21 Dragons

In Search of Wisdom

Looking Back: 21 Dragons' 2009

Having some fun looking through what I wrote in 21 for the year of 2009. There aren't a lot of posts, 44 in total for the entire 12 months (posting frequency was an issue, heh) but there are some in here that I'm pretty happy with. Traces of Life Coaches Blog remained, with personal growth posts like The 3 Decluttering Boxes in January. I ventured into more poetic and personal writing like East Coast Night in February, which was something I wanted to do more of. I'm proud of the Martial Arts is Dealing with Self-Defense Failure post I published in March, I spent a lot of time making it as good as I could and it encapsulates a lot of what I think about martial arts and self-defense training today.

The 2 Ultimate Secrets to Blogging Like a Rock Star (Hint: it’s Not What You Want to Hear) in April was awesome, if I do say so myself. This was another post I spent a lot of time crafting, and I love how it combines snark with some serious thoughts about blogging well.

Lessons Learned at 30 was written in May, the month of my birthday in the year I turned the big three-oh. It was written in a rather reflective mood, imagining what advice I would give if I had the chance to speak to a younger me. I look forward to writing Lessons Learned at 40 a decade later, I wonder what I'll have to say then.

I wrote Perfection in Motion after a great dinner chat with an old friend about relationships , I love it when everyday conversations like that spark ideas about articles to write. To be honest, a lot of articles like that are full of things I wanted to say at the time, but would have sounded way too polemic. Can you imagine me mouthing the content in Perfection in Motion during dinner drinks? I would have been getting weird stares all night!

I wrote Why I Love Writing after being asked why I love writing and finding myself unable to answer. I mean – did it have to be asked? How do you answer why your favorite color is, or your favorite ice-cream flavor, or why you love the people you do? You just do!

My Food & I, published in August, is another mega-post I'm really proud of writing. I spent a long time crafting this too; doing the research and tightening the writing.

I had to keep reminding myself though that I started 21 Dragons for me, and not as another niche subject pro-blog, and I wanted to share more of my personal thoughts with my friends. More Million-Dollar Questions than Answers in October was a step towards that, a post that had offered more questions than answers (a theme that sometimes seems like the story of my life!). So too The Digital Clutter, less a post about how to solve a problem, but more like "here's my problem, what do you think?"

The Muse & The Work in November revealed a theory about creativity I've had for some time, and I hope it didn't make me sound too crazy.

I’m Keeping the Cash, Planet Earth was a difficult post to write. It expressed how I really felt, but it was also a message that felt so politically incorrect. But it was a truth I needed to live with, and lo and behold, as the truth shall set you free, admitting it has already freed me to thinking about how to contribute in better ways.

The Photographing Tokyo series in December was fun to write. I really enjoyed shooting those photos in Tokyo, unfortunately I didn't have an audience to lecture to about the thoughts and events that happened behind each photo – luckily I have a blog (with its millions of readers)! Blog as Self-Discovery articulated how writing in 21 Dragons has made me feel this past year, and I wanted to share the blogs I enjoyed this year with my Favorite Blogs of 2009 post.

Lessons Learned

All in all, I liked what I've done in 21 Dragons for the year of 2009. I would have liked to have posted more; it wasn't for lack of ideas (those and drafts I have aplenty), but for lack of time, what with work and everything else. I also want to make 21 more personal, it isn't really now not because I want to make it a pro-blog, but because I have a real barrier to putting myself out there. Contrary to what people might think of me as a writer, it's actually hard for me to express myself honestly – and it's something I have to work on every single time I write.

I do honestly feel that my writing for 21 Dragons is superior to anything I ever wrote for Life Coaches Blog. Sure, that blog was written at an earlier point in my life with less of the life and writing experience that I have now. But I mainly credit the change to one major shift in attitude. When I wrote articles for LcB, I imagined writing for a general, faceless crowd, trying to guess what might please them. Consequently, I wrote a lot of articles that to me, now seem pretty fluffy and insubstantial.

When I'm writing for 21 though, I imagine writing for my closest friends, because I know some of them read this (you do right? I love you guys!). I wonder if he would like this, if she would actually get something from this post or if they'll think it sucks – because if my closest friends think something I wrote sucks, then it's probably a good sign that I'm going way off.

Writing this way, I believe 100%, has helped me improve the writing I do here tremendously, and has resulted in work that I'm really proud of, visitor count, Technorati ranking and SEO be damned.

Here's to an even greater 2010.