Wow, 3 years. It's hard to believe that 3 years have passed since I began this blog on February 20th, 2003 with the post Get that Weblog a Rollin', posted to my former Blogger account.
Now, exactly 420 posts later, I'm amazed at the variety of posts and topics I've covered, including blogging, books, computing, creativity, cycling, design, family, film, food, drink & coffee, iPods, kids, Macs, Milwaukee, Moleskines, music, observations on life, Palm PDAs, photography, sketches, tech, travel, web design, WiFi and other tidbits.
When I started the blog I had no idea where it might go, only that it was freeing to write about anything I wanted to, after 6 years writing and publishing the Palm Tipsheet. I loved the Tipsheet and those years producing it, but in the end, it had become a burden. It was so narrowly focusing on PDAs. I still enjoy Palm PDAs, mobile tech and so on, but it's become just another facet in my interests, rather than a dedicated focus. That's a good thing.
I still recall friends teasing me a few months into my blogging that I was writing more than I ever did with the monthly Tipsheet issues. But in fact, those comments confirmed I'd made the right choice. Writing became a joy again and not the burden it had become while pushing out Tipsheets each month.
So what wisdom can I impart from my 3 years as a blogger?
Share what you love with others.
I love to write and I love to sketch, so it's been a natural combination to combine sketch work with detailed explanations of the thoughts behind the sketches. Sharing stories from my life have been fun exercises too, including posts such as: A Challenge to Encouragement, A Day Downtown or Surprised by a Diary. Each one of those stories was a joy for me to capture and share, and (I think) were also enjoyable for visitors to read.
I think it's also important to know when you are dried up and walk away for a while. If you pressure yourself to come up with good stories or posts, then it may feel forced. This is of course more true for my style of long, thought-out postings than those who post many small tidbits each day. Still — we all need a break from time to time.
Spend time leaving good comments on the blogs you read regularly. Write back personally to those who leave good comments on your blog. Make mention of those you admire in your blog, especially those blogs with excellent stuff which might be less well known.
Thanks to everyone who has left a kind word in the comments, or have emailed me directly. You guys are the ones who encourage me to keep cranking out the posts. Special thanks to fellow bloggers Matt Henderson for providing Movable Type for my weblog and to Michael Ashby, Sammy McLoughlin, Shaun McGill for their encouraging words and frequent mentions.
Here's to a 4th year at Rohdesign Weblog! :-)