How I Got My Groove Back (after disappearing for 4 months)

by kyle maynard on February 26, 2013

My Twitter friend Caitlin aka @Caitlinness called me out a few weeks ago and said she missed reading my blog posts. It would be an understatement to say I hadn’t been too active on here in the past few months. More appropriately, I’d fallen off the face of the interweb.

At the time when I read her comment I didn’t have a legitimate excuse – especially an excuse I could limit to 140 characters. So, I did what any self-respecting author of a book entitled No Excuses would do… I never replied.

Well Caity, you got me thinking girl.

The question I contemplated: Why would two of the men I most admire in history – Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson – be so intent on encouraging people they cared about to keep a journal? What’s the big deal?

The more I read about their journaling, the more I learned this wasn’t an obsession they kept to themselves or their closest friends and family. They both pushed journaling on just about anyone who would listen.

In a way, the blogosphere (and other social sites too) is a new journal medium. It doesn’t replace the intimacy and privacy of the traditional journal, but I think it delivers as a tool to share some of our insights and experiences with others.

So why did I personally stop?

To answer that, I had to think about why I started a blog in the first place.

And I’d be lying if I said part of me wasn’t doing it because every other speaker and author seemed to be doing it too. I didn’t want to get left behind.

We’re all hardwired in one or more areas of our life to emulate, and sometimes envy, one another. This is true whether we openly acknowledge it or not.

We all know the old saying too: Would you go jump off a bridge just because so-and-so did it?  Written from my perspective that looks like: Would you go start a blog just because Tony Robbins did it?

That’s a tough pill to swallow. It makes me admire people who avoid the trap of comparing themselves to others that much more. Once we stop comparing ourselves to other people or ideals, and start living life on our terms, some pretty cool stuff is bound to happen.

It seems to me that principle is written in the fabric of the universe in many different ways. Like me, you probably know what happens when you over pursue something like a job that pays more money or even having someone else love us. The more weight we recklessly throw at those seemingly impassable walls, the more hopeless we feel. Yet, we slam ourselves against the wall. Over and over again. And as we continue, we lie to ourselves. We hear a voice saying, “If you only put a little more force, a little more weight behind the next attempt, you’ll eventually break it down.”

The lie is that no amount of force will break the wall down. It’s only when we stop long enough to learn to accept who we are, do we realize there was a door waiting there all along.

Okay, even Emerson may agree that was a little too deep for a conversation about a blog. But I think there’s some real truth behind it.

Several times a week I see “social media experts” write about how to maximize your SEO keywords and meta-tags, but I don’t see that many of them telling people to write their truth.

I think we (bloggers) should be less concerned with amassing more pageviews and start paying more attention to the human beings on the other side of the screen. And we probably don’t need to worry about writing a killer meta-description if the actual content we write serves a purpose to somebody.

I believe all the stuff bloggers are looking for (clicks, likes, shares, comments, etc.) come naturally as a byproduct of not caring about that stuff. It’s like trekking through a forest looking for a unicorn or bigfoot… We all know they only show their faces when we don’t have our camera ready.

I tried to find a quote just now that articulates this concept more eloquently than I am about to, but you’re stuck with my version instead: “Stick with saying what you know, there are already way more than enough people out there guessing.”

Why do I want to write?

I want to share the cool stuff I come across with you, because I’m pretty sure my “RL” friends and family get sick of me jabbering to them all the time. And at least you have the choice to click the “X” and shut me up. Joseph Campbell says to ‘follow your bliss’ and my bliss is teaching.

In the same vein, I’d like to be accountable to learning new cool stuff, so I actually have something relevant to share.

I’d also like to do a better job documenting this wild ride that has become my life, so that someday I can have some cool stories to look back on.

And more than anything, if something were to ever happen to me, I’d really like my baby niece to know who her uncle was…  And for her to know that I love her with all my heart.

