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I started my very first blog because of Michael Hyatt.
I casually ran into him back in Austin (read: I saw his tweet about eating at Rudy’s in Austin and decided to go say hi. That isn’t creepy, right?). We chat briefly. I played down my excitement and told him I’d been reading his blog for sometime and really appreciated his wisdom. I even admitted that I wanted to be an author someday.
He told me that the most important step to being an author was blogging.
Really? I thought in my head. I have to write on a website? Why not just write a book and publish it? That sounded easier.
In January 2012, I started my first blog, per his instruction. Blog isn’t the right word though. Perhaps online diary is better. I spewed my edited thoughts on unsuspecting visitors, who probably were just clicking the wrong link and ended up on my poorly constructed page.
It was kind of an embarrassing thing. I never shared my blog site publicly out of fear that someone would read it and tell me how abysmal it was. Or worse, what if I did share it but no one chose to read it? It was safer and easier to write quietly, without the judging eyes.
Eventually, I started getting bored knowing that all my writing was for not. No one could read it if I didn’t share it. I decided to be brave.
Soon, I blogged regularly and even had people read them and press that friendly “like” button. (And by people, I mean both my mom and my boyfriend).
A funny thing happened then. I started to get better.
When you practice something publicly, you learn a lot. You learn what types of titles work, which stories resonate with others, and what your audience cares about. It took one year of failing privately before I mustered the courage to fail publicly with my blogging.
I’ve only been writing here on alyssapadgett.com for the past six months or so. But this time around, I decided to share every post, regardless of my fear, and let my critics (real and imagined) read my words.
The results have been nothing short of incredible. I’ve never been more dedicated in my writing, and I’ve never loved writing more than when I get to share it with you. But I had to do the two hardest things first: 1) Start a blog and 2) Share it with people.
Your work is worthless if you’re never sharing your writing.
In the same manner, Heath and I have been releasing short videos from our adventures. Neither of us had any real experience with editing or Final Cut Pro before this trip. In short 30-90 second videos, we are learning skills and developing our craft.
In the beginning everyone is bad and has a long way to go.
My hope is that six months from now, I will look back on those videos and be embarrassed, the way I feel when I read blogs from my old site. I will be embarrassed at how terrible they are, because I will be so much better then.
I’m not particularly successful or spectacular as a writer, and I’m definitely not great at video editing, but I’ve decided to share my spectacularly horrible videos and unscripted blogs anyway. Last month, I wrote and, more importantly, published one blog every day for thirty days. My last post was at least ten times better than my first.
If you want to grow, as a writer or video editor or painter, you must share your work, the good and the bad.
You must be brave, learn from your audience, keep showing up, and share your work.