I have been writing on the Internet since April 2006. That month, my (now) best friend, Jason Echols and I started Black Belt Productivity (BBP), a blog that “encouraged higher levels of productivity through the use of Getting Things Done.” Both Jason and I had read Getting Things Done by David Allen and realized that we needed its ground breaking common sense in our lives. We wrote everyday for a good month or two to fill up the Internet with our ramblings. My first project was a ‘GTD Primer’ where I summarized Getting Things Done chapter by chapter. We also did some interviews with what we called ‘Black Belts’. Everything was very well received and I thought that we were on our way to some minor Internet stardom.
BBP got pretty popular throughout 2006 amassing over 6,500 subscribers at one point, which was pretty big in those days. We were on the front edge of the burgeoning productivity blog movement that started in 2006-2007. We met many new friends and some very cool folks during that time. Some of them have moved on to some very cool things work wise. Some of them are published authors. Thankfully, there are a number of them that we are still friends with today.
We kept BBP up and running until late 2009, when we both started to realize that GTD was really not what either of us were doing anymore. In the spring of 2010, we transitioned our writing efforts to Life Above, and a new focus, not on productivity systems, per se, but areas that we felt were just as important in “helping people find the lives that they wanted to live.”
I guess, now, in hindsight, they were not as important…which leads me to today.
One of the great friends that I met that summer of 2006 is Patrick Rhone. Back then he was just a productivity guy from Minnesota who wrote out the first Productivity Whitepaper (his Org-Fu) that was starting his path to superstardom that he is now enjoying. Jason and I have spent many nights on skype calls with Patrick just talking about all sorts of differnet things. One thing that Jason and I always wanted to do was pick Patrick’s brain about writing. The one thing that Patrick always worked back around to was
“find something you’re passionate about and write about that.”
That worked well for me in the early days of BBP. I loved reading about and writing about productivity systems, tools and everything in between. As the productivity blog wave started to crest and die out, I found myself struggling with stuff to write about. I still struggle with that to this day, and I finally remembered the words that Patrick told us so many times: find something your passionate about.
I don’t have anything in my life that I am passionate about enough to want to write about it at Life Above, 1-Man IT Department or my personal tumblr. Don’t get me wrong, I am passionate about my kids, and my son’s baseball development and teams, and my wife and all sorts of things that are personal to me. I just don’t have anything that is inspiring me to consistantly write on the Internet.
I certainly have tried to get inspired by finding new writers out there on the Internet to start reading, but soon realized that their blogs are 95% offsite links, 3% original content by the author, and 2% sponsor thanks. There are a few out there that I still read all the time, but I have jettisoned most of them from my Google Reader because they were just adding to the noise.
I really have not even decided if I like writing anymore. I spend most of my nights either reading or watching Netflix to catch up on the series that I didn’t watch the first time around. I struggle both with the craft and process of writing. I stand in awe of Patrick for his ability to grasp life and make me think how I can be better. The same holds true for Aaron Mahnke, who (in my opinion) is one of the best designers on the Internet, and all of a sudden steps out and releases, not one, but two fantasy fiction novels that are out of this world! I want to be able to create like that, but I don’t think that I have it in me.
This is by no means a pity party for me, just a realization: I am done writing on the Internet for the foreseeable future. Maybe next year, I will get the itch to return, and I have many platforms in which to do that. I have always loved technology and in my job, I am knee deep in it all the time. I also still love to read about people’s productivity systems, but those posts are seemingly few and far between nowadays.
So, for now, I bid you all adieu! It really has been fun, and I hope that I was able to entertain someone. Go out there and find really great writers to start following. They are out there (I mentioned two above. Start there and you won’t go wrong), you just have to find them.