#620 - 100 DAYS IN A ROW

For the first time in my life, I have done something for 100 days in a row! (Other than eating and going to the restroom!)

Unfortunately, I have not read my Bible for 100 days in a row, I have not brushed my teeth for 100 days in a row, I have not told my wife I love her for 100 days in a row, I have not exercised for 100 days in a row, and I have not done many other things which I probably should have done, by this point in my life, for 100 days in a row. But, I have done this:

I HAVE PUBLISHED A BLOG POST FOR 100 DAYS STRAIGHT.

Being that my "word of the year" is routine, this is a very big deal. But, instead of just celebrating the accomplishment, I want to reflect upon it as well. Here are 10 things I've learned as I have published a blog post to this website, everyday, for the last 100 days.

  1. Doing something for 100 days straight is possible.
  2. Writing everyday is a possibility when learning everyday is a priority.
  3. Writing to be responsible is a stronger motivation than writing to be read.
  4. Quality comes from quantity.
  5. To become prolific I must abandon perfection.
  6. Having written is 100x more fulfilling than thinking about writing. 
  7. Everyday, either my resolve muscle or my neglect muscle is being exercised. There are no neutral days.  
  8. My pacesetter (Seth Godin) set the bar for my potential
  9. Thinking critically precedes writing clearly
  10. Milestones motivate.

I hope you have been served well over these last 100 days!

On to the next 100!

 

#595 - STOP READING MY BLOG

There is a particular person I want to encourage to stop reading my blog. Though I appreciate that you are reading and that you are interested in what I write, I think it's time that you stopped. I think it's time you stopped being so interested in me and started becoming more interested in you. Who is the particular person I am speaking of?

THE PERSON WHO SHOULD BE WRITING.

Some of you who have been reading my blog have thought to yourself, on multiple occasions, I should write too. It has crossed your mind to, like me, put your thoughts, ideas, and learnings into written form. You have felt compelled. You have felt inspired. You have felt motivated. But you've done nothing.

Enough is enough.

NO MORE FEELING. START DOING.

Whether it is in a physical journal, in your notes app on your phone, on a Pages or Microsoft Word doc, or on a blog you haven't posted to in months (or years) - write something...TODAY.

Write something. Anything. 100 words or 1000 words. It doesn't matter.

WRITE SOMETHING.

But don't do it because you want to be read. Do it because you want to be responsible.

Responsible with the gift God has given you to write. Responsible with the ability that God has given you to think and process. Responsible with the passion that God has given you to create.

Write something, and after you do, if you'd like, send it to me so I can read it. I'd love to be inspired by you!

Oh and by the way, after you've written something today, feel free to start reading my blog again tomorrow! Haha!

#551 - 21 REASONS WHY I BLOG

FOR ME

To think critically about my leadership. To develop a reservoir of ideas. To create with words. To express my thoughts. To process my experiences. To document my life. To synthesize lessons learned.

FOR OTHERS

To equip leaders. To encourage believers. To inspire dreamers. To teach principles. To challenge paradigms. To remind of purpose. To convict of truth. 

FOR GOD

To honor His name. To extol His virtues. To steward His gifts. To glorify His majesty. To worship His holiness. To magnify His beauty. To please my Father.

TO GROW ME.
TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS.
TO GLORIFY GOD.

If these things are accomplished, the purpose of this blog is fulfilled!

#546 - MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SIMPLE COMMUNICATION

Simple is not shallow. Simple is not lazy. Simple is not uneducated.

Simple doesn't mean you can't say more, simple means you choose not to say more. Simple doesn't mean you don't know more, simple means you choose not to share everything you know. Simple doesn't mean you can't talk longer, simple means you choose not to talk longer because you understand that longer doesn't always mean better!

When it comes to communication, simple is helpful. Simple is understandable. Simple is palatable. 

Simplicity serves your listeners. Complexity doesn't. 

Simple shows you care. Simple shows you're willing to work hard to prepare so your listener doesn't have to work hard to understand. Simple reveals you're more interested in what the audience understands than in how you're perceived.  

Keep your communication simple.

The strength in your communication is not in what is said, but in what is understood.