So, back to Caity’s question – Where did my blog go? I think it took me a little while to figure all this out. But what I should have said with my 140 character limit was thank you for lighting a fire under my butt ;-)

Did I mention she’s a blogger too? If you want to check out Caitlin’s blog, you can here: http://streamofcaitlinness.com/

Thanks for stopping by to check and see if I was still alive,

Kyle

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimyung Kim February 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Hey Kyle,
Thanks for that. I know I’ve been trying pretty hard, was about to go into something that looks good on the outside, but for all the wrong reasons. I just needed to step back, realize that God is in it with me, and that I don’t need to break down walls when he will open doors in time. Just got to be obedient. Thanks for all you do bro, you are a true inspiration.
-Kimyung

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Kyle Maynard February 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Don’t stop sharing your story bro. You got a lot in you to give!

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Kimyung Kim February 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Thanks!

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Zach February 26, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Hi. I’m one of the student from Celina Middle School in Ohio. You came and talked to us about your book and basically told us your life story. It was inspiring! I just read your book and, being wrestler, it inspired me even more! My first year just ended the 10th on this month and your book taught me something, No Exuces! I only had three wins this year. I was down pretty much the whole year. I went to the third period every match I had, but i couldn’t seem to win. When you said you had never won a match in your first year, I felt better! Knowing that you can go from not winning one match being a state champ., that, my friend, was the best feeling ever. You’re an inspiring man, thank you!

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Kyle Maynard February 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Thanks for the message Zach. Next year I bet you’ll be winning matches and wondering how much more you’re capable of.

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Joe February 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I admire your achivements. Impossibility is a Mind set. When we Believe something’s impossible and don’t use our Full potential to attain it, Then it becomes Impossible.

And when a writer is Always On, its Nice/helps. But when they’re gone it also helps, since people have time to contemplate what they’ve said before.

Good luck be with Kyle and the people who also read this.

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Kyle Maynard February 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm

So true. “Time discovers truth.” – Seneca

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Katryna March 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm

I love that quote Kyle

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Megan February 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Great post, Kyle. So glad you are back to writing such inspiring words. I missed you.

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Kyle Maynard February 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm

:-) Thanks Meghan.

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Linda February 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Hi Kyle
Thanks for sharing and putting the effort into blogging. You are inspiring in many ways, especially for your passion for providing inspiration to others. Keep telling your story from your heart rather than from your head (the head helps but it’s nothing without heart).
I believe that every time we bare our authentic selves we help others to do the same. That’s an awesome effect when so many things in society are pressuring us to conform, blend and generally march to someone else’s drum.
Glad you’re all fired up again.
Linda

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Beth Dunnavant February 26, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Well, that was extremely well said and from the heart. Welcome back.

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Dennis W. Alpert February 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Kyle:

“Once in a while you can get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” – Grateful Dead

DENNIS

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Arthur February 26, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Hi Kyle,
Well said!. Your absence from the web seem appropriate to me. My grandmother has
always said.Theres a time,place and season for everthing including Silence”. So i just assume you were in a season of silence.I respect that and honor it. We all love hearing from you.It’s ok tobe the one just listening.

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JoAnna February 26, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Glad to hear from you again!

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Paula Rewis February 26, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hey Kyle! Corey and I were just thinking of you the other day and wondering how you’ve been. So nice to hear your inspiring words. We miss seeing you and hope all is going well. Hope we can get together soon.

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Leslie February 26, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Writing is an expression of who we are, how our minds constructively, or not, puts words together to form a thought or thoughts. We can opt to share them with others and take a risk of exposing our ignorance or our intellect, or keep our writings sacred and deep within the confines of our own private collection. Be it bravery or be it shy? Either way we must adhere to our belief that all is good and well written…that to which I believe you seem to have mastered both. Those who are in receipt of your writings should find respect with what you strive for. Most should only hope that they could replicate your achievements or hope to find inspiration with what you share. Take what time away from blogging that you need and feel not obligated rather content for when you do feel up to opening yourself to those who await. Well said you handsome thang!!!

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Caitlin February 27, 2013 at 10:13 am

I was wondering why you hadn’t responded. :)

I’m soooo glad you’re back to blogging! I love your insights and the way you analyze life so philosophically. And I also like keeping up with your latest projects and what you’re up to.

I’ve never really cared for journaling, but I do love writing and documenting my thoughts and ideas so that I can go back and read them years from now.

I think you’re absolutely right about the number of pageviews and readers – they don’t matter to me. I keep my career in social media separate form my personal blog. As long as someone gets something helpful or new out of my writing, then that’s enough to make me happy.

