Last year there were lots of discussions, tweets and conversations about how we’re in a pandemic, you don’t need to do xyz it’s totally okay if all you did was survive.
The thing is, of course you don’t need to do anything new or different with your time. That statement has always been true. But if you want to and if you feel like you can, why not choose to do something new?
And even if you don’t feel like it, even if you’re anxious and overwhelmed maybe trying 10 minutes of aerobics or a breath work exercise might actually help.
I think learning or doing something new during a period where you have more free time than usual is a great idea.
The reason for this is whether you sit around passively watching YouTube all day or try out a couple of new recipes every week, the same amount of time has still gone by.
You don’t need to force yourself to do things you don’t want to do, pick something that you will enjoy.
And you don’t need to use up all your free time, it could be 20 minutes of meditation each day or a few hours a week doing an online course.
You don’t need to post about it online and it doesn’t make you better than others because you’ve now started a successful business or have perfected the crème brûlée.
The focus should be on how you feel about the way that you’re choosing to live and the way that you’re spending your time.
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.
My favourite thing about this blog is that I’m driven by my commitment to writing more than anything else.
If I write something that gets 1 view, I’m just glad that I committed to writing something another day.
If I write something that gets 102 views, I’m glad that a bigger number of people got to read my words. That is a bonus on top of me committing to sharing something for another day.
When I started this daily writing practice it was not only because I wanted to challenge myself and wholeheartedly commit to something new.
I’m committed to doing the work as a priority, anything that comes along with it is secondary. That mindset makes posting daily 101 times easier because I’m not focused on getting my numbers up or having the most likes, comments or views.
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.
Last week, I noticed I was getting close to 300 followers, a few days ago I reached 300 followers and now I have surpassed it.
I don’t allow myself to pay too much attention to the number of followers I have on this blog. Followers doesn not equate to views, likes or comments and overall watching the numbers go up (and and in some cases down) has little benefit.
However, it’s nice to know that there are over 300 people who came across my site and thought it was worth following.
But what makes it even better is that because there are no pictures, I know that you are simply here for the words.
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.
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.
When you’re sharing your words online everyday there is very little pressure for what you post to be the best thing you’ve ever written.
If todays words aren’t particularly good, I know that I can always write something better tomorrow or the day after.
Sometimes what I consider to be my some of my best work doesn’t gain the numbers that I think it will or should. Other times, the stuff I’m pretty indifferent about ends up becoming the most popular.
I’ve written posts that I thought were my best at the time only to look back months later and realise it could have been so much better.
And so the idea of my best work is pretty flexible. If in 20 months of daily blogging, this post was the best thing I’d ever written, I have no doubt that I’d change my mind a few months later.
Reminding myself of all this makes blogging every day so much easier.
One of the things that I think is severely underestimated is the need for discipline in creative pursuits.
We’re bombarded with ideas and imagery of the wild artist. The creative that is awoken from slumber with their great idea. The writers block or creative block that results in nothing being produced for days, weeks or months. Then suddenly they’re almost possessed by the desire to create.
I think we separate the idea of being disciplined because it seems so in contrast to the idea of creativity.
But furthermore because we often look at creativity as a natural thing that just comes to you instead if being something you have to work at.
Time, dedication and discipline of a creative pursuit isn’t always appealing but it’s necessary.
If you’re someone that writes you might find that you rarely allow yourself to just be in the moment. The most wonderful thing could be happening but your mind is already looking back on it or thinking about how best to capture it.
Instead of just being in the moment, you’re observing it so that when it comes to writing about it you have all the details.
In some ways it could be considered a good thing.
But when you’re in an experience and you have the intentions of writing about it, you might find that you change your behaviour.
You end up saying or doing things to suit the narrative of what you want to write.
In turn you don’t allow yourself to be fully immersed in the experience.
Sometimes you need to decide to put the writing aside and just enjoy the moment.