#500 - 500 POSTS WRITTEN. 5 WRITING LESSONS LEARNED.

1. HAVING WRITTEN > BEING READ

Though I have yet to develop the writing habit I one day wish to have, I am convinced that the satisfaction that comes from "having written" far exceeds the satisfaction that comes from having your writing read.

Though people's comments on how your writing has impacted them can be fulfilling, it does not compare to the fulfillment of knowing that you have consistently committed yourself to your craft regardless of the size/response of your audience. 

2. QUANTITY > QUALITY

Inspiring, poignant sentences don't just happen. They appear after many uninspiring, bland sentences have been written first. Coherent, cohesive paragraphs don't just happen. They come to fruition after many incoherent, jumbled paragraphs have been written first. Shareable, relevant content doesn't just happen. It gets created after much unshareable, irrelevant content  has been written first.

My best writing has never been a result of me trying to produce quality writing. My best writing has always "risen from the ashes" of the quantity of bad writing I have produced!

3. RE-COMMITTING > QUITTING

I have quit writing more times than I have quit anything else in my life. I have been consistently inconsistent in my quest to become a committed writer. I have fallen short of my writing goals so much so that I'm not even sure if I believe that I am capable of reaching the goals I continue to set for myself. 

But what I have found to be true is this, what makes you a writer is not whether or not you quit, what makes you a writer is your resolve to re-commit  after you quit. What makes you a writer is your decision to start writing even though 3 months have passed without you writing a single word. What makes you a writer is the inner voice that tells you,  "You will try again because if you don't you will be neglecting not a hobby, but your responsibility." 

4. LESS > MORE

When I use 15 words to communicate something that can be effectively communicated with 5, I force the reader to work harder than they should have to.

Use less words. Communicate more clearly.

 (I want to write more about this, but if I did I'd be violating my own lesson!)

5. FOR ME > FOR OTHERS

Though I hope you get something out of this post, I wrote it primarily for me. I wrote it so I could process and synthesize the lessons I've learned through almost 10 years of writing.

I have found that writing "for me" has made it easier for me to write over the years. Writing what I am learning. Writing what I want to remember. Writing in a tone that I am comfortable reading. Writing about experiences am having.

Though this may seem self-absorbed, selfish, or inconsiderate, when I take this approach my writing becomes most natural. It flows. It's real. It's honest.

Every time I become overly concerned with what others will think about what I am writing, I tend to lose my way. I tend to lose myself. 

Write for you. You'll be surprised. It will end up serving others as well because more people are like you then you think! 

 What lessons have you learned about writing? Please leave your comments below. I'd love to learn from you! 

#479 - MY NEXT SEASON OF WRITING

I wish I could give it up. I really wish I could. But, my conscience won't allow me to!

I have to write. I have to process my experiences and put them into words. I have to create content that is simple and helpful for leaders, pastors, and anyone else who wants to fulfill God's purpose for their lives. It is a burden and a passion that I cannot ignore.

Unfortunately, I have not been writing as consistently as I would like to. Many experiences have gone by that I have not synthesized. Many books have been read that I have not reflected upon. Many writing ideas have crossed my mind that I have not acted upon. This is not OK. 

With that in mind, I am going to enter into a season where I need to write not to "be read," but I need to write to "have written."

No sharing my posts on Facebook. No promoting my posts on Twitter. No concerning myself with how many page views my blog is getting. No grandiose announcement about what I'm going to do. I am just going to write. Every day.

#304 - A VERY COMPELLING REASON TO START WRITING AGAIN

I lived to write, and wrote to live. – Samuel Rodgers

Don’t you remember?

How motivated you were when a new concept to write about was birthed?
How invigorated you were when the words and phrases all started to “fit together?”
How accomplished you felt when you hit the “publish” button or sent in the manuscript?

The truth is, you miss it.

You miss the challenge of painting a picture with words.
You miss the satisfaction of penning a paragraph that inspires.
You miss the fulfillment of producing a piece that makes you smile.

You miss it.

