My Self-Directed Year End Review

A few things have happened in the last few weeks that helped me re-shape the view I have of myself and some of my struggles with writing.

I recently began an executive education program about digital marketing strategies with a focus on data, automation, and analytics. As I listened to the introductory lecture about the coursework, I got giddy and geeked out over one module in particular - Accelerating Marketing Execution through Agile Marketing. I have to wait until February for the actual unit of study but still. SO. EXCITED.

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I nodded and took notes, feeling quite pleased with myself for already evangelizing this to my clients. "Don't get stuck on writing the single best post/blog entry/tweet in the history of the world. Send out different messages, different images....Create, test, analyze, and repeat. We will learn about you, your customers, and encourage engagement based on what we learn."

I gave myself a gold star for doing the right things, worked on an assignment for the program about integrating data from wearable fitness devices and moved on, not really connecting my personal experience with the course just yet. With all the gold stars, I get distracted sometimes.

A few days later, I was having a conversation with a colleague and she noted that I hadn't posted a new blog entry in quite some time. Quite chagrined, I chalked it up to the cobbler's kids having no shoes. Which is reasonable and it happens all the time with agencies. We focus on our clients and wander around barefoot.

In my defense, I have 11 blog posts I’ve written and not posted…but this is where we connect agile marketing with my struggle to get past analysis paralysis.

I am thankful for colleagues and friends who don't let me get away with wandering around barefoot. She correctly identified that my lack of regular posting is more about my endless struggle with perfection in writing than it is about spending all of my time on client work.

I regularly talk to people about all kinds of interesting subjects, topics in social media strategy, audience personas, social tools, mass Twitter account removals, and other super important stuff like pickles (No really! Ask me sometime about pickles and electrolytes!). I’m not short on content.

However, when it comes to writing, I often cannot get out of my own way. I second guess every word, every punctuation mark, every turn of phrase. I worry I am trite (or do I worry I am BEING trite?) and I worry that I am not striking the perfect balance between smart SEO use and blatant SEO. The latter is not my style though I absolutely write that way when a client needs straightforward click driving copy.

So here it is. Agility isn’t just for my clients. I need to really start practicing what I preach. I tell clients to remove barriers to success and I need to live that myself.

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The biggest barrier to EMC7 sharing our knowledge with the world? Me. So I’m going to do my best to get out of my own way.

Every post is not going to be perfect. I will not get an A+ from my high school English teacher for not using extra extraneous bonus words or which prepositions I should never end a sentence with. But I might be able to share my knowledge and my joys in ways that will help others. And that’s what matters the most to me.

Your job? Keep me honest. Ask questions. Do good things.