“The power of accountability comes from your community – those around you who have a vested interest in your work and life…your accountability to your own ideas is greatly amplified when you ‘go public’ on any project – and even more so when you publicly proclaim your goals.”

– Scott Belsky in Making Ideas Happen (available in the Going Pro Bookstore)

Near the beginning of this year, I wrote a post sharing some goals I had for this blog. I debated posting, because I wasn’t sure that it was worth it. I doubted the necessity of such a post, and doubted that it would generate change or increased accountability.

I was wrong.

That post, where I communicated three simple goals, has become the single greatest motivation in my writing of this year. Not necessarily the post itself, but what it represented. It was the first step in my journey of going pro with my writing.

I can say that looking back, I have met and exceeded some of the goals. I have posted at least five times each week since then, if I am not mistaken. The majority of the time, I have posted six or seven times. During this time, readership has steadily rose. I decided to start blogging daily, and with a tighter focus, in order to maintain a sense of accountability to my writing and to you, the reader. This has paid off in a huge way for my personally, taking on the mindset of a professional blogger (despite not actually generating income from the blog*). Also, in that time, I landed my first ever paid writing gig, with an article in COLLIDE magazine. I am convinced that I would not have pursued that opportunity without first taking on the mindset of a professional writer.

I will admit that I have not spent as much away from the blog as I would have hoped, but that will soon change as Baby Mahlstadt is set to arrive on the scene within a month!

So as I glance back at the first half of the year, I like what I see. And as I look to the future, I am pumped for what’s to come. Thanks for hanging around and reading this stuff.

You matter. Here’s to the rest of 2010, and beyond!

*See the Going Pro resource; the going pro mindset.

If you think about faith as a storyline, you can determine the essential and fundamental proponents. Our faith is a great story.

Creation serves as our exposition. It is in the creation story that we meet our characters. God is the mysterious force behind creation, and is actively introduced. We don’t get a bunch of back story or theological disposition – rather we meet him while he is doing what he does. Creating. You can be told that someone is a powerful, beyond-your-comprehension creator, but to understand the characteristic fully, it needs to be observed. So in Genesis, we meet this creative spirit that brings order to chaos. Then, we meet the first human, thus finding our place in the story.

The rising action is the story of the Israelites. From God promising to create a mighty nation by way of an old man and his barren wife, to God extending his hand to bring the Israelite nation out from under the fist of the Egyptian Empire. Even as this nation enters the Promised Land, the story is just getting good.

Continue Reading…


Sam Mahlstadt —  June 13, 2010 — Leave a comment

As many of you are aware, my wife and I are expecting a baby at some point in the next month. It’s a funny thing when you are expecting something; whether that be a baby or a new car. Once you begin to expect your thing, you see that thing everywhere. Have I mentioned how many babies are around right now?!

What are you expecting?

First of all, thank to those of you who took the Creating Culture reader survey! As I mentioned when I introduced the survey, I am using the results to help shape this blog. Certainly I write what is in my heart, rolling around in my head, and catching my eye, but in an effort to focus, I am looking to what’s next and going from there. And you get to help determine this!

Okay, so on to the results…

  • The majority of readers are aged 18-25 and 26-31 each group equally represented. This is no surprise
  • The majority of readers are people of faith. Again, no surprise, although I will say those who are not of faith were underrepresented on the survey. I know you are out there… :)
  • Most people find their way here from Facebook, which was the biggest surprise to me. Twitter, RSS feed and the old fashioned way of typing sammahlstadt.com in the browser all sat at the bottom of the list. Interesting. (If you want to subscribe, and never be out of the loop, here is the RSS feed)
  • About half of you read the Going Pro resource. Most of you who read it found it beneficial. This was encouraging to hear, and was perhaps the question I was most anxious about.
  • The most exciting for me, was the almost unanimous desire to have a monthly newsletter featuring additional content. This is something I have been considering for a while, and this sealed the deal for me. Look for this to launch soon. If you want to be on the pre-pre-release list, send me an email to smahlstadt@gmail.com with the subject line Creating Culture Newsletter, and I will get you signed up. Maybe even give you something bonus for early adopting…

Again, thanks to all who filled it out! If you missed it, it’s not too late, go ahead and fill it out here.