I have a confession to make, and you’re my surrogate priest in this confession booth of a blog post. Any reader of this site knows, with anticipating anguish I hope, that I don’t post that often. Is it a roaring social life, exhaustion from copious amounts of sultry rendezvouses, a dedication to my new book, or even a lack of discipline? Well, maybe those are all valid culprits, but realistically, the major cause is none of those… and it’s far from a lack of content or ideas.
The truth is, I don’t like writing.
Specifically, writing on this blog. I just don’t like the process.
What I DO like — no, love — is crafting a communication of ideas. It’s not that I don’t like the art of writing itself, it’s simply that the joy of it tends to be sucked away here, like the blood of originality out of the neck of a teenage vampire franchise.
The art of writing is wonderful in that it forces me, through the constraint of written words and known vernacular, to dive deep inside my mind and soul towards a place where I can conjure up an ignition of my creativity, so as to perfectly express a tidy little package of thought, emotion, and personality – all tied up within a bright red bow, waiting to be unwrapped. Just like that sentence; the one that made me grin as my finger bounced with smug volition off of the period key.
I like speaking too; being able to get into that state of unconscious, passionate flow in which every word seems to be coming from a higher or deeper part of me. The ability to use my inflections and directionalized language to evoke exactly what I wish upon my listener. That warm loving feeling of joy I got when my girlfriend wanted to just lay next to me and simply hear me talk about anything, for the sound of my voice alone was soothing, comforting, and slightly intoxicating. I brushed it aside as silly girliness at the time, but hindsight shows me how truly magical those moments were for the both of us. My communication wasn’t in the crafting of words, but in the simple emotions evoked.
I also enjoy creating art and music, and even more recently, movement — such as dancing, yoga, and body language in motion. The absence of words altogether is something magical once you learn the new “language”. On the more esoteric level, communicating via emotions, thought, and symbolism is a fascinating joy in itself.
I’m not a writer, blogger, tweeter, podcaster, video caster, etc – but rather somebody who enjoys communicating and expression through whichever medium and means I see fit for the given message. The labels I am finding are very, well, inhibitive.
What’s Inhibiting You From What You Want?
So what’s the reason I don’t like posting blogs? Is it the writing I despise? No, that’s just about all of what I enjoy. I know that may seem to counter what I just said in the beginning, but as I’ve been thinking about why I have so many great ideas and yet so little posts, I’ve discovered the biggest cause for the friction – my inhibitive precedences.
- I started by posting really long articles
- I started by being very detached
- I started by having a picture 560px wide at the top of every post
- I started by not talking about my day‐to‐day life
- I started by posting very sporadically
- I started by being a perfectionist
These are the precedences I’ve set up for myself, and being a man of consistency and congruency, I rigorously tried adhering to them.
In my mind I had this whole box set up of how my blog “should be”, rather then what I felt I wanted it to be, based on how I set it up. The thought of changing direction 2 years into writing, and abandoning all‐so‐many from my readership was just unthinkable… yet I thought about it everyday I wanted to write something new.
Of course this is ridiculous, as I only get a few thousands visitors a month on average, less than 100 followers on Twitter, and roughly 160 fans on Facebook. Even if I were to lose all of them, the chances of gaining more readers that were all about my new approach, would likely be much higher in the long rung anyways. As I think about it now, the reasons were all just rubbish fears.
These precedences I’ve made for myself became the exact things that inhibited me from communicating my message. I dreaded HAVING to find a relevant image for each post I made just because I’ve done it for all others. That was the worst, and even if posts with images get more hits, the amount of “lost” visits would have been made up in the tripling of articles actually written. I would spend hours of my time looking for a stupid “catchy” image, rather than focusing on providing you with value through my ideas. I know where I’d rather invest my time, and I think you’d agree.
The second most inhibiting precedence was that of writing long articles. After posting 20 paragraph long posts, what the hell would people think by my posting only 3? Would they feel “ripped off”? Would I be able to get my point across in such short amount of space? This was really preventing me from communicating a lot of really simple ideas, that I felt were too short for a post. Ironically, this article feels short in comparison to the rest, yet gets my point across.
