Things you’re not allowed to think as you read this article:
- I don’t have enough time.
- I’m not smart enough.
- I don’t solve problems every day.
Many years ago, I created a talk called “7 Steps to Shameless Self-Promotion.” The idea was to explain how to get famous (or at least well-known) in your career field. As I’ve grown, both personally and professionally, I’ve realized that it really comes down to one simple idea:
Be A Creator.
Write a book. Start a blog. Build a website. Publish some software. Contribute to an open-source project. Participate in forums. Leave an indelible mark on your community. These are creation.
As I look around our societal landscape, I’m noticing a trend where more and more people are specifically focused on consuming content. Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, television, books, and magazines are all great things, and I even contend that without some consumption, creation would be incredibly difficult. Everything you consume, whether it’s an interesting blog article or even an episode of Jersey Shore (please don’t), it shapes you as a person.
That being said, you’re currently looking for some ways to change or improve your life. It’s the New Year, after all…why not make some impactful changes in what and how you live it?
I have spoken with thousands of developers, and I pose the same question to each of them:
When you solve a coding problem, where do you publicly share that information with others? A blog? A wiki? StackOverflow?
The answer, almost always, is this: Why would anyone read what I write? I pose a similar question to you, my dear defeatist: Why do you read anyone else’s blog? Is it their incredible use of iambic pentameter? Maybe they rhyme the last word of every line. Or maybe, it’s because you find solutions to your problems in their ramblings.
So in this year 2012, I want all of you to create something. Maybe it’s a piece of art. Maybe it’s a new presentation. Maybe it’s a Windows Phone application. Perhaps you’ve found the motivation to write a short story. Whatever it is, DO IT. The easiest way to get started? Start a blog and write about your hobbies. Go to WordPress and set it up. Once a week, write down the new thing that you learned. Maybe it’s that you finally solved a cool coding problem, or realized that bacon really makes your Cinnamon Toast Crunch taste better. Write it down! Someone will enjoy what you have to say, and at a bare minimum, you’ve now documented your solution, so you’ll remember how you did it the next time.
Let me know when you’ve done it. I need some stuff to consume.