Two years of writing: what I’ve learned along the way

It’s strange to think The Avid Doer turns two tomorrow. My first ever post was a question I asked myself: how to start an industry-related blog while being employed. I found it was a good basis to develop The Avid Doer, which was essentially finding the answers for people who ask the same sort of questions as I do.

As a writer, the process of developing The Avid Doer also helped me hone my voice – my writing style that articulates things in the way I want to say them. I don’t cover anything new at all in my writing but my aim was to share my insight on topics around professional and career development, based on personal experience, and make it conversational more than anything else.

I’m excited about what The Avid Doer might turn into in another two years. Back to now, I’m going to share the top three things I’ve learned about blogging that you as a reader might find helpful – and, who knows, inspire you to start blogging too?

  1. Beginning life as ‘But I haven’t got much to say really’, this blog has turned into nearly 60,000 words of my thoughts, ramblings, insights and opinions that no one really asked for. Over these 24 months, I gradually warmed to the idea of sharing what I know about career development, reminding myself, with genuine modesty, that I have walked the talk when it comes to strategic career management having made four significant moves in role to adjust my career to my professional and personal goals, and doubling my salary in the space of just over two years, all in a field that I only entered by chance four years ago. This has taught me that everyone has a journey to share that others may find useful, even if you think you’re not the most qualified or experienced person to do so.
  2. I’m chuffed to bits at how many metaphorical doors this has opened for me. Shortly after launching The Avid Doer, I had the confidence to start writing for HR Zone as a regular feature writer. These two avenues expanded my network massively on LinkedIn and Twitter and I learned about how other organisations work in terms of HR and professional development. Then, as a result of seeing one of my articles, in 2018 I was invited to be a speaker in Portugal at an HR conference. Despite the initial stage nerves (that I managed to keep under control thankfully), this really boosted my confidence and assured me that, regardless of our background or experience, we all have advice to share. And as I’ve been banging on about it all year, I needn’t remind you that, this year, this confidence pushed me to write and publish a real life book – with pages and an ISBN and everything!
  3. This blog has taught me something borderline meme-able – don’t aim for perfection, aim for motion. Before this launched, I spent months upon months coming up with a name, a style, a design, a format, a layout – and sooooo many revisions. All before I made it go live. And I needn’t have bothered. The site has changed that many times, I’ve lost count of the slight variations it’s lived through. At first I wanted it to be in a Q&A format – fictional people writing in with specific problems as an opener for me to provide the answer as a blog post. Then longer posts, then shorter posts, then ‘length may vary’ posts. At first I wanted it to be about developing workplace soft skills, then career management through better workplace skills, then professional development, then a short stint of HR, then documenting what I’m learning as I go, before going back to professional and career development. I’ve designed and redesigned logos, the homepage, the structure and layout. So the time I spent perfecting the site before launch wasn’t necessarily wasted effort, but I should have accepted that the blog was likely to evolve into its own thing, being tweaked in accordance to what I needed it to be. It taught me that ‘good enough’ is good enough if it means progress can start with the knowledge that improvement is a continuous venture once something is in motion.

With that being said, I understand that my writing can always be improved too. The more articles I’ve written (which amounts to about 85 now) the more enjoyment I’ve got out of the process.

Aptly timed after the two-year mark for both The Avid Doer and HR Zone, my goals for 2020 include brushing up on my writing and copy editing skills (useful for articles and the day job – bargain!), expanding onto new platforms like Medium, and writing for other publications online and in print. I also want to write more about professional development here on The Avid Doer. I’m also interested in writing about different topics but I haven’t toyed with the idea long enough to make a decision/commitment yet…

I hope the two years of posts on here have been helpful to you. Here’s to two more years of writing enjoyment! [raises cosmopolitan]

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