You miss the erasing. You miss the drafting. You miss the re-writing.
You miss the struggle. You miss the frustration. You miss the “writer’s block.”
You miss writing the first line. You miss writing the best line. You miss writing the last line.

You miss it all.

And that is why you should start writing again…today.

But if that one reason isn’t enough to get you going,

Let me give you one more.

Not only do you miss your writing, but…

Your readers miss your writing too.

#300 - I WISH MORE WRITERS WOULD DO THIS

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about. – W.H. Auden

Be real.

Reveal a real hurt.
Explain a real struggle.
Share a real disappointment.

Be transparent.

Describe a real concern.
Illustrate a real emotion.
Express a real frustration.

Be vulnerable.

What do you really feel?
What are you really thinking?
What do you really want to say?

Please, write about that.

Don’t create content that you’re not excited to share.
Don’t fill up pages with words that don’t mean anything to you.
Don’t waste your time writing about something you’re not passionate about.

Instead, write something real.

Too much fake already exists.

#293 - IF YOUR BLANK PAGE COULD TALK, THIS IS WHAT IT WOULD SAY

I’m waiting.

For your time.
For your effort.
For your attempt.

I’m anxious.

For your ideas.
For your passion.
For your creativity.

I’m prepared.

For mistakes to be made.
For concepts to be changed.
For rough drafts to be written.

(Don’t worry, I can handle being erased on!)

But most importantly, I’m expecting.

A convincing message to be delivered.
A creative masterpiece to be unveiled.
A compelling movement to be started.

So find me, sit down, and start writing.

Your contribution is necessary.

#283 - A WRITER'S CONFESSION

The truth is, there are many days, I feel as if the words I write don’t matter.

I feel as if they are written in vain.
I feel as if they will never have their intended impact.
I feel as if they have already been better written by somebody else.

And so I want to quit.

I want to quit writing words that uplift.
I want to quit writing words that encourage.
I want to quit writing words that inspire.

I just want to quit.

I want to quit finding creative ways to communicate my message.
I want to quit believing that my words are worth reading.
I want to quit trying.

I want to quit being a writer altogether.

It’s just too time consuming.
It’s just too mind involving.
It’s just too…risky.

But it’s in those moments when I’m trying to convince myself that my words aren’t necessary, when I realize:

I can’t quit writing.

I can’t quit on the talent that I’ve been called to share.
I can’t quit on the ability that I’ve been created to express.
I can’t quit on the gift that I’ve been commissioned to give.

You see, writing is not just something I can choose to do or not do.

Writing, is my responsibility.

And if you call yourself a writer, it’s your responsibility too.

#266 - WHAT EVERY WRITER NEEDS TO KNOW

You have only 26 letters
But infinite ways
to combine them together
to create words that amaze.

You can challenge and inspire.
You can uplift. You can heal.
The full range of emotions
you can make people feel.

But because we’re surrounded
by negativity and pride
it is my deep desire
that today you’d decide

To choose your words wisely
and keep this truth in sight:
There is great responsibility
in deciding to write.

#180 - A FEW WORDS ABOUT WRITING

Writing clarifies your thinking.
Writing processes your thoughts.
Writing organizes your ideas.

Writing is worth it.

Writing develops your creativity.
Writing engages your senses.
Writing grows your vocabulary.

Writing is worth it.

Writing can stir up controversy.
Writing can spread a message.
Writing can start a movement.

Writing is worth it.

Though it requires your time
Though it requires your energy
Though it requires your thinking…

Writing is worth it.

Therefore write.

Today.

#74 - MY WRITING AFFIRMATIONS

As I endeavor to become a world-class writer, I will use these four “writing affirmations” as a source of motivation and direction:

1. I WRITE CONSISTENTLY.

“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.” – Peter DeVries

Writers write. Therefore if I wish to be a writer, I must write…daily. 

2. I write CLEARLY.

“Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.” – Albert Camus

Clarity is key. If what I write is not understood, I have failed.

3. I write CONCISELY.

“The secret to good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components.” – William Zissner

No fluff. I will use only the words that clarify my message.

4. I write with CONVICTION.

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” – Anais Nin

I will not only write that which I desire to be read, but also that which needs to be said.