You Bet I’m Proud

Whenever I run into anyone I haven’t seen in a while they ask, “Have you written any new books lately?”

“No,” I say. “But I’m still writing my weekly blog.”

Most people look a bit disappointed. I guess a blog is nowhere near as impressive or exciting as a book. Or is it?

Three days ago, I celebrated the tenth anniversary of the publication of my first blog post back in 2014. Ten years, 473 original posts, countless thousands of views that have come via my subscription service, my newsletter, my social media, and random Google searches. Most incredibly, I’ve written over 225,000 words. That’s the equivalent of three novels! When I shared that word count with an acquaintance, she said, “Wow, that’s amazing. You must be so proud.”

And I am. Over the years, I’ve seen specific posts picked up and rerun by other bloggers; I’ve read several posts on radio shows and podcasts, as well as at various live events; and I’ve performed half a dozen house concerts with my friend, Colleen, in which we paired my blog posts with songs of her choosing. That’s not to mention my book, Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life — which was a compilation of some of the best blog posts from the first five years — and the notecards and journals that I’ve also sold.

Bursts of Brilliance® is a trademarked phrase, and I’m now hosting live events, keynote talks, and workshops under that name. In fact, Bursts of Brilliance now needs its own website to showcase all it has become.

So, yes, I’m proud, but more so, I’m extremely grateful. Writing this blog has been the best part of my week for a decade now. It has seen me through creative and personal challenges, career ups and downs, and a worldwide pandemic. Best of all, in writing from my heart, I have occasionally touched your hearts too. It means the world to me when you share my posts on your social media, or forward them to a friend, or just write to tell me something I wrote made you cry. Unlike painters or musicians or actors, we writers rarely get to watch anyone experience our art. I can’t see you laugh or cry. I have no idea what you look like, or how old you are, or where you live. Still, I can feel you when I write, and it’s your energy that completes the creative circle and makes this blog possible.

For fun, here is a slightly pared down version of my very first post. In rereading this, I realized the goals I’d set for this blog continue to motivate me. I guess I really did land on that one topic for which I would never grow weary. Thank you, dearest reader, for joining me on this wonderous journey!

First Post – Feb. 21, 2014

Few things excite us more than a great idea, especially when it’s one of our own. Watch a person’s body language, listen to the passion in their voice, watch the light fill their eyes when they say those magic words, “I have an idea,” or “Listen to this” or “You know what we need to do?” In those moments we are brilliant, and we know it.

I have a friend who started a business in his basement. Whenever something good happened at work, he’d fly up the stairs, fling open the door, and shout to his wife, “I’m a goddamn genius!” And in that moment, he was. This blog is about celebrating and honoring those bursts of brilliance that hit each of us every day. It’s about believing that our creativity is boundless, and even if we don’t act on every great idea we form, the very fact we had the thought at all is magic. This blog is about relishing spontaneity . . . dropping everything to jot down an idea, to text a friend, to rush across the room to tell a co-worker. It’s about drawing energy from that initial burst of brilliance whether you act on the idea or not. It’s not about success or failure, it’s about creativity and passion and the joy of discovering the amazing insights we never knew we had.

I always said I’d never write a blog until I had something unique to say, until passion drove me to it. So, nothing about this blog will ever be rote. I’ll write it when inspiration strikes . . . And like all good ideas, this blog will morph over time in ways I can’t yet imagine, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

One more thing . . . you’ll find that comments are not allowed here. Why? Because it’s not about whether you agree with me or not. It’s about what you do with any inspiration you find here. I want you to take that energy and turn it toward your own work immediately, not squander it on forming a response to me or arguing with the last person who posted an opinion. We spend far too much time reacting and not enough time acting.

It’s time to embrace the genius in all of us with no apologies and no hesitation. Because whether your idea changes your life, your community, or your world, once it’s out there, nothing will ever be the same.

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