I’m coming up on the 1st anniversary of my podcast. This, coupled with a recent blog post from a friend, referring to a post of his from almost a year ago, gave me pause. What has happened to me in this past year, since becoming involved in new media?

-I have a podcast (The LD Podcast) which is successful. I am no longer sitting for hours, writing, wishing for the day when a publisher finally takes a look at my book project. I am no longer desperately searching out the approval of an agent. I am in charge of my own creativity and have my own voice. And surprisingly, at least at first, others are paying attention.

-I no longer feel mute. I felt I had something to say for a long time, but no where to say it. It was frustrating. Now I have a podcast and two (well, three really) blogs, where anyone can hear me 24 x 7 if they so choose.

-I feel so much more self- assured than ever before. I am no longer looking to others to pass judgment on my life and determine its worth. I’m sure plenty of people have opinions about me, good and bad. The freedom I feel in expressing myself is much more important to me than the fear of judgment.

-I have a new group of friends from new media whom I love with abandon- the exchange of ideas, the support, the energy, the passion to take risks and try new things, and the depth of emotion is truly incredible. Just take a look over at If Not Now, When? , a great blog and video project from Kathryn and Nick, exploring what makes us tick and what holds us back from our dreams. The questions they pose, along with the openness and honesty of the responses is moving, and gets you thinking about where you are and where you’re headed every day.

-I am no longer afraid all the time. When I find myself on the fence about something, unable to decide, I now ask myself the tougher question- Am I really afraid? What is the best/worst outcome? If I can deal with the worst, then heck, go for it! So many of my inertia problems over the years have stemmed from some inner fear- fear of success, fear of no longer having an excuse, fear of having to put up or shut up, fear of failure, fear of feeling like a fraud, fear of not being good enough. I am really trying to get rid of fear in all its forms, as much as possible, because it insidiously poisons us with doubt and keeps us from living.

So I’ve decided the theme for the next year in my new media experiment is discovery and passion aggression.

Discovery is the simple one. I want to use my natural curiosity, adventure and exploration to expand my horizons. try new things. Talk to more people. Explore my world beyond the “sides of the fishbowl”

Passion aggression is when you are full out pursuing your dreams, even when there is significant risk that you may come up short. It is swinging for the fences, and enjoying the rush. It is riding the out of control roller coaster, where things move faster than you’d like, but there’s no brake or even slowing down in sight.

I love the passion and energy new media folk have. They are, by far, the most energetic and enthusiastic people around. Talk to someone like Julien Smith, CC Chapman, Kathryn Jones, Chris Brogan, Laura, Chris Penn, Mark Blevis, Paige and Gretchen, and so very many others, and you immediately sense their aliveness.

In every day circles, you see many people who are merely phoning it in at their job or at home- they aren’t engaged or energized by what they’re doing. Not the new media people. If anything, these are the folks who have so much they want to accomplish in any one day, they would gladly clone themselves or even better, lobby for 40 hour long days, just to have the time to see their ideas come alive.

I feel so lucky to be a part of this world, and to know these people with such boundless energy.  They inspire and energize me when my energy lags, and I hope I can do the same for them.  It’s been a heck of a year, and I can’t wait for the next!