• James Hewlett

One Year Down


Today is the one year anniversary of this whole thing! This time last year I went live with my first post and have put up a something every single day since... or at least dated it as such. I’m one year in to a three and a half year long project.

I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking with my commitment to the concept and for carrying on doing it so today I’m going to be self indulgent and talk about about the past year of the blog.

So what have I learnt in the process?

It’s hard thinking of stuff to write about every day! This isn’t exactly a surprise to me, I knew it was going to be the biggest struggle I would have to overcome and for the most part I think I have.

I’ve had to keep reminding myself that I’m doing this for me first and foremost. It’s in my nature to try and make something as widely appealing as possible and to grow an audience but from the outset I said that this was for me and I don’t really mind if no one else reads it. I forget that sometimes and need to remind myself.

The biggest personal thing I’ve taken away from doing this for the last year is that I really love writing, I want to do more of it. I’m enjoying working through my course and will continue to do more things like that to keep me motivated to write. A lot could change in the next two and a half years while I’m running this site but I hope that even when it’s all said and done I keep writing often and I can look back on this as a really good motivational exercise.

I’ve also learnt to not be afraid to let this site evolve naturally. When I first started it the intention was to have a pretty good or at least interesting picture every day and maybe a bit of text accompanying it. Now the pictures I post are very much secondary to the writing most of the time. I think it’s possible it could evolve more over time as well though into what, I don’t know.

What would I like to most improve?

I think the general design of the site could do with a refresh. I don’t often see it from the front end, but I think I’d like to change it up a little bit going into year two. It’s not my strong suit but I should be able to get something together.

I’d like to add more depth to the site too, more variety. I have a bunch of talented friends who I think should be putting their work out there, be it artwork, podcasts, other writing. I’d love to be a home for all that. They don’t have to follow the same format I do but I think it could be a cool creative hub for people.

I also want to improve my writing, that’s just something that comes with constantly doing it though, so I’m all over that. The same goes for the pictures I take for the site. Maybe I’ll take a short photography course online?

What do I enjoy about writing and posting something daily?

I enjoy deep diving into my own thoughts on a topic, that’s why I really like when I have something in particular to really dig in to. I enjoy forcing myself to really think about how I feel or taking a second look at an opinion I may have had to see if I can poke holes in it.

I think it has been therapeutic, writing about things that have bothered me. I’ve rarely held anything back on here and even if no one is reading it just putting stuff out into the wild is freeing and makes me way more open to talking about any particular topic.

I’ve really enjoyed the moments of inspiration when I’ve thought of something, a germ of an idea for a post, made a note of it and then worked on writing it up. There have been abandoned ones too, not everything I think is a good idea at the time works out as being a particularly good post.

What do I not enjoy?

It can feel like work sometimes, when I’ve not got anything in particular to write about and no ideas. Those are the days I wish o could just not bother doing anything but I remember a quote from Burnie Burns during a series of videos he put out that were a big inspiration for me starting this to begin with. I’m paraphrasing here but it was something like, “I don’t believe in motivation, I believe in discipline.”

What he’s saying is that if you set yourself a goal to do something creative, don’t wait for that spark of inspiration, just do it. Start working on it and keep to the schedule you set yourself. You’ll produce a lot of bad or mediocre stuff but that is part of the process and from that you’ll also produce more and more good work that you’re proud of.

Thanks for reading this, I hope that it’s insightful, interesting and maybe even inspiring.

One year down. Two years, six months and five days to go!

See you tomorrow.

#writing #productive #selfimprovement #selfreflection #me #history #anniversay #ambition #motivation #discipline

©2017 by James Hewlett.