And just like that, it’s been one year to the day since I published my first Strong Silent Hype blog. Saying thanks to my readers doesn’t seem to fully express just how great a gift you’ve given me by showing your support. But in spite of that, here it comes anyway: Thanks to you.
I came across a clever little figure of speech this week: Hiding your brushstrokes. It’s meant to describe the tendency for artists to hide the painful or tedious process their art goes through before it reaches their audience. When you read a piece of writing, for example, it appears clean, polished and smooth; however, everything about the piece of writing up until that point involved a lot of slicing, dicing, editing, various sets of eyes, and maybe even a few tears of frustration.
While hiding brushstrokes applies to art, in many ways it also applies to day-to-day life. The brushstrokes of each of our lives are things we instinctively hide from others for fear that our confident-looking self will appear weak, inconsistent and vulnerable.
The thing about brushstrokes is that they aren’t separate from the finished product; they are a part of it.
When I set out to start writing this blog I had no idea how much work it would be. I’ll admit I had this image in my mind of me getting creative inspiration here and there, writing out a quick little blog about it, and clicking the publish button like I was dropping a letter into the mailbox.
What I didn’t take into account was the amount of time and energy I would be using to come up with topics, write a blog about them (which never happens in one sitting), find the right image, improve the SEO of the piece and all the other t’s to cross and i’s to dot. Gone are the weekends of sleeping in, lazily brewing coffee, and catching up on Netflix shows.
It’s been difficult mentally as well. Each week I’ve shown a bit more of myself to all of you, which isn’t something I’m accustomed to. I’ve had a continuous writing project I’ve been immersed in for the past year, and if you’ve ever done something like this yourself (or other creative endeavour) you’ll know that your mind doesn’t really turn off from it – it’s always there, churning.
But in spite of all these brushstrokes it’s been incredibly rewarding. Wow, I did it for one full year! And it seemed, at each and every low point along the way, something would happen to pull me back up to the surface – and each of those times it was always because a reader reached out and told me how much they were enjoying my blogs and that my writing had actually helped them with their own brushstrokes.
This is an incredible gift.
I want to extend a personal, genuine thanks to each and every one of the readers who have shown their support in one way or another. A very special thanks to the following folks who have helped me with the technical side of blogging and have regularly shown support, encouragement or engagement in one way or another:
Kristy, Rik, Jess, Brenda (aka mom), Alex, Patty, Gayle, Gerard, Elizabeth E., Chris A., Christina, Malina, Laura O., Daniella, Emma, Roger N., Roger B., Rob N., Peter K., Stephen D., Stephen S., Mark T., David B., Brian R., Holly M., Karla S., Adam A., Dom, Charlie R., Jordan L., Matt D., Matt M., Stephen P.
With that said, I have some other news: I’m going to be updating my blog site! What this means is that the blog will remain the same as it looks now for the next few weeks while, behind-the-scenes, I’ll be moving all of my content into a new template. I’m also going to work on improving my current content’s search engine optimization, analyze analytics over the year, as well as give a little refresh to my positioning.
Today is April 20th and I’m giving myself until May 20th to get all of this done. In the meantime, I’ll still be regularly posting to all of my social networks as I do now, and I’ll also be re-posting my 5 favourite blogs from the past year (on Facebook) with a bit of insight into the brushstrokes that went into writing each one.
Thanks, truly and genuinely, for reading and offering your support and feedback. There were many, many, many times I felt like quitting this little project, which would have happened if not for your support.