One Year In

The Meaning Movement is now just over a year old.

This means that every week for the past year or more I have published an article on this blog. Most weeks I have published two. Some weeks it’s been three. I also write for other sites around the web (contact me if you’re interested).

In order to do this, I write almost every day. I’ve been writing almost every day for nearly two years.

Some days are better than others. Some days I hear stories from people who have been deeply moved and impacted by what I write. Other days I hear nothing. I often have to remind myself why this matters.

Why do I do this?

  • I write to know what I think and have to say. Writing helps me put language and structure to the things I think about. I write to practice finding words for what I believe to be true about people, work, hope, and impact.
  • I write to develop my ability to communicate. The more I write the more chance I have to practice structure and form.
  • And I write to connect people with my work (see my one-on-one work, speaking, or my first book which I’m currently writing.)

More than all of these things, I write to impact people. I write to make a difference.

This is a simple blog post. It has around 800 words. It’s nothing fancy. Writing, editing, formatting, publishing all took me 2 hours (not counting all the writing I do that never gets published).

But here’s why this blog post, and this blog, are important:

This can be read by anyone.

Not surprisingly, most of my readers are in the United States. But I have a substantial number in Canada followed closely by the UK. Those are just the top three. People visit from Brazil, Bolivia, Botswana, and those are just the B’s. I’ve connected via email and skype with people all over the world.

No matter where you’re reading this right now, we’re connecting because I wrote this and you’re giving me the gift of taking the time to read it.

Who knows when you’ll be reading this. Maybe it’s the week I hit the publish button. Maybe it’s years later. I don’t know. But long after I’ve worked on writing this, and long after I’ve put it all together, these words will still be here for you to come across and be impacted by.

And that is an amazing thing.

I can impact you, even in a very small way, by writing this.

The potential for impact is unlimited. Theoretically, the entire world could read this at any point after I’ve put it out there.

It’s really unbelievable, when you think about it.

I could just as easily leave these words in a private place. They could stay forever in my Scrivener folder labeled “drafts” or in my journal.

Or, I could never write them and neither you nor I would ever read them.

Publishing is hard and scary.

For a lot of my life I have been afraid of putting myself out there. I assumed that you had to have a large ego and/or a vast amount of confidence to put your work in front of people.

I don’t have either the confidence or ego to do that. I feel anxious about criticism. I’m afraid of making embarrassing mistakes.

But more than my fears, more than my insecurities, and more than all of the excuses not to do this, I realized that the risk of not making an impact is much greater.

Sure, this is vulnerable and scary at times, but the risk of missing the chance to be a part of helping you do work worth doing is much greater.

It’s better to fail at something that matters than never try. [tweet that]

I’d rather risk embarrassment and the challenges of writing than miss the opportunity to be a part of your journey.

You have something to say, do, create, make, change, etc. If you’ve read the Manifesto, you should know by now: you have an impact to make.

You will never make your impact unless you take the risk to put yourself out there. [tweet this]

Create publicly. The world needs to hear what you have to say.

Here’s to the one year that has passed and the many that are to come.

Here’s to creating meaningful things.

I’m so grateful to have you as a part of this.

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2 Comments

  1. Eric October 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Congrats! One year in. I don’t read all of them (I need to be honest) but read some of them.

    Thanks also for your vulnerability expressing your struggle with depression. I never knew. But I know that there are more people out there than we’d realize who do or have struggled with it.

    eric

    Reply
    1. Dan Cumberland October 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks Eric! I’m glad to have you reading as many as I can get 😉

      And you’re welcome— if that’s the right response — it felt like it was time to talk about it. I hope more people do.

      Reply

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