You are the gatekeeper

I often wonder what I would have done if I was a twenty something year old in the 90s or even 80s.

Would I still write? Maybe I’d have written articles for a magazine or newspaper and I’d have tried to make a career out of writing. Maybe I wouldn’t have tried to put my words out there and instead stuck with journaling.

The advances in technology have allowed us to be our own gatekeepers. You don’t need to ask for permission if you want to have a website, write articles, put out music, be a presenter etc

And so if you’re willing to take initiative and do something, you can do all the things that would have been a lot more difficult 20, 30 or 40 years ago.

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.

Commitment to the writing practise

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.

Out of office

It’s getting to that time of year when the Out of office goes on with an automatic reply that goes something like:

‘ Hi, I am currently on leave until 4th January and will respond upon my return. If urgent please contact name@company.com in my absence.’

However, for daily blogging there is no break or time off unless posts are pre-written in advance.

And sometimes that can be challenging when you want time to plan what direction to take things in the future or just want to take a break.

There is no out of office for daily blogging and once you start you commit to never being able to take time off.

It can feel daunting but it isn’t all bad because there is so much to gain from committing to a writing practice every single day.

The importance of Sundays

I could probably write a book on what Sundays mean to me and how I spend them. This all came about after I started working full-time. Sundays were for ironing my clothes, preparing outfits for the week ahead and doing my hair whilst catching up with online classes.

Overtime Sundays have also become a day for writing blog posts, taking photos, editing, making plans for the week ahead, reading and relaxing.

I find that even though I don’t put any pressure on myself to be productive, Sunday tends to be the day where I get the most done.

I use Sunday to set myself up for the week ahead. It’s important for me because it allows me to be prepared when Monday rolls around.

300 and counting

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.

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.

Enjoy the moment

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.