This one’s different. In theory, it probably “shouldn’t” be different, but it feels different.
This blog post is my 1,500th blog post published on this blog.
It’s not a streak — the streak of 1,500 consecutive blog posts will come in December — but it’s still a big number.
In theory, 1,500 isn’t different from 1,499.
1,500 is just a number, and numbers don’t have any meaning other than the meaning we invest in them.
And, yet… we invest meaning in numbers all the time:
Birthdays. Market valuations of homes, stocks, currencies. Salaries. Bank balances.
We make numbers mean something.
As I considered what to write for this milestone post, I thought of all the topics I could cover: how I’ve done it, lesson learned. All useful. I’ll cover them in time.
But as I sat down to write, what kept coming forward was the magnitude of this number and wanting to celebrate it without the shame that is often associated with taking pride in our work.
1,500 published blog posts feels like a BFD. At least it does to me. Right now.
This feels big in a way I can’t quite comprehend
I’m no stranger to big milestones — especially streaks.
Last month I celebrated my 2,000-day meditation streak — also a big number that was both meaningless and meaningful at the same time.
I’ve maintained a daily evening journaling ritual for 7.5 years.
And next month I’ll celebrate 8 years of daily morning workouts.
Writing Publishing 1,500 blog posts feels bigger than any of these other milestones.
It feels big in a way I can’t quite wrap my head around.
So I set out to explore: why does this feel like such a big deal?
And what, specifically, do I want to celebrate?
Why 1,500 blog posts feels so big
(1) It still feels hard … most of the time
Perhaps it feels so big because I’m still wondering when it will get easier.
It’s actually not the writing part that’s hard. It’s the writing knowing that I’m going to publish it that feels like the herculean task.
Writing when there’s no pressure, when nobody will read it, when nobody will judge it, when it’s just for you — that’s easy.
But writing anything for an audience brings it to another place. It brings you to another place. Or at least it brings me to another place — you may have a different experience.
For me, when I write a blog post, even for a personal blog, I suddenly start to wonder
- will this add value to the reader?
- will people get it?
- what will people think of me if I publish this?
- will I come across as credible? authoritative? crazy?
I can be prone to second-guessing. Many pieces end up in the graveyard of not safe to publish.
Or sometimes I have a great idea in my head. I hear the words flowing in a beautiful stream of prose. Then I sit down to write and what I write … is not what I heard.
What comes up in my head doesn’t always translate into what I write.
Committing to publishing daily has helped me let go of a lot. I’ve stopped trying to make every blog post a home run. Sometimes you get on base with just a trickle of a bunt. And sometimes I strike out.
What’s interesting is that sometimes the posts that I think are strikeouts turn out to be home runs with the reader.
You can probably pull many lessons from this, but let’s go with this one:
Celebration 1: Letting go of perfectionism and getting over myself.
(2) My system still feels like a mess
The second reason this feels so big is that most of the time, my system feels like a mess, perhaps because my mind often feels like a mess.
I sit down to write one thing, my mind takes a brief turn, and suddenly it’s something else.
Sometimes I’ll outline a week’s worth of blog topics, and then I’ll write on completely different topics.
I’m constantly bemoaning my lack of a coherent system for ideation, organizing my writing, and publishing my blog.
I’m always looking for a better way.
That said, as I reflected on this, a wise inner-voice stopped me to point out:
You’ve published 1,500 blog posts. You must be doing something right.
Each time I try someone else’s system, I come back to my way.
My stystem seems to work for my neuro-divergent brain.
I’ve become adept at finding what’s in the way and removing it from the path to make my process easier.
Perhaps I’ll always be looking for a better way, because that’s my nature in everything I do. For now, the system seems to be working.
Celebration 2: Embracing the unique ways I work and the systems that support me in creating my work.
(3) I still wonder how it happened
The third reason this feels like such a big number is because it’s a lot of blog posts. Sometimes, I scroll through my blog and I hear the Talking Heads echo in my mind asking,
How did this get here?
When I look back at my workout logs, I can picture where I was for each workout. But with few exceptions, I don’t recall where I was when I wrote each blog post.
It’s like I have writer’s amnesia.
It’s easy to forget because it didn’t happen all at once. It’s not like I carved out a month to sprint to 1500 blog posts.
Like little deposits in a bank account, or bricks laid to build a house, each individual piece adds up to a whole that feels almost incomprehensible when you’re working on the micro level.
You can’t see the magnitude of what you’re building while you’re building it.
That’s why it’s important to pause every so often, step back, look at what we’ve created, and acknowledge:
I built this.
Day by day. Piece by piece. Word by word.
It feels big because it is big. It’s the cumulative result of showing up daily. Consistently. Persistently. Nurturing and nourishing ideas.
Stepping back to see the “house” that I built — that I’m building — and knowing that people come here and find value in what’s here, that they leave with a new insight or perspective, that feels great too.
I am really proud of that. And it makes the hard parts worth it.
So this feels like a big moment to celebrate. Our culture doesn’t always look favorably on claiming pride in what we do, but I’ll be so bold today as to say:
This is my 1,500th blog post and I’m really proud of it. I’m proud of myself for reaching it. And for all of the little wins along the way.
Celebration 3: I am showing up daily, putting in the work, and building something that provides value to others.
your daily effort
creates works of great value
pause to take it in