Happy New Year. I’m looking forward to 2012. 2011 was many things – exciting, turbulent, at times overwhelming – and I feel like we all need a little dust-settling as we roll up our sleeves and head into this new year. It feels like it’s going to be a good one, even with all the uncertainty spinning around us.
I took a week off at the end of the year and the short break from regular blogging was a chance to think about why people read blogs and, as a corollary, how we blog.
There are a bunch of basic reasons people are reading your blog: to stay up to speed on their industry (or an industry they’d like to be part of); to find interesting content that they otherwise wouldn’t stumble across; to be entertained, to get useful tips of one sort or another.
But I think most folks want more than that, and if they don’t get it you’re going to lose them over time. They want to hear your voice, hear what you have to say that only you can say. Hear something that they wouldn’t hear anywhere else – something that inspires them, challenges them, pushes their thinking. Something that sharpens their focus, or even changes their prism altogether.
Not a how-to book, a call to arms.
The thing is, I don’t know how to be inspiring every day, and you probably don’t either – even the notion of trying to do that seems like a fabulous way to create writers block (bloggers block?). But I do know how to show up every day, to say something that I think is relevant and about which I have a unique perspective.
And every so often, when everything goes right, something exceptional comes out. I don’t know how or when and I’m not even sure I’ll always agree with my readers about what is or isn’t exceptional. But I do know that the only way it can happen is if I keep on showing up – knowing that some days I connect, some days I miss, and once in a while something great happens.
So here’s to another year of swinging for the fences. Thanks for taking this ride with me, and I wish you and yours a great 2012.