Writing articles for the #StartYourShift project was an amazingly beneficial experience for me. I want to give a huge thanks to the folks over at Sparkbox for coming up with the idea and seeing it through until the end. Some may have been more faithful than I have been, but I gave it my best effort to take part as much as possible. I authored 10 articles (this one included) on a variety of subjects this year for the project. As the last hurrah, here are my thoughts on why I consider it a personal success.
I learned a ton on topics like accessibility, education, passion and so much more. Diving into these subjects and forcing myself to think through the issues was a big win. Some of these topics I have thought over before and others were never a high priority. It was an effort to take time out of my schedule to research and write articles. Sometimes I wanted to quit and not write an article. Other times I had to stop myself from writing because I was writing too much.
The most shocking thing I learned was about myself. I learned that I like to write. It was news to me. I never spent a lot of time preparing for and writing material, so it was a hidden talent that was unexplored. At times, I'd even begin writing articles as soon as the topics were announced. It became such a focus in my life that I even redesigned and rebuilt my site with the goal and objective of writing even more. I started writing about what I was learning, things I cared about and even joined in other writing projects.
This year I discovered a whole new skill set and learned to practice it.
Once you discover something, you can never go back to un-discovering it. Now that I have begun exploring this new skill set, I'm excited to continue developing it. Writing is just like any other skill, you need to practice to get better. I've begun seeking out opportunities to continue writing more and to incorporate written communication wherever possible.
Discovering the ability to write opened up an avenue of other communication learning. I began writing documentation, giving presentations, teaching, and leading people. As my skills continued to develop across the communication spectrum I found myself growing in my career at a higher rate. It opened up new possibilities for me and (I believe) played a pivotal role in the development of my career this year.
My absolute favorite part was the personal change that it caused. Taking part in the #StartYourShift project changed my outlook on personal and professional interactions. I'm so glad I jumped in and started writing. I have changed for the better and I can't wait to see how I can continue to utilizing and developing these skill to make a better web.
Thanks to everyone who participated in #StartYourShift. You helped to elevate these discussions and better the lives of participant and viewers.