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A Month of No Hiding
Many people start blogging because it's a great way to share your thoughts and yourself with the world. There comes a point, though, where it's really easy to hide behind the medium.
I started reflecting about this in earnest during Seth’s last Ruckusmaker Workshop. I attended it for a lot of reasons but mostly because I sensed that it was time for me to be a student again. Being an active learner rather than a passive learner or a teaching learner gave me the ears to hear things in a different way.
The conversation that caught my attention about this was Seth's perspective on live-tweeting an event. Much like I am, Seth was concerned that it detracts from a person's experience -- but I'll say that I know that it helps some people process what they're learning, too. Seth's main point, though, was that having a computer or device open and in front of you makes it too easy to hide from the people next to and in front of you.
A voice deep inside me asked, "In what ways are you hiding behind technology, Charlie?" There was no question about whether I was hiding; that I was hiding was a given and I couldn't really undermine the certainty of it. Sure, I could come up with a bunch of explanations, excuses, and/or counter-pointing, but I knew in that moment that I had two options: 1) be okay with the fact that I was hiding and thus not need to answer the question or 2) address the question and resolve it.
Given that you're reading this, you know which route I went.
Most people who have tried business or brand blogging will likely have sympathy for how easy it is to end up buried under the science and tech of it. The brand promises, editorial calendars, opt-ins, social media promotion, stat monitoring, search engine optimizing, research, audio and video considerations, new-post announcements, and so on can distract and immerse the hell out of you.
Deep down, I think most of us know that all of that gives us ever more sophisticated ways to hide, protect, and feel good about ourselves. It's our own Iron Man armor that allows us to do great things at the cost of shielding our soft bits from the harms that may come up while doing those things.
But the suit doesn't make the man - the man makes the suit. And for April, I'm going to be going without it by posting once per day. Posting at that frequency will force me out of the habits, workflows, and systems that I've been oh-so-tenaciously building for the last eight years.
I'm going to commit to some simple rules lest I get too clever about it and either fail or make it a Thing:
I publish here rather than in whatever random experimental venue (hiding place) that I might come up with.
I have to publish before I go to bed.
Announcements (podcast, planners, or otherwise) do not count.
The posts can be written, video, or audio.
The idea garden is off limits except for a post on procrastination that I have coming.
Anything over 100 words is fine.
No SEOing, headline hacking, lede optimization, viral priming, or other tomfoolery allowed.
Posts are "supposed" to either educate, entertain, or inspire you. For the month, I'm going to do my best to relax my inner editorial requirements that they do so. Maybe they'll be better along those dimensions, but maybe they won't.
Also, I don't have any semblance of an editorial calendar or list of topics I'll be writing about, so your guess is as good as mine about what I'll post tomorrow. It's a creative adventure for both of us.
I'll have an opt-in for these posts at the bottom simply to make it easy for you to follow along and laugh at and with me. It should be fun.
I'm not sure what's going to come of this. Maybe we'll like it, maybe we won't. There are all sorts of ways in which this does not make any "strategic" sense at all, but it's still worth doing for a month to see how we like it.
See you tomorrow. :)
One last thing: in what ways are you hiding ... from your people, your family, your team, or yourself? What might happen if you hid less, too? Our roads may be more similar than different.