I've written this post several times in my head. And in the shower. And in the car (not while driving). I've been trying to figure out just what it is that I want to do here. Write. That much is clear. I know that I want to write more. I know that sitting here typing away my thoughts feels right. That I have things I want to share, whether or not there is anyone out there who wants to hear them.
Tell stories. I've always been eager to share my experiences and help others feel a little less alone or a little less bewildered by where to begin. I want others to know how it worked...and how it didn't. That is how I want to help the world, in my own little way.
Connect with others. This feels cheesy to me, or at least a little cliché. Creating community and connection, however, are becoming more and more clear to me as deeply held values of mine. Connection exhausts me. Drains the energy right out of me. So in this way I've held myself back in recent years. In an effort to care for myself and be sensitive to those highly sensitive parts of me, I've tried to make sure I balance the quieter slower pace that fills me up.
I've realized that I keep coming back to that connection and joining groups and talking to others because even though it drains me, it feels powerful and interesting and exciting. I feel like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I'm learning to be more careful with how much and when and where. I'm working at home when I can and taking quiet times in small offices in my open-plan work environment.
The substance of what I'm doing doesn't seem to matter as much. This might be obvious from the range of topics I'm including here. With the distance I'm traveling from the decluttering. With the dabbling into product posts and listicles (I really hate that word, but it does describe what it is). I want to do the writing and the sharing and the connecting, and I'm hoping to find some more clarity about that substance along the way.
I'm doing this as stream of consciousness and cheating a bit since I've had this topic percolating in my head for a while. I've thought about this a million times and yet still don't quite know that there is more to say. I expect that more clarity will come as I write more and get more inspired. Writing and ideas are truly the seeds of new writing and new ideas. The momentum of writing and making lists of blog post ideas and finding prompts alone carries through.
I'm at a loss, but trying to keep going. I'm hearing the voice of the inner critic that this is getting long and isn't interesting to anyone and certainly isn't part of the successfully branded and niche carving material that will drive a successful blog.
I think I've spent too much time in the fallow periods reading and listening to successful established bloggers telling new bloggers what to do and how to create their business and brand through a blog. Those people often already have a business or brand that they are trying to promote and the blog is a way to do it.
I'm just here to have a place to feel creative and collect information and to store my opinions in a place other than my favorite journals. I like that too and the introverted shy (I know, they're different...I'm both. Lucky me!) voice says that maybe that's where they should stay. But part of that voice is the inner critic and so I'm releasing the focus on getting to where all those fancy e-courses and universities and programs say I should be. I'm here.
7 more minutes (Did I mention this is a 20 minute free write? Lesson learned: you can write A LOT of a rough draft in 20 minutes.) (Also noting that the challenge is to hit publish when this is done.) I want to delete this whole paragraph (for the sake of full disclosure), but I won't.
I'm starting where I am and I'm going to take this day by day. I have a lot of stray thoughts - I have come to realize that I actually think in blog posts. Maybe more of a microblog, but not so short as Twitter and not as visual as Instagram. But I'm a 30-something who feels more comfortable with a blog and more words and less quirky memes.
I don't have a niche. I don't have a brand. I might. I'm not opposed to seeing that grow out of the time that I'm spending here, but for now, I'm learning the real lesson, I suppose. This is my space and it doesn't have to be precious. When I want to get more out of it or different things out of it, then I can do something different. I can save as a draft and edit and craft. But for now, that is the enemy of the good. The enemy of the published. If I'm caught up in the editing and the worrying and the brand building, then I'm not sharing and connecting and writing.
2 more minutes. In the days when I was on the crew team, we would always say at the end of a long piece "You can do anything for 2 minutes." The secret message was, pull your heart out. don't leave anything left on the table. When all you want to do is lay down and give up for 2 minutes, you knew that you could pull out the last stops from the depths of your toes and it would all be done in just 2 minutes.
The 2 minute rule is something that has gotten me through countless work outs and has made running a bit more fun when it feels like there is nothing left. I'm not sure it applies as well in a blog post. Just like in rowing, it feels like the longest 2 minutes I've ever experienced. Like there couldn't possibly have ever been a 2 minute period as long as this one. Done.