Getting to Excellent has grown up a little – not a lot, but a little. From its first terrifying baby steps back in January ’09, today sees the 100th post. I doubt anyone has read all 100 posts, with one very important exception. I don’t know what people read, or even why they read it, but I know a great deal about the exception; because that exception is me.
Not only do I write the posts, but I also read and think about them. And whilst I obviously hope that others might enjoy my ramblings, I gain a tremendous amount simply by going through the process of getting my thoughts together and putting fingers to keyboard.
When I was a child I wrote a diary and have intermittently written a journal ever since. It was only when I did my MBA that I realised that writing a journal is recognised as a professionally beneficial process. It organises thoughts, and writing imposes a certain intellectual rigour.
Tom Peters and Seth Godin are both successful writers, thinkers and bloggers. In a short videoed exchange they extol the virtues of the modern day journal – blogging. Godin makes the point that through blogging ideas are formulated, expressed and refined. He recognises that the benefits are as much for the writer as for the reader. I agree.
So in celebration of my 100th posting, here are 10 benefits of writing a blog:
- Being critical of ideas. Blogging forces an opinion on issues, so I make more effort to figure out what is fact, opinion, well researched, worth the cyberspace it's written on, or not.
- Making sense of experiences. Writing is a great way to figure out what worked, what didn’t work, and why. Through trying to pass on useful stuff, it becomes even more useful for me.
- Getting feedback. I get feedback from comments, emails and site stats. It’s a wonderful way to connect with a wider community and share knowledge.
- Learning. Every post requires some research and fact checking, so I learn big and little things all the time.
- Being accountable. If I blog about something I feel absolutely accountable for it. Accountability is a great way of making changes and learning about oneself.
- Being reflective. Reflection is a great way of learning: reinforcing positive things, or changing negative ones, and figuring out which is which. 30 minutes or so each day to think about something that is relevant to performance and productivity is a wonderful habit.
- Connecting with like minded people. It’s true that birds of a feather flock together, and those with the same interests find ways of getting in touch, either directly or by being introduced. Blogging is a wonderful way of connecting with people who are working on similar issues or care about similar things.
- Refining ideas and practice. I often come back to themes over and over again, refining my ideas all the time. Writing, experience, getting new information and trying different things all get added into the refinement process.
- Listening. I listen to things more carefully, particularly if I want to write about them. It’s amazing how much more active I have to be in getting things correct, and it’s a great discipline.
- It’s satisfying. Whatever else is going on at work or at home, Getting to Excellent gets more readers and more interesting all the time, which is a tremendous source of satisfaction. Which I suppose is another way of saying I enjoy it.
As I said in my first post, the world didn’t need another blog, but it got one anyway. Getting to Excellent has chalked up 100 posts now, and gained some regular readers. At least one person is getting a great deal of benefit from it, I hope a few others are too.
Thank you to everyone who has read, agreed, disagreed and commented on its contents.