(I love Emerson too; I named my guitar after him :) )

Thanks for linking to my blog, Kyle :)

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Katryna March 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I love his insights on life too & I’m going to look at your blog too.

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Caitlin March 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Thanks, Katryna :)

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Gaven Peterson February 27, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Kyle, right now I’m working on a report on you for my reading class because I’m getting ready to read your book. You seem like a really inspiring person, I don’t think I could live with what you have to put up with every day!

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Amber March 6, 2013 at 7:48 am

Kinleigh is so lucky to have YOU as an Uncle. She already loves you unconditionally, Uncle KyKy ;) very sweet and insightful post, Kyle.
Love you,
Amber

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donna harris March 10, 2013 at 6:19 am

Hey Kyle, You are an amazing young man. I, too am a blogger. I care for my 94 year old mother and my little 4 year old grandson who also was born without a hand. I have been trying for a long time to get over what life has dealt me and just tell my story and help others.

Caring for others seems to be what God has for me but it has been one of the toughest jobs I have had in my 64 years of being on this earth. Sometimes I sit and cry from exhaustion.

Several years ago I started blogging because I just couldn’t seem to do the journal thing that several people kept telling me to do. This was to help others and also to bring in a little extra income to supplement my finances since I make very little caring for my family. To make a long story short I just didn’t feel like I was measuring up with other bloggers and I just didn’t feel like I was making a difference so last week I stopped. I was tired mentally, spiritually and physically. I just didn’t want to do this anymore. One of the teachers from my grandson’s preschool sent your book home with him telling me she thought it just might help.

WELL, little did I know that this little book would lead me to check out your sight and see that you had quit blogging too…maybe or maybe not with the same feelings deep down inside. After reading your blog post above I had to check my heart. Was I blogging to compete, make money or to HELP OTHERS? I had to question myself what my motives really were. Thank you Kyle for this inspiring story and for showing us that all humans have their ups and downs. You are an amazing young man. :)

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Katryna March 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Hi Kyle,

I’ve missed reading your blog/tweets. You’re an inspiration to me. Thank you for starting to blog again :)

Katryna

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Hugo March 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Hi.Kyle I`m a coach at colombia south America and reading your note about you. I think we are weakness before any problem,and you are an exemplo the true life in this world.I send the information about you to my son Danny and encourange Him for the life.
thanks and I have words for my soccer player allways “not excuse”.
God Bless your life.
Hugo Galeano

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Tony March 25, 2013 at 10:03 am

You probably know that you are an inspiration to our young children. More and more are discovering you and your story by viewing your documentary via on demand television. My 11 year old daughter now is s big fan and so are her classmates. In fact, bullies in her school are now being told ” watch out or Kyle will getcha”. Take care.

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satomi March 30, 2013 at 9:23 am

初めまして。
あなたの事を日本のテレビで知りました。
あなたの何事にもチャレンジしていく姿に感動しました、また勇気ももらいました。
これからも頑張って下さいね。
私も何事にもにも負けずに頑張っていきます。

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Leah April 3, 2013 at 11:59 am

Thank you so much, Kyle. You are an incredible inspiration. Thank you for taking the way that God MADE you and using it in a positive way. You really made me step back and realize that all the things that I don’t like about myself or that I feel limited because of are nothing. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Thanks!
~Leah

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Sally April 10, 2013 at 10:24 am

Kyle -

Kids responded in class today to your quote from No Excuses about using “every one of your God-given abilities . . .” They considered their abilities, those used and those yet untapped. We are excited to see you next week. Thank you for challenging and inspiring me and kids here at NEHS.

-Sally Haemmerle

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Carlee Anne April 23, 2013 at 8:14 pm

My mom saw you on April 22, 2013 and she said that you made a great speech and I saw your book and I think it is great 2. I think you are very brave! You’re awesome !!! Do you have fun what ever you do? So I think you are a great person so have fun what ever you DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Ryan Sales May 6, 2013 at 5:05 am

Hey Kyle,

I’m headed off to climb Kili in 5 weeks, and was checking out YouTube videos. Came across the video of your climb.

