A writers growth

Looking through drafts is a great way to observe your growth as a writer. Many time you come across things your current self would never write and so you press delete. Other times you come across good ideas that are poorly written out and you then have the option to just delete them and start over or to tend to them with a fresh perspective.

I believe that most writers drafts or deleted content far outweighs what they’re shared and put out into the world.

It’s quite obvious that the things that get deleted aren’t considered worth sharing. Perhaps, it had been in your drafts for a few months or even years but every time you went back to it, you didn’t really like it enough to work on it a little more and complete it. Maybe it just wasn’t a good idea, it happens and it’s perfectly okay.

Then, there are the drafts.

There are days when you write, write and write some more. This results in an influx of ideas and some of these ideas are ‘microwavable’ whilst others are more like seeds.

The ‘microwave’ ideas don’t take much time to be brought to life. They’re not necessarily instant but if you set a little time to work on them you can finish them fairly easily. They don’t stay drafts for long.

Then there are the ideas that are like seedlings, these ones require time, care and attention. They can’t be rushed and if if you ever try to hurry them along, you’ll never be happy with the result. But if you’re willing to have patience these ideas will flourish when they finally come alive in all their glory.

Bad habits

There could be habits you have that you have carried with you thorough your life for so long that you aren’t even aware the impact they have on your life.

Perhaps, you assume that those habits are ‘just the way you are’ rather than them being something you could change.

Sticking with what you know is easy, comfortable and familiar even when it negatively impacts your life.

And so you do nothing.

That’s why I’m such an advocate for regular reflection. In doing so you’re able to identify the habits you currently have and understand how they impact your life. It could be something like you always wanting to be right because you believe that you know more than most.

This may result in people not wanting to engage in conversations with you because you’re now seen as closed minded, someone that is not open to other points of view. In turn maybe you’re unable to develop close relationships because your desire to always be right pushes people away as they don’t feel respected and they find you frustrating.

Identifying that bad habit and deciding to let it go could be the catalyst to solve many of the problems that you regularly encounter.

Of course, it rarely feels good to know that you’re the problem as it forces you to take responsibility instead of the playing the blame game. But in the grand scheme of things perhaps it is much better to know that the problem begins with you and your bad habits because that way you know that the problems can end with you too.

Back to normal

I think the idea of going back to normal will cause a divide.

On one hand you have the ones that are craving the way things were. They spend their days longing for what used to be.

On the other hand you have the ones that have adjusted and adapted to this new way of life. Perhaps they found it challenging in the beginning but overtime they’ve found a way to make things work for them.

Then lastly, there are those that lie somewhere in between. Those that are able to see the pros and cons of both sides. Those that are interested in flexibility because they now that it’s not a case of things going back to normal but instead carving out a new world based on all that the past year has taught us.

More than you can manage

Sometimes in a bid to grow, develop and push ourselves we end up taking on more than we can manage.

You think the challenge is what you need, you think you need to be pushed and you want to prove yo yourself that you can manage.

But often you just end up stressed and overwhelmed, wishing that you had said no instead of yes. Often the end result is far from what you intended because the stress and overwhelm didn’t give you the adrenaline to produce something great, it left you feeling burnt-out and exhausted.

And so it is important to find the balance between pushing yourself and pushing yourself overboard.

Starting and finishing

Sometimes one is much easier than the other.

There is always always excitement in the beginning, in that process of bringing an idea to life.

But then as things start to develop your interest wanes and finishing becomes an uphill battle. There is none of that ease and excitement that you had in the beginning, not even the thought of the final result is enough to spur you on.

And so, maybe you just decide to put the thing to the side or you finish it up to a bare minimum standard just to get it out the way.

But, what if things could be different. I think it’s unlikely that you’re motivation and vigour to begin can follow you through right to the end. However, what if you could learn to become a little more committed to the things you start, that you don’t have to rely on being excited in order to finish.

Fear and change

When it comes to change, big change in particular you might not ever feel ready.

However, that doesn’t mean you should simply stick with what you know.

The reason you don’t feel ready is because change means unfamiliar territory, something we often shy away from.

We scare ourselves with 101 ‘what ifs’ instead of believing that things might actually turn out alright. We become so consumed by the fear that we convince ourselves it’s better to stick with what we know than to try something new.

But once you teach yourself that it’s okay to be a little afraid and that you don’t need to wait until you feel ‘ready’, changing your life might become much easier.

