At the beginning of 2018, I wanted to be more committed to pursuing my artistic passions. One way I wished to accomplish that was through writing, specifically blogging, where I could share my DIYs, my artwork, and really anything that popped into my head.
I had actually started my blog way back in 2016, right after coming up with my website and name, "EpicQuests4Crafts." Between 2016 through 2017, I published a whopping... 6 posts. Not very impressive.
While I don't really make "New Year's Resolutions," in January I decided: I was going to re-commit myself to writing more! I would do Monthly blogs-no, WEEKLY blogs! Yes! I'd have blogs-for-dayz!
...Then I forgot to actually write anything for the month of January. So I did a post on February 2nd, reviewing January and the monthly goals I'd set for myself, and I told myself I'd do a better job of publishing posts the next month.
Fast forward 8 months... and here we are.
Middle of September, and no writings since. And it's not due to a lack of inspiration, oh, I've had ideas! I probably get really good blog-worthy ideas every day, and on half of those days, I'll sit down at a computer and start maniacally typing out my thoughts, but that's as far as I get. Since February, I've created 48 drafts that are sitting in a virtual corner, collecting virtual dust. A few are even 100% done and ready to publish, all I have to do is click that lil' button!
...So why haven't I? Why has it been so hard for me to get my drafts to the final stage of being published and out there for the world to read?
You could read all the self-help blogs in the world, but some times (mostly due to stubborness) you have to learn things the hard way. For me, that's been these last months' worth of attempting, and failing to write. But instead on continuing to flail forward, I sat down, and really thought about why I kept failing at this. And as it turns out, my method behind each and every draft I've started to write all went through the same process:
Some thought pops into my head, a reallllllly good one that I absolutely think is worth sharing with the internet-world. So I drop what I'm doing and immediately start to write about it. I get a solid 10 minutes worth of typing in before I hit my first writer's block of "What do I say next? What's my conclusion? What's even the point of this blog post?"
I figure I'll get inspiration by doing something else, so I turn to distractions like social media. I chat with friends, I browse some Pinterest. Next thing I know, time has flown by, and my blog draft is still sitting there, unfinished. So I get overwhelmed, I become uncertain, then I get discouraged: "This was a dumb idea." "I'm not a blogger, this isn't a good post" "This isn't worth sharing."
So I re-traced my steps, and identified the main benefactors behind my failure, and decided to write out my game plan for moving forward. What I came up with was 3 MAIN REASONS I never publish a blog post, and my strategies to overcome those reasons.
PROBLEM #1: I don't have a plan. My blog writings are always cuff-of-the-moment, rarely intentional. I'll jot things down as I find spare time, like in the morning, on my lunch break, or late at night. Because I didn't plan for it, my thoughts lack proper structure and flow, and turn out more like the ramblings of a toddler.
MY SOLUTION: Make a plan (duh!). This is Writing 101, but before I started tornado-typing, I did a 5-bullet point outline of what I wanted to say. I had my opening thought, 3 main thoughts I wanted to communicate, and my conclusion. So for this post, my outline was
Opening: I love writing and expressing my thoughts, but don't consistently finish or publish anything. Why?
Point #1 - This happens because I don't have a plan
Point #2 - This happens because I don't make time for it
Point #3 - This happens because I'm scared of rejection
Conclusion - What was the result of my new strategy?
Then, after I wrote out this entire piece, I went back through and made sure each sentence strengthened one of those 5 things. Of course you can have more or less than 5, but it's always best to start simple and build up from there.
PROBLEM #2: It's not a priority. This is similar to the one above, except while #1 deals with the "what" of the blog, this addresses the "When?" I only write when I have free time, and we all know how that goes. I'll be good for 5 or 10 minutes, but then Social Media will butt in, or a new show on Netflix will tempt me, or I'll start chatting with friends and completely forget what I was doing.
MY SOLUTION: Schedule intentional, uninterrupted time. It sounds simple enough, but it's surprising how much more responsibility I felt towards writing when I told myself I was going to set aside 1 hour of uninterrupted time and crank out my thoughts, without distraction. It's what I attempted for this post, and I'll admit, I had about 3 failed scheduling sessions before I finally found my groove and actually stuck to my plan.
PROBLEM #3: I'm scared. The internet can be a brutal place. It's one thing to share your innermost thoughts and ideas with those closest to you that you trust. They care about you beyond a skin-deep level, and are usually more eloquent with constructive criticism and advice than the general internet user.
MY SOLUTION: As Christy Wright, author of "Business Boutique" says: Do it scared. The entire 2nd chapter of her book talks about fear and her own personal stories with it, which I highly recommend reading (and the book as a whole).
Learning how to do it scared is really, really hard, and every new challenge you accept will give you that same initial bout of fear, but it is comforting to know that everybody chasing their dreams, even the professionals, start out scared. So even though I doubt myself, even though I know I'll re-read this article and worry that things aren't worded exactly as I wanted, I think in the end, I'll have greater satisfaction from doing this scared, rather than not doing it at all, and instead always wondering "What if?"
Identifying those three steps and trying out my strategies is what got me to this post today. I'll keep you updated on how my goal-getting plan goes, and if I add any more tools towards accomplishing my goals!
I'd love to hear what tips and strategies have helped you overcome your own stumbling blocks, or if there's a personal dream or goal that the simple trait of "fear" is keeping you from trying!
Thanks for Reading!