30 Day Writing Challenge
I am a big believer in signs. When the universe wants a message to manifest itself in our lives, it will find a way. Themes begin to materialize where once we hadn't noticed. The right books start to fall off the shelf, as they say. In my case, self expression and commitment are some major themes that have recently taken form. Specifically, how I show up for my creative work.
The catalyst to my thinking was a podcast episode with famed marketing genius Seth Godin. His interview with 4 Hour Work Week author Tim Ferriss was my in-flight entertainment. Godin had such a refreshing curiosity for the world, in particular his approach to writing. He has 17 best selling books that have been translated into several languages. He once spent an entire year learning an array of subjects and writing books about them, some of which never saw the light of day, and he did it just because. Keep writing bad until something good happens, he said. He blogs daily as part of his philosophy to writing one good thing you're willing to stand by each day.
That very much resounded with me. It sounds so easy, bit-sized even. Say one thing a day. Commit to creating. And yet, there are so many people who do not make this commitment for a variety of reasons. The intentions and certainly the wish to fulfill this is there, but life, excuses and outside forces cloud our ability to focus and produce. I decided to put myself out there and identify reasons I haven't been able to commit to saying something once a day.
I get stuck in my head thinking about what people want to read. In my defense, that's actually a legitimate concern. This isn't meant to be a public diary, it's a creative outlet to share and build community. However, if we over curate, we lose our curiosity and spontaneity.
One of my most widely read pieces was an impromptu post I did on spending Valentine's Day in New York City. I nearly didn't publish it because it felt really girly and cliche. It wasn't "real writing" and I cringed a little bit publishing it. And you know what? People liked it. It was a glimpse into my life, a little separation from the curation.
Being too busy to find time to write
I'm starting to find this is an excuse. On the surface, I have been citing my jam-packed schedule as a reason for not writing. However, this is an illusion for all of us. We all have the time to pursue something for ourselves, even those of us with day jobs. The reason you're not creating that thing you want is usually out of fear. In my case, perfectionistic tendencies would keep me from creating. The pieces I developed never seemed right enough and the ones that never made it to fruition didn't seem like they'd measure up to my original vision. I don't, however, apply this scrutiny to any of my professional projects for other company's platforms. The work flows better because I don't overthink it. That removal is invaluable in life and business. As Liz Gilbert says, art is messy. It's not your baby. It's something pretty you made and you don't owe the world anything–– least of all that they deem it "worthy" or "good".
What will people think?
Fear. On some level I still care about what people think. If I write too much about taboo subjects, like the f word–– feminism, I'll be type casted as "that girl". If I write a post on making my space work for me, I'll be put into the Holly Homemaker box. If I write about love I'm Carry Bradshaw, the list goes on. But lastly, sometimes I feel blogging takes time from my "real art"... the art that I don't publish because it's a little different. And that distinction right there is a barrier.
Real artists shouldn't have barriers or taboos to any mediums or subjects
True artists create because that is an innate part of their existence. It's just who they are. And I feel that way. Life is dynamic. I don't just travel, I also work and have relationships and cook and decorate my house and pay my bills and go out for beer. Life is a canvas and a digital platform, just like a book or any other medium, is an avenue for self expression. It's all an experiment, so why hold back?
One of my best friends, soul sisters, partners in life and this blog, told me something profoundly wise. We were in her house surrounded by exciting chaos. Her life has been flooded with amazing changes, including a new home filled with possibilities and that start-up energy. You know the type... I'm big on energy and just walking in I could feel that breath of newness. She paused for a second as I was venting and made me think about how short life was. Really.
You are not these thoughts, none of us are. Our souls are pure and it is our egos that fill us with this nonsense. Once you see yourself clearly, you can go on and live fiercely. And watch out world when you do.
If you are a spiritual person, and I hope you have some belief in a higher power, this is everything. It is true for each and every one of us. If we only move aside and see ourselves for what we really are–– infinite, good natured, creative, abundant–– we can accomplish anything we want.
I felt really inspired to let go of all the clutter and excuses that haven't been serving me and take action towards my goals. For starters, I commit to posting something every day on this blog for 30 days. It's been a while since I've moved beyond my comfort zone, and part of that includes accountability.
Say one thing a day. Commit to creating.
Have you ever challenged yourself for 30 days? Do you wish you could break or create a habit? Tell me about it below 😜
To listen to the Tim Ferriss podcast episode with Seth Godin mentioned above, click here.