A year and a month ago, I sat down to write my first blog.
It was about starting something new. Something scary. Not knowing what would come of it.
I’ve written every day since then (except Sundays). Here’s what I’ve learned:
1) Things become MUCH easier when willpower is taken out of the equation.
I don’t sit down each morning and decide whether or not I should write a blog. There’s no battle. I have no choice. It’s what I do.
At first, I was afraid (I was petrified) that I’d quickly run out of interesting things to say. I’ve learned however that creativity is a skill; it’s like a muscle. Meaning if you exercise it, practice it, and use it all the time…you become wildly better.
2) If you want to create things for others, you have to love doing it for YOU first.
If I set out to write blogs and newsletters with the priority of gaining an audience, I would have quit after two months.
Things like fame, followers, and money…it’s okay to want these things (we shouldn’t have to lie to ourselves). But if they are your #1 motivator, that’s just unsustainable.
Building trust in people with your ideas, your products, or your art…none of this happens in a week. I’ve been working hard(ish) for over a year and I just began to experience an uptick in readership.
My advice to anyone who wants to pursue something like this:
Ask yourself, “Am I willing to do this all the time for a year or two before anyone really starts to care?”
If the answer is no, I suggest you recalibrate.
I’ve never hesitated in writing these blogs because I fucking love writing them. They’re a fast and easy way for me to work out whatever is on my heart and mind. It’s like I have a journal public to all.
Even if I had a readership of one (myself), you’d still find me sitting here and typing.
If after writing that first blog, I fantasized about how amazing I would feel a year later, having written every day, it would have been distracting.
The only way I could keep at it: sitting down each day and focusing on nothing but today’s blog. Tomorrow will come. Trust me.
Do it because you love it, not because it might bring you rewards. If you get really fucking good at it, and continue to bring value to others…the rewards will inevitably come.
3) Cringing at your past work is one of the best feelings.
When I read my old shit, I want to fold into myself like a dead spider and shrivel away. I love it.
Looking at your old work–especially when you first started–is such an embarrassing experience. But why?
It’s because you’re so much better now than you were then.
You have better taste. You’re improving. You’re moving forward.
If you’re not disgusted at the work you did a year ago, that should worry you…
Doing something creative/fun/interesting every single day is one of the most rewarding things you could do for yourself.
A year from now, you’ll be glad you started today.
To quote myself from that first blog:
“If you’re worried about beginning because your work will be garbage, don’t. It will be. The trick is to understand the value of sucking and keeping at it until you develop the potential quality your idea deserves. Here we go.