I recently realised that I enjoy writing about current events.
One of my most read posts is about Instagram guides, I think I published it a day after guides became available to everyone, it was a hot topic.
If I’d written the post a few days or even weeks later it would have no longer been relevant. Of course the post can be read at any time but it was written for a particular moment in time.
Yesterday, I published a post about Clubhouse. I first drafted the post over 2 months ago and at the time it was over 1500 words, significantly longer than what I would usually post. For various it took a while to make time to edit the post to something I was happy to share.
But, what I noticed was that each time I went through the post, things had changed. Things like the number of users and the other apps that had added an audio feature. I regret not publishing the post sooner as with any hot topic, sooner is always better than later.
I think it’s fair to say that Clubhouse is still very relevant and will continue to be for the months to come. However, the post I published yesterday is very much of the time. That’s the issue you face when writing about hot topics, they don’t always last.
In contrast, the posts I’ve written that focus more around life lessons, career and self-help are what I would consider evergreen. They will be just as relevant today as they will be 12 months from now.
I’ve always held writing to a high esteem, to such a high esteem that I always considered it to be out of my reach.
It’s undeniable that in the 9+ years I’ve been sharing my writing online, I’ve improved quite a lot. Yet, I always told myself that I could never be a proper writer.
But over the past year or after reading articles online, I’ve thought to myself, I could write something like that or even that’s similar to something I’ve already written. Suddenly writing no longer feels so out of reach.
And it’s not that I now plan to quite my job and become a writer, I think it’s more than fair to say I already am one.
Write more than one post a day. Even if only one of them is worth publishing and the other one, two or 5 are just a few phrases.
Writing and sharing something everyday becomes easier the more you write.
And on the days when coming up with something from scratch doesn’t feel easy you can go back to one of your drafts and flesh out the 2 sentences you wrote last week.
I recently listened to an episode of Akimbo where a listener asked Seth about who he thought his audience was. Seth’s answer was pretty wonderful.
It got me thinking about my own audience, my readers, people like you.
For me it’s never been about appealing to a particular demographic, age, race, social class, etc. I’ve always wanted to create a space where you can come as you are. I like to think if it as us sitting in a circle and me telling a story.
My readers are people with a curiosity for life, people who notice things, people like you and people like me.
Around 6 or 7 years ago I thought that I needed to be ‘inspirational’ and needed to be someone that others would put on a pedestal. I thought that was the way that it should be.
In aspiring to that, I then found myself getting distracted by the idea of not being good enough especially when the numbers weren’t high enough.
These days I just focus on the writing.
If often goes that the pieces you put the most effort into, spent the most time writing and generally are the ones you put the most heart into are the least popular.
Turns out sometimes your reader won’t be as enamored with the work that you consider to be your best, in fact they may hate it.
And so you may now find yourself with the dilemma of whether you should continue sharing what you consider to be your best work when your readers don’t seem to like it.
For me the answer is yes, your work should be about so much more than simply pleasing the reader.
Just because something isn’t popular, doesn’t mean that it isn’t any good or that it isn’t appreciated.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.