I have to say that it was really inspiring to watch your video. Unlike many people who do motivational speaking based on tragic events or disabilities, I found that your “limitations” faded into the background and your “message” stood on it’s own. You have an amazing attitude, which would stand out as being something special regardless of what body you put it in!

Just remember: Your message of “No Excuses” is rooted in humanity…humans, which by our vary nature, are not perfect. So, next time you need to take a 4 month hiatus….take a 4 month hiatus! No excuses. Just do it. We’ve got your back.

Cheers,
RY

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Marina May 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Dear Kyle, I noticed you haven’t been on the blog for about 4 months, and might not see this, but I just wanted to let you know: You have changed my life. You skyped with my class today, and I wasn’t able to make it to your assembly when you came to my school in November. I was sick. Anyway, you are one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. I think your positive attitude changed me and my classmates and turned them into friendlier people. Since your visit, our school has lower cases of bullying, and my classmates are turning into better more caring people. Before the skype and the assembly,probably 2 or 3 kids would say “bless you” to a person that sneezed or help pick up a kid’s books after they drop them. But now sometimes kids fight about helping the teachers clean the room. Just a simple speech can change a whole school’s attitude and prospective on life. Thank you for how much you dedicate your life to helping others

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Azin May 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Hey Kyle. I recently read the Persian translation of your book: “No excuses” and I want to say I LOVE it. That was wonderful. It was a long time I had not seen anything so inspiring. Thank you a million times for writing this book and sharing your experiences. Your story changed the way I look at difficulties in everyday life. I keep telling myself: “If Kyle could succeed, I can too!”
I prayed for you and asked God to give you health and happiness in your whole life. Keep on trying man!
Thank you again and again :)

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Kim August 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Kyle, I just showed your video to my classes as an example of heroes and journeys. The kids and I are inspired by your drive and courage. Several of my older students remembered you from a visit you made to our school a couple of years ago. Sometimes they have trouble remembering what we did in the class the day before. Lol. We also noted that your family and friends are pretty special. Thanks for sharing. You must feel like you have to be “on stage” all the time, and that must be difficult. The encouragement that I can give you is that you have made an impact and are still making a difference every day.

Keep on writing,
Kim

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Steven August 28, 2013 at 8:59 am

you are inpiring I just got done reading your blog nicelly down ;)

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maria August 28, 2013 at 9:09 am

kyle-
what you have done inspired many people,
you are possable and you made the word impossable sound like nothing

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Cheyanne August 28, 2013 at 9:10 am

Kyle you are amazing and you never gave up good job.

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Maria August 28, 2013 at 9:16 am

Dear Kyle
i have watched your videos they were amazing
you are a beliver and that is incredable

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Mason August 28, 2013 at 9:18 am

The sixth grade from my school is coming to see you in griffin looking forwards to it!;)

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Scott Harpole September 30, 2013 at 7:15 am

Thanks Kyle,
I’m glad to read that others have the same stops and starts in life, even people that have a powerful will like you.

You’re overall life is an inspiration but I’m just as grateful to read your honesty. It’s both refreshing and encouraging.

Blessings,
Scott Harpole
My Dad’s Bedtime Stories

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Tonia Guillotin October 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

Hi Kyle,
I just got done reading your book No Excuses. I just wanted to tell you that you are awesome. I wish I could see you speak in person. After I got done reading it, I told my kids all about you. They are 13, 11 and 8. You are right, there really are no excuses!!! I hope to see you blogging again.
Kindest Regards,
Tonia

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Phil Cardon November 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Great post, Kyle!

I have been following your story for many years, and have enjoyed every minute of your shared experiences. As a teacher, I refer to your drive to succeed as something all children can emulate.

I am currently the den leader for some Webelows scouts in my area, and I also work with some leaders of other cub, wolf, and bear dens. As one of the requirements, the scouts are to speak with a person who has had challenges in their lives, and learn how that person has mastered those challenges. We would really like to have a Skype session with you sometime, if possible. However, if you are too busy, we understand.

I look forward to reading more of your inspirational Blogs!

Sincerely,

Phil Cardon
cardonp@yahoo.com

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barbara grant March 8, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Good to see you back Kyle. I went to your website to check if you were still around. Long time no hear…glad you are ok

Stay well

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