It's funny how sometimes our biggest faults are invisible to us. When I first heard from a girlfriend that I didn't express enough appreciation for her, I thought she was overly sensitive. When just about every girlfriend since her said the same thing, I realized it was indeed a fault.
I'm single now, but there's no shortage of people I deeply appreciate in my life who probably don't feel the full weight of that appreciation. Today I was featured in Time Magazine as one of their top 25 bloggers in 2013, which prompted me to realize that maybe readers like you don't fully understand how much you're appreciated.
Thank You For Reading
I had no idea that anyone would read my blog when I started it. It began as a record of my third, and ultimately successful, attempt to get on the polyphasic sleep schedule.When I quit the schedule after a few months, I would have stopped blogging if it weren't for the few dozen people who had found my blog. I was so grateful that they cared about what I was writing that I started retelling some of my crazier adventures from times past. Those hit bigger sites, and soon I had a thousand readers.Eventually, as my blog continued to grow, I ran out of crazy old stories, and had to write about less concrete things like habits and thoughts. That made me more vulnerable than I was comfortable being, but again my readers drove me on.So even if you've been silently reading, just being there has had a big impact on my life. I never forget that every incremental reader on my stats is a real person who has entrusted me with a tiny bit of their time. In a world with millions of smart people writing nearly infinite things to read, that bit of time you give me means the world to me. Thank you.
Thank You For Commenting
I've been blogging for over eight years now and have read nearly every single comment posted on my site, which speaks to how highly I value those comments.I've been corrected through comments, encouraged through comments, and been made to understand how my work impacts others through comments.This blog isn't just a reflection of my life; it's intertwined with it. Usually changes in my life prompt blog posts, but comments from blog posts have also changed who I am. Receiving constant feedback on my ideas has challenged and encouraged me to become a better writer and a better person. Thank you.
Thank You For Being part of my Community
I didn't start SETT for the money or because of market research. I started it because I started meeting people who read my blog. As I met these people, I was consistently left thinking: someone that awesome reads my blog?Upon meeting a string of really impressive readers, I realized that my blog wasn't just a collection of essays from me, but rather a community waiting to exist. It was the moment where I realized that the visible tip of the iceberg wasn't the whole iceberg.Since switching to SETT and seeing the community section flourish, I've really come to know members of my community. One of my most touching memories of this past year was when I had a small reader meetup and all of the readers knew each other from the community section. A couple had even exchanged messages with each other.Being a part of a community like the one here at my site has made me incredibly proud. Every week there's at least one thread there where people really help each other and connect, and I'm just happy to be associated with that.Over the past few years, SETT has become my life. It's given me purpose, taught me tons, and is on the verge of becoming a career and business. None of this would have happened if it weren't for members of my community. Thank you.
Thank You For Everything Else
It's hard to enumerate all of the ways in which I've been impacted by the readers of this blog. You've helped me make a living by buying my books, jump-started SETT by being the first to create blogs here, and helped grow my blog by sharing my posts.My blog has been one of the very best parts of my life for the past eight years, and none of that is because I have a stack of essays I've written. It's all because people like you have read my writing, replied to it, and become part of the community here. From the bottom of my heart: thank you.
Aww... Tynan you're making us blush ;) Of course, you deserve a big thank you as well. Words can't express my appreciation for how you've helped change my life over the past year. When I found your blog last summer I read every post you've ever written and the number of epiphanies and realizations I've gained from you is simply tremendous.
Before finding you I was headed in the right direction in life, but your help as greatly accelerated my progress and allowed me to do things I never thought I'd be doing. You've given me a wonderful blogging platform which I use to share my ideas in helping others improve their lives, and you've also served as one of my main inspirations in overcoming my fear of social rejection.
In previous years I would stay locked in my room and only socialize 2-3 times the whole summer, but this year I've gotten out 4-6 times per week and for the first time in my life I actually have friends, and go out on adventures. I haven't gotten a girlfriend yet, but for the first time in my life they're showing interest and I actually have options.
I can't thank you enough, and I think it's fair to say that all of us hope you continue being a part of our lives for a long time.
I picked up on your blog from Time's mention and the first of your pieces that I read, "When you go off the rails etc", spoke to me. It made me sit up, take a look at the rails again and get started. Thank YOU!
Hey--- it worked! You read ABOUT this kind of thing all the time: being positive is attractive, Being nice is attractive. And so on. But seeing it in action is even more helpful, and more educational: I'm not just happier because I read this post: I actually think better of you because you wrote this post, and that's what makes me happier. Thank you Tynan.
Congrats with the mention on Times, Tynan. That's truly awesome! Glad you always take the time to read through all the comments on your site, I think it's really important for a blogger! Cheers.
Thank YOU Tynan. We've known each other for a long time...it must be...6 or 7 years now? I still remember being one of the advertisers on your little square ad-spaces for "The Digital Backpacker" back in the day.
Then when I had the opportunity to meet you, and you even made a birthday for me one year. I really appreciate you man. And I know how much others appreciate you to. I've met a ton of people through you (including one guy who ended up hiring me as a personal chef, and another who I just met the other day and compared Rialtas with).
Anyways. You've been like a virtual big brother to me. Thanks man.
Wow Tynan, but in my opinion you should be the all TIME best blogger.
When I first stumbled onto your blog I felt as if I discovered a new treasure and then shared your posts to my friends and implemented your ideas. I am sure this will inspire you to work harder. Sky is the limit for you.
A small suggestion from my side would be to add things like :
1. What are you reading currently
2. What documentaries/fims you have watched recently
to every post of yours, something like a signature.
I love your blog, it's the only one I read besides Ramit's. BTW, I feel indebted to you for the recommendation to read Musashi, that book was amazing.
We read the blog because you have thoughtful things to say. Lots of people have crazy stories to share, very few have wisdom to share. I enjoy your essays because they often provide reinforcement for thoughts I have had, or provide a stimulus for thoughts I should have had. Keep up the excellent work!
There's been a lot of chatter on the comments recently about me not following through, most of it deserved. Throughout my life one of my struggles has been to focus on one thing and follow it through. I used to be totally incapable of it, but over the years have gotten better. There are a lot of things that I have followed through with (my diet, writing this blog, etc.) as well as plenty that I haven't.
Once in a while I feel, for whatever reason, that I've conquered it, and I announce it to the world. While I'm on the topic of admitting faults, another is that I tend to prematurely announce things sometimes. As a reader, you already know that.
I understand your frustration when you read about something I say I'm going to do, get excited about seeing it happen, and then it falls off the radar. If it's any consolation, I'm acutely aware of these things and am similarly frustrated.
One of the things that's been really cool for me here at the blog is watching the crowd that hangs out here develop.
The big thing I set out to do with the site was create a place I'd want to hang out online. I hang out at some pretty good places, but I wasn't able to find anywhere that was unabashedly pro-victory, pro-winning, very expansive, practical, pragmatic, and says it like it is. There's plenty of places with good people online, but not too many where people are willing to take the heat for saying it like it is. I try to do that - say it like it is, even though you sometimes suffer for it.
The community's really responded - I think there's a lot of people who've been looking for something like this. I know I searched for it, couldn't find it, and that's why I started building. So it's been thrilling having all sorts of smart people write great letters and emails to me, great comments, great stuff happening.
I love it, I feel so blessed. The site's my site - it's got my name on it. But the community can transcend that, and that's why I'm so thrilled that I can feature great comments and letters.
One such talented person is Jess, our resident merchant marine. She's left a number of really insightful comments, and it's a joy to read her thoughts. She's talented writer and talented thinker. Here's some of her latest insights from a letter, reposted with permission -