First thing’s first… Happy 1st Birthday, CoffeeLunchCoffee.com! Hard to believe a full year has gone by… and, yet, hard to fathom life without CLC. Thank you all for your endless stream of support and encouragement.
As I mentioned in post #1 on November 1, 2011, “Birth of a Blog,” I selected the start date as a result of learning of National Novel Writer’s Month, often referred to as “NaNoWriMo.” The rules for participating in this famed effort are (lifted straight from the NaNoWriMo website):
- Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
- Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
- Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
- Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
- Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
- Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.
I can tell you this: It is not, nor has it ever been (yet) my goal to write a 50,000 word novel. However, it was the inspiration that got me to commit to writing a blog post every day for a month – in 2011; and, again, in 2012. Won’t you join me?
Whether you consider yourself a writer, in this particular case, is largely irrelevant. Over the past year, I have learned that writing can be cathartic, calming, therapeutic and can help to drive focus and discipline around a topic – or a series of topics. Additionally, should you choose to share your writing with others either in a private setting or via a public blog or other similar format, it is highly likely that your words and ideas and suggestions will resonate with others and help them on their individual journeys.
You could go the route that I recently did and actually write a book. It is a wonderful, educational process with which I continue to engage. I will blog about it in more detail at some point, but suffice it to say that I learned a lot about myself, the world of self-publishing, the benefits of cheerleaders rooting you on and then some!
You could, however, start – as I did – with a less daunting approach and simply write a blog. In talking with a member of the CLC community recently, Duane Hallock, he told me about his blog which he started about four years ago. Aside from the great title and moniker, “Duane’s Dart Board: Sometimes my ideas hit the bullseye. Sometimes they don’t,” I really like what Duane has done. He says it is “a personal blog.” It is a platform from which he can talk about marketing communications, business strategy and life in general. He started it as a way to demonstrate his writing and communications skills, do a bit of self-branding and share a piece of himself with others. He says, “though I write from my vantage point within the nonprofit world, I’ve discovered that creative ideas can come from anywhere—a casual conversation in the local coffee shop, a well-written post by another blogger or lunch with a colleague who shares my commitment to make this world a more beautiful place.” What a great way to enable others to get to know you while building a portfolio of written assets for yourself.
Beyond sharing your ideas, engaging in personal branding and amassing a collection of writing samples for yourself, there are other benefits to writing – specifically, to blogging. In my July 24, 2012 post, “Words Matter,” I called attention to one of my client’s comments on blogging. Michael Player, a marketing expert, said, “Blog, blog, BLOG!” He advised that blogging is a great way to get your organization listed earlier and more frequently on search engine searches and your ideas disseminated more readily. I couldn’t agree more and I think it is a wonderful way to hone your language and writing skills. An important exercise with multiple, valuable benefits to the writer, his/her company and the reader.
So, if all goes well, you will be hearing from me on a daily basis for the remainder of this month. If there are topics you would like to see covered – this month, or at some point in the future, please let me know. As I hone my own writing skills, it would be gratifying to think that the topics I plan to cover are those that you want to hear about!
P.S. – Wishing my brother, Shawn Muller, good luck as he intends to fully partake in NaNoWriMo festivities. He is a great writer and I cannot wait to read his latest novel… on December 1, 2012!