What do You Publish?

by | Jun 30, 2021 | Uncategorized

So, I could be a smartass and say, “you have but to check the archives, scan the headlines, read a few posts, and come to your own conclusions.”

But when this question was posed to me today, I thought it might be worth addressing in a blog post.

After all, if you’re going to publish daily, as I’ve been (since July 28, 2020), you’d better have something to talk about. Ideas aren’t that hard to generate, but blog posts don’t come out of thin air, as it turns out. They take time and effort to produce. And I have friends who say writing is one of the most grueling things you could take on.

I’ve Been at This a While

Now, it should be noted at the outset that creating content isn’t anything new for me. I’ve been blogging since about 2007 and creating content for the web since 1997.

I first started blogging in a professional capacity in 2011, and since then I’ve taken on a myriad of freelance writing, ghostwriting, copywriting, and “you name it I’ve probably done it” writing assignments.

But then, last year, I was presented with the challenge of publishing daily for a full year, and I said to myself, “why not?” I was excited about the possibility and was eager to get started.

Origin Story

I’d been doing a bit of publishing on Medium prior to beginning this 365-day experiment, but the marketing course I was taking at the time suggested publishing daily on Medium, so I went with that.

I was also instructed to begin by sharing my origin story, so I ended up creating a couple:

It felt a little awkward. I’d written a ton of how-to guides and informational posts to that point, but I’d never written anything that had followed the hero’s journey so closely. It was a great learning experience though.

Ongoing Experimentation

I spent the next couple of months playing around with the hero’s journey and trying my hand at the type of posts I thought would appeal to a Medium audience, like Advice I would pass onto my 20-year-old self.

After spending years writing in a professional capacity, it was an odd feeling – like I was discovering my voice all over again, and in a new way.

Most of the writing I’d done up to that point had the music business as the central focus. I’d made some detours into personal development, sure, but overwhelmingly, I dedicated most of my energy to the music industry.

I continued to experiment, sometimes returning to the core topics I understood well, sometimes branching out with posts like How to 4x your Medium traffic in 80 days or less.

I even tried my hand at blogging a book manuscript. I’d had some success with it in the past, with The Essential Guide to Creative Entrepreneurship, so why not?

It didn’t come together as expected, and it felt a little forced, so ultimately, I chose not to compile those posts and turn them into a book. But they continue to live on as blog posts.

A Brief Detour

In November 2020, I went on a two-week break.

During that time, I made the deliberate decision to write on something I’d never written on before – life transitions. I also had the sense that it would become a rather critical topic in the coming months and years though

Once I got back from vacation, I started going to school on Medium again, and that’s when I finally settled on a bit of a formula for my publishing efforts. It just so happens that it’s on my about page as well, though I’ve deviated from it at times:

Daily blog

The Central Theme

So, the central theme of my publishing efforts, since about December, has been inspiring creatives and creators.

And I’ve primarily been publishing on the topics of entrepreneurship, self-improvement, productivity, creativity, and inspiration, under the main umbrella theme.

That publishing pattern has basically held for the better part of seven months.

I’ve covered a ton of topics, to be sure, be it content marketing, books, burnout, or otherwise.

The focus has shifted slightly to documenting my journey, but that has mostly just been an extension of an established workflow.

Ultimately, it has all stemmed from a desire to be a source of inspiration for creatives and creators.

Final Thoughts

One of my mentors shared with me that my recent publishing activity has resembled sharing knowledge and wisdom as opposed to marketing and peddling infoproducts. Which is probably true.

It’s not that I don’t have things to sell. It’s just that I’ve always put relationship, connection, community, and exchange at the forefront.

But to an extent, I think this has been a journey of  reaching and hunting for things, experimenting with different approaches and ideas to see if there might be another way of achieving my overarching goals.

I think the conclusion I’m coming to is that I wasn’t off base prior to beginning this journey. Maybe bored or frustrated with the process at times, but well within the ballpark of what I’m meant to do in this world.

I’ll have more thoughts on this when this experiment comes to a close but suffice it to say it has been a journey of discovery for me, too, and I want to thank you for coming along for the ride.

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