Yesterday I made a blog post with one intended purpose, but it wound up being interpreted in a completely different way. I thought I might talk a little bit about this because as a blogger this is going to happen. We all view our posts through the lens of our experiences. No one can actually be inside your head or completely understand what it was that you meant by something. This is in part why I spend a lot of time retracing things I have already talked about in my blog posts because in my head… no one actually reads my content. The corollary of that however is that I feel like I need to write something that would make sense to someone who is hitting my blog for the first time. I do a lot of things like “for the uninitiated” call outs where I back track and explain why a thing is important to this topic. Granted this ends up increasing the length of my posts, but the hope is to keep someone from needing to furiously crawl through my back log of now over 1800 posts.
Ultimately for me personally, when something is so widely interpreted in a way I stop to think… is that ultimately the post I wrote without intending to. There are so many times that once fingers get started on the keyboard that posts sort of develop a mind of their own. I know there are writers out there that carefully choose every word and sentence to build a strong discussion about the topic they are referencing. Then there are others like me that get started and let the post develop as they go. The problem with that method however is that things can veer off in unintended directions. My intent in yesterdays post was to be some sort of a positive post about “these are my demons that I deal with but I still manage to get up and write every single day”. The idea was to share my personal struggle so the folks out there who are going through the same thing can know that they are absolutely not alone.
However I feel like maybe a little too much of those demons were on display, and the post maybe came out a little true to life. The hard truth is that I do not see in myself the person you all see in me. I find it as impossible to reconcile that as it is to develop the internal infrastructure to accept a compliment. That said… there were many times yesterday where I was almost brought to tears as the comments came in throughout the day. I had every intent to sit down and respond to each and every one of them… but I am still to this very moment a little too overcome with emotion to try tackling that task. I didn’t write a post with the intent of getting reinforcement from my community, but that was ultimately the result. I got a virtual war-cry from my friends to the equivalent of “we got your back!” and I appreciate it greatly… even though I am not entirely certain how to process it.
There is no real hyperbole intended in yesterdays post, because I sorta accidentally opened the door a little too wide to the self doubts that I hear inside of my head every single morning. That said I still hold my breath and hit that publish button. I am glad that there are people out there however that apparently believe in me so much more than I believe in myself. So many of the things that I have done in my life I did only because I felt like there was no one else out there to do them. I lead my first guild because I was concerned about what the future might bring for me if I didn’t step up and do that. I moved into a leadership role at work, because no one else was and the challenges that we were dealing with required more management than a bunch of independent developers. I stepped up to my current management position only because I was afraid for what might happen to the unity of our team if someone else took the reigns. A lot of the decisions I make are not out of a faith in my own abilities, but a fear in what might happen if I don’t do the thing that appears to need doing.
I was afraid that if I waited much longer that whatever was left of our community what fade away. It was my hope that it was not yet too late and by the fact that we have now tied our best year in participation it seems like I might have accidentally picked the right time to do this. The last couple of years have been extremely rough on this community, and my ultimately hope was that we could get back some of what we lost. There are blogs that are gone and likely never coming back, but we are bolstering those holes in our wall with brand new bloggers that will hopefully infuse us all with a level of excitement. I think it is impressive how far we have come in so short of a time. Each year the initiative has picked up steam as the process has gone on and the flood of topics pulls people out of the woodwork. Here are the numbers of past years…
2014 – 52 Participants
- 2015 – 88 Participants
- 2016 – 62 Participants
- 2017 – 0 (I failed to get it organized)
- 2018 – 88 Participants (so far, it is not too late to join in)
Also impressive at this point is we have 92 members active on the Discord with a large number of people who have just joined to participate in the conversations even though they may not be officially participating in the event. I do believe… we may have a community again and an extremely active one. Ultimately that was the thing I was missing the most, being part of something much larger than myself. There have always been some of us that spun topics off one another, because quite honestly we refused to accept the pronouncement that blogging was a dead art. It is my hope however that this version of Blaugust will be more forgiving when it comes to the after effects on the community. There are a lot of bloggers that in the crush to get their 31 posts in… have burned themselves out in the process only to close up shop shortly after the event ended. My hope with this year is that we are providing folks the tools to run the marathon, not the sprint and keep going for the rest of the year.
There are so many mornings that I feel like a little kid pretending to make a newspaper or sitting in a hollowed out cardboard box pretending to be on a television show. The truth is however that people are out there reading this and I am thankful of the kind words that you have shared with me. I will do my best to try and figure out how to accept them. I have more of a support structure than I deserve, and I am extremely thankful to everyone who has joined me in this madness. We are on a really interesting journey together and I don’t quite know where it is going… but I feel like it is going somewhere very special. So in so many words… thank you so much for the help and love and support and random hugs. Thanks for having my back. Lets go do awesome things together!