Seven years ago I had never written anything for public consumption. And then, seven years ago today, I started this blog. What a journey it has been! To all my dear readers, my message today to you is this…just start. Whatever you want to accomplish, just take that first step. Today. You never know where it might take you.
In December 2015, I knew I loved to write. I knew that, for me, writing was a cathartic means of reflecting. Writing was a source of personal growth and learning. After being inspired by some of my principal friends who were already blogging, like Jon Wennstrom and Ben Gilpin, I started thinking about starting a blog. Then, I heard George Couros‘ keynote, and that sealed the deal. My first blogpost was published on December 6, 2015 and it was called, “My Infuriation with Education“.
I remember that day pretty vividly, mostly the nervous trepidation I had when I pressed the publish button. When I look back at that post, I cringe a little at the immature writing style. But, I am not going to edit it, not even to add missing commas. Honestly, I had no idea what topic to write about for my first post. I decided that I needed to write what was on my heart to help me get started. I had no idea if anyone would read it, and just a few people did. But, my blogging friends gave me positive feedback encouraged me to keep going. So I did.
I love my writing journey and seeing the growth I have made. It is so true that the number one step to getting better at something is to do it more frequently. As I wrote more, I became a better writer. As I read more with my new perspective on writing, I became a better writer. I continue to learn how to be a better writer and hope that with each post, with each new book, I grow. Because, you see, I used to write for me. I still do. But now I write for you too.
After a few years of blogging almost every week, I felt like I had a book inside me, ready to be written. Again, I was inspired by leaders I respected like Connie Hamilton and Dave Burgess. Like Dave teaches us, I wanted my book to be my manifesto and to be a book I’d like to read. I wasn’t sure where or how to start, I wasn’t sure if my book would be published, and I wasn’t sure if it was published if anyone would read it. But I didn’t let that stop me. I sat down and started writing a book, knowing that if the only people who read it were my sons and their future children, that would be enough. By some miracle, Shelley Burgess saw potential in my book when she read it. That google doc I started in September of 2017 became The Path to Serendipity, a book that has been read by thousands of people. If you haven’t read it yet, I would love for you to check it out. It basically is my whole heart in a book, and it takes readers on an introspective journey. The bonus is that you don’t’ have to be an educator to appreciate the messages in the book.
And then came three more books in the #SerendipityEDU series, followed by the recently released book Leading the Whole Teacher. I made a little video to share quick summaries of my books for you:
Did I start my blog seven years ago because I had a dream to write 260 blog posts and five books (with a sixth on the way, right Jessica Gomez!)? Nope. I started because I wanted to learn and grow, and because I love to write. I started because I knew that putting my reflections on blast through a blog would hold me accountable for following through with them. I started because I was encouraged by people I admire.
So here is my encouragement to YOU. Just start. Want to start blogging? Do it. I’ll help you. Want to start a YouTube channel? Do it. Want to start a podcast? Do it. Want to finally learn how to hip hop dance? Do it. Whatever it is, whatever dream keeps percolating inside your head, just start. We need you to share your dream and your strengths.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”-Audre Lorde