Will This Make It Into Your Blog? (and other interesting questions)

For those of you keeping count, this is blog post #160. This blog is about to turn three years old, so why not answer a few frequently asked questions as we approach this milestone. We celebrated the 100th post milestone with the 100 lessons learned, so today we move to your questions.

#1. Will this make it into your blog? (Typically when we are in the middle of a conversation and you say something interesting and/or embarrassing.)

Maybe. That is one hazard of being in a relationship (personally or professionally with me). If I do use it, I typically will ask you first and sometimes make it generic enough so that only you and I will know it is about you. Some people seem horrified at the thought of making it into this blog, while others welcome the idea. Don’t worry, we can still hang out either way.

#2. How do you come up with ideas for the blog?

I simply live life and try to notice things that happen all around us. The idea may be a phrase someone says, or some lingering concept after a meeting, or something I am wrestling with either personally, or some idea or issue that comes up when consulting with or coaching others.

#3. Do you have a process for keeping track of ideas?

I didn’t at first. Writing down ideas help, and I have moved to keeping a list on my phone and computer where I can jot down simple concepts or phrases that may need to be fleshed out later. These ideas kind of float out there for a while and finally land at the most interesting times. Before I kept a list, I would have great ideas that never materialized because I would forget them.

#4. Why do you write a blog?

As someone who presents a lot, writing has been that other discipline that I have always wanted to do and a blog is a good way to start. Blogs are also a great way to spread ideas and meet new people. My goal is to post about once a week, so if you haven’t heard from me in more than a week, feel free to check in.

#5. Do you have any rules or guidelines for you blog?

Yup. I try to write about either lessons learned, provide guidance, or reflect on interesting things. I am not interested in being snarky or delving into controversial issues. A question I often ask myself is “Will this make the world a better place?” Obviously not every post is earth shattering or profound, but the overall goal is to help people to Know Themselves, and Change the World.

#6. What is your favorite color?

I used to think it was green, but more and more I find myself drawn to blue. 

#7. What is your favorite blog post?

That is a hard one. Each one seems to have a purpose and reason when I wrote it. Sometimes I have to browse the older posts to make sure that I not already written about my next big idea. When I go back and read some of them, I am reminded about the “why” I wrote it, and there are times when that post really applies to something I need that day. It is weird, as if the me from the past is passing along some nugget of truth to me today.

How about a few of my favorite ones (in no particular order)?

Silencing the Narrator (3 part series)

Badfriend.com

Fear

For When You Ship

Three Lessons I Learned in the Navy

I Remember When

The Adventure Within (the Adventure)

Rocks, Remembering, and Reflecting

私に好意的に見てください(please look favorably on me)

If you have other questions that I didn’t cover here, feel free to leave a comment and I would be happy to provide additional answers.

Also, which post is your favorite?

100 Blog Posts…100 Lessons

This is it, my 100th Blog Entry.  A friend suggested that I write about what I learned over the past year (and a few months) when I reach this milestone.  These are the lessons I learned along the way.

1.  Some days blogging is hard.

2.  Some days blogging is easy.

3.  Writing is much different from presenting or speaking.

4.  Writer’s block stinks.

5.  Writing takes discipline.

6.  Discipline is not my favorite thing.

7.  Blogging connects you to the world.

8.  Blogs encourage other people to write.

9.  Keep reading and learning.

10.  Kids provide a lot of material.

11.  Work provides a lot of material.

12.  Life provides a lot of material.

13.  Be open about your own failures.

14.  Write about when you fail.

15.  Write about when you succeed.

16.  Remember that not everyone in the world reads your blog.

17.  Remember that not everyone in your own circles reads your blog.

18.  Try to write at least once a week.

19.  Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t write.

20.  Your followers are important.

21.  The number of followers is not important.

22.  Be vulnerable.

23.  Read other people’s blogs.

24.  When you have an idea for a blog, write it down, or make a voice recording in your phone.  If you don’t, you will forget.

25.  Find a time and place to write that doesn’t distract you.

26.  Find a great editor.

27.  My wife is a great editor.

28.  Don’t expect your editor to edit at the last-minute just because you want to get your blog posted.

29.  The titles of your blogs matter.

30.  Don’t be obsessed with checking the stats counter.

31.  Some people find your blog by accident.

32.  Some people try hard to become a blog entry.

33.  Some people are horrified at the thought of becoming a blog entry.

34.  First, do no harm.

35.  Your stories are your perspective, not absolute truth.

36.  Think.

37.  Think before you write.

38.  Read your posts before you hit the publish button.

39.  Save often.

40.  Don’t be snarky.

41.  The posts you wrestle with the most, resonate with most.

42.  Write about what you need to change in yourself.

43.  Sarcasm is not your friend.

44.  Humor works, but not at the expense of others.

45.  Suggest, don’t direct.

46.  If you get a ton of hits in one day, it is because they are looking for something or someone else.

47.  Take the risk.

48.  Be yourself.

49.  Respond to comments.

50.  This is halfway through the list of 100 Lessons.

51.  Don’t be frustrated when it doesn’t save, the next draft will be even better.

52.  Don’t place limits on yourself.

53.  Use spell check.

54.  Observe life.

55.  Follow through is important.

56.  Don’t be afraid.

57.  When you re-post something, like a Ted.com talk, some people consider that cheating.

58.  When all else fails, re-post something.

59.  When you are stuck, try a survey.

60.  Try to leave this world a better place.

61.  You are creative.

62.  Be creative.

63.  Share your gifts.

64.  Your Narrator will fight against you when you write.

65.  It is fun/scary when your kids read your blog.

66.  It is fun/scary when your parents read your blog.

67.  Helping just one person on their journey is worth it.

68.  Don’t rant.

69.  Only make a list of 100 things once (it is harder than you thought).

70.  Be humble.

71.  Set yearly goals.

72.  Be accountable.

73.  Connect with other people in real life.

74.  Don’t be upset that your most popular post was not about you.

75.  Listen to other people’s story.

76.  Sometimes great story’s will find you.

77.  Be the hero in someone’s story.

78.  Fame and importance are not the same thing.

79.  Be important.

80.  Try to be better in your actual life.

81.  Be thankful.

82.  Dream big.

83.  Brace for failure.

84.  Get back up.

85.  Remind yourself that you are okay.

86.  Remain teachable.

87.  Coffee helps…but not too much.

88.  Bounce ideas off others.

89.  Don’t take criticism too personally.

90.  Find your voice.

91.  Help others.

92.  Tell your story.

93.  Try.

94.  Try again.

95.  You will get better the more you write.

96.  You will make an impact.

97.  You cannot make an impact by keeping your thoughts inside.

98.  Don’t give up.

99.  Know yourself.

100.  Keep trying to Change the World!