About Taking First Steps

Dec 20, 2014

I still remember my excitement when one of the few posts on my old, self-built blog went viral. And by viral, I mean it was retweeted a grand total of 12 times, starred 11 times, and gave me three or four new followers. Nevertheless, I was intrigued. I had put something out there, and people read it, thought about it, and liked it! It was astonishing.<!--more-->

I’ve written things before. I even attended a seminar on creative storywriting when I was twelve or so, and my father still has some of my early poetry on his palm pilot (yes, it’s been that long ago). I’ve written a few blog entries on my old site, I’ve created a <a title="SAP Developer Workbench" href="http://www.dev-workbench.com" target="_blank">blog about SAP ERP development</a>, and I’m writing dozens of e-mails, documents, facebook posts, tweets and text messages each day. I enjoy it – a lot.

So I decided to bring my blog back from the dead and see if I can repeat the feeling of suspense and exhilaration I felt when people read the things I had to say back in 2010. In the four years since, I have gained a lot of experience in life as well as in my professional field, and I feel now is the right time to make the next step.
<h2>You are entitled to your ideas</h2>
I realized that there is no "correct" point in time to start writing. For Christmas, I was gifted a great book called <a title="Escape The City" href="http://www.escapethecity.org/" target="_blank">The Escape Manifesto</a>. I finished reading it yesterday, and it made me realize that there's nobody out there who asks for your contribution. They don't even know you exist. No one asks you to please start writing a blog, a book, or anything that contains your personal thoughts. You just have to do it, and you have every right in the world to do it.

That last point took me a while to realize. I am now thirty years old, and while I'm writing this, I still have the feeling that I'm not entitled to tell other people what to do, or even give them advice. Sure, I know a thing or two about software and programming and business and stuff, and I have a bachelor's and an MBA, but who cares? Who am I to just go ahead and tell people how to do stuff? I still feel inexperienced, as if I had so much to learn before I could start teaching.

The fact of the matter, however, is this: <strong>People dont ask for your qualification if what you're saying makes sense.</strong> If you talk about a problem in their life, and offer an idea to solve it, they will like it. Why should they go "That guy's still wet behind the ears but wants to tell me what to do - what an idiot!"? There will be criticism, but that's a good thing. It shows that your ideas evoke reactions and emotions. People can attack you, sometimes even in unfair ways, but they can't forbid you to speak. However, nobody out there will ever walk up to you and say "You've gained enough experience now - start teaching!".
<h2>Go out there - and challenge yourself</h2>
It's easy to do things in private. I've written things just for myself from time to time, such as diaries of <a title="30 day challenges - article by Steve Pavlina" href="http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/04/30-days-to-success/" target="_blank">30 day challenges</a>, my goals for 2014, and so on. However, all of this doesn't obligate you to continue. Putting something out in public, on the other hand, does.

By creating something for others to experience - be it a blog post, a piece of music, some software, or anything else - you oblige yourself to follow your first step with a second. You will create a positive feedback circle that forces you out of your comfort zone, and you will be amazed what kind of experiences you gain in the process.

In that sense, this posting is rather <em>meta</em> - in that it is the first post to appear on my newly-created blog. It is, in fact, my first piece of writing that is not about technology in some way. This sets the tone for this blog - I will write the occasional "How to do XYZ with CSS3 and JavaScript" post, but there will be other topics such as time management, productivity, and self-fulfillment.

This, of course, is another challenge for me - not only am I writing for the public, but also about things that I just recently discovered I have something to say about. Nevertheless, the important thing is taking the leap and expose yourself. You might be rewarded more than you can imagine.
<h2>You have nothing to lose</h2>
Another realization that I owe to the great guys at <a title="Escape The City" href="http://www.escapethecity.org/" target="_blank">Escape The City</a> is that I, in fact, have nothing to lose by doing this. I'm not taking any risks by starting this blog, other than being the target of mild mockery by friends and relatives. But I do have a lot to gain, first and foremost the feeling of accomplishment that comes with starting something that might lead to opportunities down the road.

In the end, I'm writing this blog for myself more than for anyone else. It might end up as one of millions that are never read by anyone, or I might become the next Stephen Covey, or anything in between. I don't know yet, but the important thing is that I've taken the first step, and everything else comes next.

<small><span style="color: #999999;">Picture attribution: <a style="color: #999999;" title="SplitShire" href="http://splitshire.com/" target="_blank">SplitShire.com</a></span></small>