Today marks the end of My Year of Gratitude, A Daily Gratitude Project. It’s also our 7th wedding anniversary. Last year, after reading the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I was inspired to blog daily about my favorite topic, gratitude, starting the day after our anniversary. And so I did! In the past 365 days I have only missed 4-5 days. So what now?
Gratitude Tip: Thank you to my amazing gratitude community for allowing my blog posts into your email inboxes every day. Thank you to everyone who has ever made a comment or a ‘like’ for a blog post. Thank you to those of you who stuck around, even though I changed the format of the daily emails. Thank you to all of you who share these posts on social media. Thank you for being a part of the growing gratitude movement in our world.
What did I learn from this process? Here are some of the highlights:
First, I learned to become a better writer. When I look back at some of the first posts, I was only writing 200-300 words and there wasn’t a lot of substance to the posts. Now I am able to sit down every morning and write between 500 – 700 words without too much of a struggle. My writing style has evolved as well.
How does this apply to you? I know that at least half of you want to write a book. The easiest way to write a book is to start writing every day! By doing a public blog and being accountable to a community, you are more likely to keep going on the days when it’s a challenge or you’re uninspired.
Second, I learned to find inspiration all around me. Coming up with something new to write about every day was a challenge! There were days when I would look to previous posts for inspiration (I have been blogging since 2008, just not daily). Often I used different challenges that had come up the day before as inspiration for a lesson or to share some tips.
For all of you who struggle with inspiration, know that it is everywhere! Your struggles and challenges are often very inspiring to others, especially when you can share how you are working through them or even just sharing a moment in time where things are either going really well or you’re in a hard place.
Third, I learned that it’s not up to me whether a post will be shared or not, even if I think it’s amazing, it’s the community that will decide whether or not to share it. Did I have certain expectations about the growth of my community? Yes. Did I meet them? No. Is that a reflection of the quality of my writing? Not necessarily. In a world where everyone is competing for your attention, I am so incredibly grateful to all of you who do take the time to read this blog (most) days.
When we write, we do it for ourselves and we give our best daily. Whether a post goes ‘viral’ or not, depends on so many other factors. So if you are looking to become a writer, do it because you want to write and not because you are waiting to become the next big thing or superstar blogger.
And finally, I learned that when we create a solid habit, it’s very hard to break. When I took a few days off for the Canada Day long weekend, I woke up and wanted to write my blog, even though I had decided to take a break. Sitting down to write every morning is now ingrained as part of my morning routine, and I miss it when I don’t do it.
Our habits create our lives. And it’s up to you whether or not your habits are serving you or not.
So what’s next? At this point, I will continue to blog daily – well almost daily! I will no longer put out content on a day when I struggle with what to share. On those days (and they are few and far between), it’s best to leave things til the following day. I will take some time off this summer, as I have a lot of trips planned and it’s more challenging to write when I am away. I commit to continuing to serve our gratitude community in the best way I can. I would love to see our community grow and I do plan on writing my second book, using this blog for inspiration.
Have you signed up for 21 Day Meditation Challenge? There has never been a better time to do a global meditation experience. Will you join us? http://bit.ly/1d3DwT3
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