, I’d like to thank…
Sarah – for always helping out with the Selfication design.
Diane and Anna – for proofreading and editing my messy drafts.
Henri – for your wisdom and guidance on blogging.
And last, but certainly not least, My Newsletter Subscribers, for your continued support and engagement.
Without you, this blog most likely wouldn’t exist.
Here’s to another year of Selfication! 🙂