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I Wrote 4 Blog Posts Every Week For A Year. Best Investment I’ve Ever Made.

Image Credit: Unsplash

There are so many things you can do with your time. Many of you are probably thinking that any form of writing is the worst.

Writing is one of the lowest paid professions in existence. From the outside, you’d think nothing good could come from it.

Well, I thought that as well. That was until I ran a one year experiment.
The objective was simple: Write 4 short blog posts a week for one year.

Here’s why it’s the best investment I’ve ever made:

You discover yourself in the process.

The one year process started out with me trying to win in the new ‘Attention Economy.’ I quickly realized this was an empty promise.

When you start anything with the goal of getting attention, you end up with none. Why? Because it becomes all about you and no one gives a damn about that.

“Through my one year experiment, I learned more about myself than the topics I chose to write about”

When I edited my own work, I saw pieces of myself scattered through the words.

Those pieces often never showed up in my own mind. I had to dig them out of my head like I was digging for treasure. This self-discovery process showed me who I was, and more importantly, who I could become.

One blog post at a time I discovered more about myself. I never expected this to come from writing 4 blog posts a week.

You see yourself through a different lens.

When I’d think of who I was, in my own mind, I was bloody Rocky Balboa.

Image Credit: Rafael Silva

Through writing 4 blogs a week, I saw myself differently. That was because I had to extract ideas that would help others. Any idea that was selfishly about me or my ego would not suffice.

Having to give everything I had for someone else’s benefit was a strange reality. I saw a few things:

  • I could be really selfish
  • My beliefs about money were flawed
  • I’d collected too many possessions over the years
  • I’d hidden my true self away from many problems

You can’t teach others unless you teach yourself first.

My goal online was to inspire the world through personal development and entrepreneurship.

The fucked thing was I couldn’t do that unless I learned first.

I couldn’t tell people to love themselves first if I didn’t.
I couldn’t tell people to be kind if I was being selfish.
I couldn’t explain what it’s like to live a minimalist life if I didn’t myself.
I couldn’t inspire people if I wasn’t inspired.

Every lesson I wanted to teach required me to go first. I had to be the leader and take the plunge. This meant doing some crazy sh*t.

  • Overcoming a fear of flying and public speaking
  • Forgiving family members who I hadn’t spoken with for years
  • Volunteering at several homeless shelters
  • Coming to grips with the startup failure I’d endured

The cool thing about teaching is that you get to go first. You get to practice what you preach.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Julianne Showalter

You learn to collaborate.

The effectiveness of your writing is often lost if no one gets to read it. I had to learn to get others to share my four blog posts a week with their audience.

This meant learning how to pitch.
This meant understanding the concept of mutual value.

What was even weirder is that these collaborations turned into friendships. People like Anthony Moore became my friend and we helped each other. When he got fired, I reached out to him to offer assistance.

When I had an article written about me that was unfavourable, to say the least, he stepped in and gave me some practical solutions.

Writing 4 times a week is not about being alone. What I learned is that it’s about the people you get to meet.

Image Credit: Unsplash

Random emails became normal.

I’m not talking about the spam ones either.

The cool thing about writing 4 blog posts a week was that people would email me and say hi (partly because I made my email address public).

Well, it wasn’t just hi. People would email me wanting advice or to share their story. Many of the stories people shared, I re-purposed into blog posts and LinkedIn updates.

“I became, in some ways, the voice of the unspoken”

As humans, we crave connection and that’s what writing gave me. The chance to connect and get outside of my own little world which used to be startups, money and bullshit.

You get the chance to help others.

Okay, this is not a hallelujah moment where we all clap our hands and talk about helping each other.

I was the first to think that this corny idea was what fake people said so they could sign you up to their $9 a month program that will ‘Change your life!’

Writing 4 blog posts a week made me see more than ever how similar our problems are. Many people that wrote to me had the same issues that I’d gone through and felt lost.

I remember feeling lost as well. That’s why, when I found a way to help others through sharing my own story, it changed my perspective on helping others.

Helping others is not about some unselfish goal that only those who had an immaculate conception get to do. Helping others is a by-product of a human existence. We’re all wired to help each other and we get off on it.

“Helping others through 4 blog posts a week was the right thing to do. It was a natural progression from the scared, little, selfish boy I used to be”

You evolve through your own words.

Words shape our entire human experience. How we see the world is described through the words we consciously choose to share our thoughts.

My words, in the beginning, were nothing short of boring. I was not one bit inspirational, emotional or interesting. I was mostly dry and lifeless in the words I used.

Through practice and the natural habit of reading that comes from wanting to write better, I found my voice. That voice was rough around the edges, conversational, afraid at times and authentically me.

Image Credit: OXME.info

I evolved through my words by just being me. The focus on what other people thought of my sometimes controversial words didn’t matter to me. At the start it did. At the start, I was petrified of being publicly shamed.

Part of the evolution of my words was that I understood one simple truth:
If your aim is to inspire people, spread positivity and do what is good for other humans, then you’ll be fine.

How attainable is this?

That’s what you’re probably thinking. Well if you turn off Netflix more often and spend 3 x 1-hour sessions a week writing on your laptop, I think it’s very achievable.

Isn’t learning about who you could become more important than TV?

You don’t have to reach millions of people to write 4 times a week or have an expensive website with lead boxes, email opt-in newsletters and the latest SEO tricks.

You just have to show the world who you are — without the mask.

Call To Action

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Tim Denning

Tim Denning

Aussie Blogger with 500M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship — timdenning.com/mb