Valuable conversations

Some of the most valuable conversations to have are the ones that are most difficult but that shouldn’t be a reason not to have them.

Even though it might be difficult, challenging or uncomfortable it allows room for learning, growth and understanding that may have not taken place otherwise.

Of course, there is a chance the conversation won’t end well and perhaps you’ll walk away feeling frustrated.

But if the conversation really matters then perhaps it is still worth a try.

Start valuing your voice

The way that you show up in the world is likely to be imapcted by your confidence and self esteem.

Perhaps you play small and avoid doing things that will draw any attention even though you have ideas and opinions to share.

But the reason you don’t share your ideas is because you don’t value your voice and you don’t believe that anyone else will either. You tell yourself speaking up is for other people.

It’s for people that are better than you. They’re better because they’re older, more experienced, more confident, have higher qualifications, are better dressed and have nicer hair. Sometimes our reasoning makes sense and other times we make excuses.

And so next time you want to say or do something, go ahead even if it feels a little uncomfortable. You don’t need to be ‘better’ than everyone else, you don’t need to be older or more experienced either. All you have to do is say something.

Why podcasts have become so popular?

Now we all know that podcasts are nothing new but if you’ve payed attention over the past few years you’ll have seen that there’s been an insurgence in podcasts.

They’ve become the cool thing.

Not only are more people listening to them but more people are creating them too.

I think the rise of podasts is down to their simplicty of being a recorded conversation discussing various topics.

A podcast could be one person talking about something for 20 minutes, it could be 3 people discussing dating, relationships and popular topics from social media or it could be one person interviewing different guests each week to talk about the work they do.

Even though many podcasts are now have visual content or perhaps the podcasters have their photos in the logo, the essence of a podcast means there’s no focus on what you look like, instead it’s all about what you say.

Podcasts also require much less effort from the consumer when compared to blog posts or YouTube videos. You can listen on your journey to work, whilst cleaning or cooking dinner, whilst you go for a walk infact you can listen whilst doing almost anything.

In contrast, visual forms of media require more attention. You can’t watch a youtube video whilst driving or going for a walk, you can’t read a blog post whilst doing these things either.

Podcasts can be entertaining and educational. They allow the listener to connect in a way that can’t quite be compared to a blog post or video content.

Hearing someones voice feels personal yet not having visuals allows you to create some distance between the creator and the consumer.

You don’t get swept up in what the person looks like, if you like they’re outfit, if their nails look good etc. These things can end up playing a large role in how content is received e.g. you’re more interested in content because of how the person looks.

But also before we had phones, computers, YouTube, blogs, tv, radio, newspapers, magazines and even letters, we just had our voices. And of course at that point in time they weren’t being recorded and edited but talking is one of the first forms of communications, podcasts tap into that.

Podcasts have been around since the 80s but there was a lot of time when they weren’t popular and definitely weren’t at the forefront of media like they are today.

I believe the popularity of podcasts to be down to the evolution of media, things change. For example, we’re not buying magazines or reading blogs like we used to. I also think celebrities and well known people have also helped the podcasting world grow because they have fans all over the globe that are more than eager to hear what they have to say in a casual setting rather than a formal interview.

Lastly, people building their own small communities from their podcasts. As much as you can have a celebrity podcast with 10,000 listens per episode you can also have hundreds or thousands of podcasts with 5-500 listens per episode. The numbers might not be high but they add up.

The final point is that people have started making money from podcasts, enough to live off of. This draws the attention and curiosity of many people because podcasting is no longer just a fun thing people do but instead a way to earn a living.

Figuring out where things went wrong

If you find yourself regularly having conversations that don’t go as planned, in the sense that the outcome you intended wasn’t achieved (or you just end up getting frustrated) it’s worth taking the time to figure out where things went wrong.

Sometimes, it is a simple case of two people with different perspectives not being willing to listen to each other.

Other times it could be that before you get into the meat of the conversation you need to establish what the purpose is, to avoid going off track.

So often it’s easy to blame the other person, to say that the issue is that they weren’t listening. But, maybe there are things that you can do differently even if it is simply walking away from the conversation earlier and choosing to not engage with the person.

You don’t want to find yourself in a cycle of getting swept up in a conversation you don’t actually want to be in.

And, maybe you simply picked the wrong person to have a conversation with.

If that’s the case, use your past experience as a learning point to realise that you need to have this conversation with someone else next time.