The third was being detached and almost too academic. While most of what I write is aimed towards helping you become a better man (irony strikes again, as a majority of my readers are actually women), I felt selfish talking about myself when I “should” be focusing on you. This has resulted in neutered and somewhat impersonal articles, that could have used some of my personality and life experience. There’s no reason I can’t share a serious bit of wisdom I’ve learned while still making a personal connection. You may have already noticed them getting more personal, as apparent in my post on turning 23.
By now I bet you’ve started to realize some of your own precedences that are inhibiting what you really want to do going forward. If not, then you sure are now. I think this is ultimately why most companies fail in the advent of new ideas — rigid adherence to the old known ways, and fear of changing direction of an entire empire that people are used to. While sometimes these changes are horrible (a la Pizza Hut rebranding to The Hut), often times a change in focus is miraculous and can be the difference between surviving and really thriving (a la Apple going into the cellphone and music business).
Destroy, Destroy, Destroy!
So how do I plan on destroying my blog’s inhibitive precedences? More so, how can I overcome my own mental blocks in order to share insights with others, without letting my ego get in the way anymore? Well, this post was my first step. In becoming honest and open with myself, and totally transparent with you, I take the leap into the pit of destruction, burn my ships, and start to break my precedences by going against them when needed, or even on purpose.
Here’s how I’ll destroy ’em:
- I’ll start posting really short articles
- I’ll start by being more transparent and vulnerable
- I’ll stop posting pictures in every post
- I’ll start incorporating more of my life and experiences for connection
- I’ll start posting more often, even if it’s not profound to me
- I’ll stop being so anal about the presentation
Will this work? Will I get more readers, followers, likes, or page views? Will my blog turn to absolute shit rubbish nonsense tiddlywinks in the course of a few weeks?
I really don’t know, nor do I care. What I do care about is that now that I’ve been open about my internal struggle, I’m free to do whatever the fuck I want in order to provide value. And yes, he really did just say “fuck”. I can now, as I have actually been able to all along, write whenever I want without discouraging constraints. It’s my damn blog, there’s no reason I shouldn’t. And neither should you. Your own limitations are those in your head, and since you created them, you can destroy them and build better ones. Those who don’t appreciate or like it, weren’t meant to listen to the real you anyways.
Now, if you have precedences that work and are enjoyable for you, a style the people are used to, and a reason for doing so – then keep at it! But if you feel like you’re in a need of a change or refresher, go for it. Businesses rebrand all the time, websites get redesigned, and features get added or removed from your favorite programs. The people that complain and whine when something usually gets changed for the better, are the people that hate change, including in themselves. If you’re a creator, I’m sure you’ve noticed the worst are the ones that complain about a FREE service or product. Call my crazy, but for some mysterious reason, these folk tend to be not the happiest people out there.
Taking this to IRL, you have have inhibiting precedences all around you in the form of social classes or groups, religious dogmas, societal beliefs, and even your own habits that are so engrained, you’re not even aware of how they might be preventing you from getting what you want. See what precedences you’ve set up up for yourself — such labels as your career title, clothing style, sexual taboos, and diet — that are in need of destroying in order to be set free to experiment in your deepest, and possibly darkest, desires.
Life is an experiment, and knowing the stakes are much higher when you’re more successful, I think it’s a good idea to do most of the trial and error while it’s less noticeable. That being said, 2 years into a blog and I’m still doing it has to tell you something — don’t be afraid of change no matter how far of a fall from where you’ve gotten. Embrace change and seek to expand your comfort zone; you’ll only grow. Since there’s no such thing as failure, only learning, I encourage you to break your precedences when they’re holding you back and fail as quickly and often as you can. Don’t let your past attitudes and actions dictate your futures ones. It takes courage indeed, but your life is far too important to let your story of origin foreshadow your destiny.
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