Writing and speaking have always been my strengths. My earliest remembrance of being recognized for my writing skill was at nine years old. I think I mentioned in somewhere, earlier, that I had my first poem published at nine. It’s a milestone in my life of which I am very proud. It was a defining moment. It went without saying that I would grow artistically and in skill, in both areas. It was expected that my thoughts would mature, broaden, and deepen. As you age and accrue life experiences, your perspectives change, even some of your beliefs change; what was once important to you is no longer a priority, and some things actually don’t matter anymore. What you don’t expect is that those things that once defined you, or at least what you thought defined you, would change as well. We see ourselves as compacted matter, aware of the rolling tides ebbing and flowing in our lives, but “like the tree planted by the rivers of waters, we shall not be moved”. Not true.
The 30Days of Content challenger, Bradley Will, encourages bloggers to be themselves; he suggests that we allow who we are to come through in our writing. Embarking upon this Blog has, in and of itself, been a learning growing experience in terms of a whole new approach to writing. That was to be expected. What was not expected, was that I would be unsure of my voice, thus, unsure of who my audience is. What matters to me now, in today’s climate, might not matter to most of the people around me. So, it leaves me to wonder where, then, are those to whom it would matter? Where are those who might share my perspective, or even if they don’t share, might be interested in simple discourse? And why? What is the point of it all? Yet, our challenger says, “It’s important to know who you’re writing for, but knowing yourself is waaaaay more important. … You need to put you first. Real growth occurs when you can write 100% authentically AND your message matches the right audience (who loves and celebrates your work).” In reference to his own writing, he says, “I do it for me first, and my mission.” That is the point.
This is not just true of writing and speaking, blogging and vlogging. It is true of life, the challenges we take on, the causes we stand for. They must serve our own growth and development first; they must serve our mission and purpose, first. We must be our authentic selves, not someone seeking to be acceptable to others, not a follower of the crowd, not who we think we are, who we used to be. In today’s climate, many are being guilted into taking certain positions, made to feel that they are a part of the problem when no one can even agree upon the solution. Every word is held under a microscope, though in some cases, rightfully so. Alliances form and reform, daily; lines are drawn in the sand. Never before has the directives, “Know Thyself” and “To Thine Ownself Be True” been more apropos.
I was asked, as a blogger, “What are you preparing your readers for in 2016?” I guess I will have to say, I am preparing my readers, for me.