I recently published my 100th post on this blog. An exciting milestone!
After passing the big 100, I’ve found myself pondering why I’ve been doing this.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of blogging. But it is a time consumer. It is effort.
That effort made me spend some time thinking about the classic and vital question that should be regularly asked about any endeavor we spend time and effort on:
"Who is this for? and What is this for?"
If you do a search online for advice about blog writing, so much of what will come up is content about how to drive traffic, how to do good SEO, how to make money, get affiliate sponsorships and customers, etc.
Now, while there definitely has been professional value to building and maintaining my blog, making money is FAR from the main reason that I put the effort in to write. Writing for making money isn’t really something of much interest to me.
As I pondered why I write and who I’m writing to, 3 “people” came to mind who I think most of my posts are written towards, and who I think are especially worth creating content for.
1. Your Past Self
Some problems seem utterly unsolvable while we’re in the process of trying to solve them… But then, once we see the solution, the answer seems so clear and obvious that we can sometimes forget what it feels like to not know the answer.
There are likely a LOT of things you have learned over the years that you now take for granted. Skills you have, techniques you’ve developed, ways of interacting with the world that have made your life better; valuable paradigms for making decisions that you’ve learned and earned through study and mistakes.
These are worth sharing!
Of course you can’t actually send these lessons to your past self. But, there are countless people around the world who are navigating those same problems and questions that younger you struggled so hard to find solutions to, while current you takes those insights for granted.
It benefits everyone if we choose generosity, and share widely the things we’ve learned.
What do you wish was something you knew when you were younger? There are TONS of people needing to learn that same lesson today.
So, write down some of those lessons and how you learned them… and share them around!
Someone in the same situation as your past self will thank you!
2. Your Future Self
While many posts I’ve written were to document things I’ve learned in the past, there are a large number of posts that I’ve written because they’re things I want to remember into the future.
Whether that be a quote to help me navigate hard times, or a reminder to help me build the habits I want, or even just ways of thinking about the world and my place in it, which I want to walk in both now and into the future.
“Writing it down” can be a powerful way to help us keep those things we want to remember in our minds into the future. That effect is multiplied when we write in public, where people can find our thoughts potentially years into the future and remind you about them in conversation or random unexpected email.
What is something you would like to never forget?
Write it down, and post it!
3. Those Who Will Come After You
My family and I are approaching the 2 year anniversary of my father’s death.
In the last two years, there have been a TON of times that I wished I could have gotten my dad’s thoughts and advice about a wide range of things.
He was an extremely intelligent man, with a ton of novel solutions and insights in a wide range of areas.
He had a ton of really cool projects that he’d done, and a large number of projects that he was in the middle of when he passed.
But, he basically didn’t write any of those thoughts, insights, or projects down for others to be able to read.
Lately, I’ve found myself sad about that.
I’ve often wished I had a place I could go to read dad’s thoughts on life… a place to learn about some of his numerous projects, or to read about whatever was on his mind over his days, weeks, and years… a way to spend time thinking about some of the same things he had spent time thinking about.
Basically, I’ve found myself often wishing my dad had written something like a blog.
I’ve had Derek Sivers’ post saved in my RSS reader for months now. I’ve found myself revisiting it regularly. He talks about the passing of his wise and insightful friend, and how that friend had very few things that he had written down for others to read and remember. Derek lamented the lack of his friends writings, wishing he could read his friend’s thoughts and insights. He took those laments as an opportunity to push himself towards writing and creating more for people in the future after he’s gone.
I’ve found myself very much resonating with that post and that idea.
I wish I had a place to read my dad’s thoughts… to read the things he did and learned over his decades.
I wish I could read my dad’s blog.
What are some things that you wish you could share with those you love after you’re gone?
What are some things those you love will want to be able to read and revisit from your life after you’re gone?
Write them down.
Save them and share them in a place that can be found long into the future.
You may be surprised who all will find comfort in reading your words years or decades from now.