Restoring the balance

YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, podcasts and blogs.

We have the opportunity to take in a lot of information every single day to the point where we can become overloaded.

But more importantly a lot of this information is other people’s thoughts, opinions or just things we don’t need to know or don’t benefit us.

I think online content is great in moderation but if you find yourself at a point where it feels like too much, the best thing to do is reduce your consumption.

That could mean unfollowing, unsubscribing, logging out, taking a break or setting a time limit.

You need to do those things for long enough so that you can restore the balance between online and offline or creation and consumption.

The balance should always be in your favour so create more than you consume or be offline more than you’re online.

When can I call myself a writer?

As someone that has never written for a publication or written a book, I have a hard time calling myself a writer.

I’ve always thought that having my words published in a newspaper, magazine, website or a book etc. would be the validation that I need to claim the label of writer, yet they are not things I actively pursue.

I think this is because when you do something for the love of it, trying to make it anything more is scary. There is also the fear of not being good enough, of my writing not being good enough for someone else to want to share it with a wider audience.

And part of having fear and being scared has resulted in me not putting myself in a position to receive feedback.

So overtime I have come to realise that the issue is not that I can’t call myself a writer, it’s that I didn’t meet the criteria of what I thought a writer should be. But further to that I am not yet the sort of writer that I aspire to be.

The pick me up playlist

Around 18 months ago I created a Pick me up playlist.

The reason I did this is in the name, I wanted a pick me up. But more importantly I wanted something I could go back to.

I’m lucky enough to know how the music I listen to makes me feel and, I curated a playlist of songs to listen to when I am in need of a pick me up.

It is simple yet incredibly effective.

And of course the music doesn’t fix the issue but it reminds me what it is like to feel good and that makes me want to make the effort to make things better.

If you’re someone that enjoys listening to music, I’d advise you to give it a go.

You don’t even need to create a whole playlist but the next time you feel down just listen to one of your favourite songs and see how it makes you feel.

Writing through writers block

When you feel stuck and don’t quite know what to write, instead of shying away from it, follow it.

Start typing and just see what happens.

Don’t focus on how good or bad it is. Don’t focus on whether it’ll be worth sharing online or what people will think. Just write and then write some more.

Keep going until the words start to flow with ease. It might get easier after a few sentences or a few hundred words but keep going and just write.

When you finally decide to stop, you might find that you love what you’ve managed to write but that isn’t the goal or the purpose.

The purpose is to write through the ‘writers block’ because doing so teaches you that maybe it’s not as big of an obstacle that you think it is.

2 kinds of value

If you had to leave your home and could only take 10 things with you, what would you take?

Turns out the things we value in our day to day lives aren’t the same things we value in an emergency.

In our day to day life we’re more materialistic, we care more about perception. It’s not that we don’t value the things we need to survive but that they are a given rather than something we need to think about.

In an emergency we place value on safety and survival. There’s not much point valuing your green faux croc handbag when you are without food and water.

And sometimes people choose to live their day to day lives valuing only the essentials even when they don’t have to.

Starting trends

Anyone that starts a trend will find that others end up mimicking or copying them.

That’s how trends work.

It’s very rare for something being done by one person to become popular without others also trying it too.

And it’s not a bad thing, that’s what comes with being ahead of the curve, being innovative or even just being popular.

However, it is worth noting that the one who starts a trend is often not the first to do it.

Trusting science

One thing perhaps not thought about often enough is that there is only a small percentage of the population that have a real understanding of science.

The rest of us simply trust what is said or what we read and choose to believe it to be true.

Or on the flipside there are those that choose to form their own opinions.

But this can often lead to a clash between those that choose to beleive and trust in something that they don’t understand and those that don’t.

This isn’t about conspiracies or trying to disprove scientific theory. Instead it is about simply acknowledging that it can be difficult to trust something that you don’t understand.

Running out of ideas

When it comes to blogging, daily blogging in particular, there are endless ideas of what you can write about. But unless you’re keeping a journal it’ll be beneficial to keep what you share within a category, niche or even a few words.

However, it may even seem too difficult to narrow down what you write about. After all, how can you base 365 posts on the same thing and then keep on doing it year after year.

There are 2 problems with that statement.

The first is thinking too far in advance. The beauty of daily blogging is that you can choose to think about what you want write one post at a time. You don’t need to take on the burden of 365 days when you’ll probably forget what you write today in 50 days time.

Furthermore, there is next to no benefit in overwhelming yourself with the hundreds of posts you’ll have written a year from now.

The second problem is, if you choose to believe that you’ll run out of ideas, you probably will. It was Henry Ford that said “Think you can, think you can’t; either way you’ll be right.” and I agree.

People in the world have been writing about fashion, philosophy, personal development, marketing, creativity and so on for hundreds of years. So, what makes you think that you’ll suddenly run out of things to write?

There is no cap on ideas or inspiration, they’re infinite.

Daily blogging isn’t always easy

…but it’s worth it.

In a recent post I shared some thoughts about quitting daily blogging and I laid out some plans for what I would do moving forward.

At the time I thought it was a good idea and I thought that it would make things easier.

But in the weeks that followed I really started to enjoy daily blogging again. The writing process had become less difficult than it had been at the weeks prior.

Now, looking back I realise that the changes I planned to make wouldn’t have made things easier, they’d have remained pretty much the same. I’d have gone from posting short blog posts daily to posting slightly longer posts a few times a week. As much as daily blogging doesn’t always feel easy there is something quite special about making a commitment to posting everyday.

There is something special about the way I choose to see the world because I know I have to write something, even if it’s only 167 words.

Choosing words wisely

It would be fair to say those that write and those that are writers probably pay much more attention to words than most.

A writer is intentional about the words they use based on what feelings they want to evoke or how they want to portray the subject.

And sometimes that act of choosing words wisely trickles over into how the words of others are perceived. Except the writer forgets that other people aren’t always so picky with their words.

So, sometimes the writer receives words not quite as they were intended.