Where Did Wisdom Go?

July 23, 2009

Nearly two years ago, in October 2007, I debuted the Chasing Wisdom Blog-Zine. With six sections to write per month, I set myself up with a pretty demanding schedule. I kept at it for nine months, ending in June 2008. Then I stopped. I didn’t stop chasing wisdom, but I did stop aggressively hunting it down and writing about it.

By June of last year I was publishing an e-mail newsletter every week or so, writing one or two articles for the Chasing Wisdom Blog-Zine every week, writing my Twisting Road Travel Log blog each week, and writing posts for my Anything But Marketing! blog as I came up with ideas.

I learned something important over those months. I could produce articles and posts even if I had no idea how to structure them or where to start. When I had a schedule, I would write, even if it was a day or two later than I originally planned. And if I sat down and focused on my topic, I would find a place to start. Even if all I could produce was something disjointed or trite, the seeds for a decent article were there. When I came back a few hours or even a day later, I could rearrange and rewrite and end up with something that was good enough. I learned I can write whether I am inspired or not.

I also learned that I enjoy writing. I was the one scheduling all the writing tasks, and I was doing it in large part to see what it would be like to write about different topics. Much of it was fun. I wasn’t working on building an e-mail list and I wasn’t promoting any products, so it wasn’t for profit. It was for the enjoyment of writing and developing my ideas.

But I had overtaxed myself, so I halted the blog-zine. I focused on writing the Travel Log weekly and played around with formats for my e-mail newsletter, which I transitioned to a web-based newsletter when I cancelled my autoresponder. I backed down to two or three pieces per week, and then only two. At the end of May I stopped publishing my newsletter, which basically overviewed my recent articles so it seemed redundant.

When I changed my blog themes and moved the Travel Log to a category within one main blog at TwistingRoad.com, I slowed down even more. I’ve been reassessing what topics I want to keep writing about and what topics I set aside that I want to pick up.

Through this long process of honing my focus and my voice, I’ve often been frustrated with myself. But lately I’ve been bolstered and even inspired by things my colleague Ken Robert is posting at his unique and very hip site, MildlyCreative.com. Ken has been writing transparently and authentically about his search for a focus to his writing, and in doing so he has found his focus. He chronicles what it’s like to bring purpose and creativity into our lives when they’re mere acquaintances we want to know but can’t quite understand yet.

I decided I want to have two blogs, one related to my coaching and consulting business, Discovery Lookout, and one for the things that don’t clearly connect to the business. I started a personal blog a long time ago but left it hanging, too. I’m moving it to a hosted site piece by piece. Take a look at Steve’s Not Nice and see how the progress is coming.

And finally, back to Wisdom. Where did it go? It’s still out there, and I’m still going to chase it, but not on a six-article-per-month schedule. I am keeping the blog articles archived and available to read, and I will probably recycle some posts to use On The Twisting Road. I might even pick a category I used in Chasing Wisdom and start it back up in Twisting Road.

Writing my blog-zine was fun, it challenged me, and it helped me grow. Although I decided to change my direction, I still have the archive of useful articles. I’m proud of what I produced. It was a necessary stage of my professional growth.

And it’s a pretty good corollary to one of Barbara Winter’s favorite things to say. She tells us the business you start out with is not the business you’ll end up with. As Ken Robert and I can tell you, the blog you start out with is not the blog you’ll end up with.

May You Know the Joy of Sharing Your Gifts,

Steve Coxsey
Life and Work Design Coach

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