Building a Community – Not a Platform

T0 blog or not to blog, that is the question.

Whether it is nobler to continue to share my personal life in a time of financial lane changing, or to set it aside for another day….that is the question that must be asked.

Since I’ve recently found myself traveling down yet another unexplored road in the pursuit of becoming an author and writer, I decided to stop a moment and re-assess  my reasons for continuing the Writer’s Journal  portion on my blog site ( particularly when my original intent was to share the journey of writing a first novel >which is now on hiatus).

Let’s face it, it’s not like I don’t have enough things to write about. Between the Marketing Director position, the re-write on my non-fiction book, this blog and the writer’s group I’m a part of, the keys on my laptop are beginning to look in serious need of replacement parts.

But as nothing is ever permanent,  and I am always in the process of evolving and re-inventing myself,  I thought it was important that I take a few minutes and touch base with the original idea.

So I sorted through the file cabinet in my mind until I came to the drawer marked SSpjut>Writer’s Blog>Stardate, found the file highlighted  “Why Blog?” (For those who don’t know me, almost all my mental files begin with “Why?”), and pulled it up out of the shadowy recesses of my memory.

After carefully dusting off the cover, I flipped it open and found myself staring at the headline of the first page.  It didn’t take but a moment for the clamoring voices of indecision and doubt to stop and slither back under the murky waters of insecurity and unbelief.  With a smile and a sigh I closed the cover, slid the file back where I’d found it, went out to the kitchen where I poured myself a cup of coffee, grabbed the other half of my English muffin and moseyed back here so I could share my findings.

I began by asking  whether blogging on my journal was still relevant to my current journey and  found instead,  that as so often happens, I was asking the wrong question. The one I should have been asking (and was so forcefully reminded of when I opened that file) was, “Why did I feel compelled to start a blog in the first place?”

Was it to have a creative outlet for my compulsion to write?

Was I trying to promote myself before the ink had even dried on the first draft of my first novel?  

Or did having a blog to call my own give me a sense of purpose and belonging? 

In truth, each of those questions might have played a part in my initial reason,  but the real headline is actually something  quite a bit different.

It was in the beginning and still is, my passion for doing all things through the connective wheel of relationship and community, that I found the impetus for starting this blog.

Several years ago I was part of a leadership development team in which our primary avenue of developing leaders was through building relationships. We took a look at where the company wanted to go, who we were going to need to partner with to get there and how we could invest in those lives in a way that not only helped them grow but created a community of like-minded individuals who supported and encouraged one another in the journey.

It was (and still is) individuals like Jesus Christ , John C. Maxwell, Graham Cooke, Frances Hesselbein, Peter Drucker and George Barna who committed their lives to developing organic leadership that are some of my greatest hero’s. At every opportunity they sought to empower others by investing emotionally as well as intellectually.

As John Maxwell ( founder of INJOY Leadership Development Group) teaches in the The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, a person can only rise as far as the lid  over their lives will allow them  to (how they see themselves), and it is the responsibility of leaders to do everything they can to lift that lid higher.

When individuals, such as you and I, are more intent upon establishing and building relationships than we are in building our own platforms or personal empires, we not only help grow a community of individual’s whose limitations are being organically removed by that investment, but we are building a network of people who, like Jesus and his twelve disciples, may just become powerful enough to change the world.

So in the pursuit of continuing to build and invest in relationships and community, the Writer’s Journal on my blog will stay.

Will all my postings be so altruistic as to qualify me for sainthood, I seriously doubt it. But I will do my best to stay as transparent as possible in my pursuit of investing in the development of community so that in the bigger picture of things, my success will not be measured so much in what I have bought or sold, but in the value of those I took the time to get to know.

 From the laptop of an uncensored dreamer


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