Oh, the hilarious irony of life. I finally beat my 21-day streak of writing (go me) and, thanks to some rando settings on my computer I was locked out of my website for 2 days. I could access it on my phone and others could see it, but I was blocked from posting new content. Fun times.
I still wrote, albeit in other spots, but it did make me think about what’s different this time. This time, it feels more like a true practice because I really noticed the hole in my day without it.
There isn’t a time of day specifically, but writing is something I accept that I do every weekday now. It’s kind of like my yoga practice… when I finally committed to doing a series of sun salutations each day I kept showing up and those days added up.
I didn’t notice I had a daily-ish yoga practice until a year in, it surprised me, and then (delighted with myself and my progress) I kept doing it. And side note, I like committing to the “ish” in daily-ish, takes the pressure off because some days…skip happens.
Where I used to sweat and die through a single salutation series, running through 3 or more now feels like a natural, normal body movement. And WOW do I notice when I slack off, my back and shoulders remind me real fast to get back in the saddle.
And this is the value of making something a practice. It starts out hard, but once you get in the swing of it the effort gets easier day by day. The will power you need to show up goes down incrementally until it’s just a thing you do every day, like flossing. In theory, you also get better at what you’re practicing, your skills improve. Everything gets easier, and you start to miss it when you can’t do it.
I felt weird not posting this Wednesday and Thursday. It felt like I was missing out, like I was missing something important. Even though I was writing elsewhere, for clients and in my notebooks, I missed musing out loud here, in my goofy little blog.
If I skim back through it all, they were not all fantastic works of art. Some are rambling, drooling, hot messes. I was all over the place, jumping around, exploring every related tangent that struck my fancy. But hey, it’s getting easier to not only show up, but to write with a clarity of thought that was under-used before.
It’s also getting easier to generate ideas, my notebook is filling with little notes jotted down of ideas and things I’m thinking about. My brain is reshaping itself to support this practice, it’s thinking in a better way. It’s like my brain has been doing yoga every day and now my cerebellum has a perky butt, or something. That metaphor kind of fell apart… See, it’s not always brilliance. At least I showed up today. Can you say the same?
I’m still not sure the actual ROI on this practice, showing up daily is a skill that appeals to a very specific niche of people. I know my most valuable community, the Akimbo Workshop alumni, get it. And that’s kind of enough for me.
Maybe some marketers would cringe that every one of my blogs isn’t long-tail keyword-focused or part of a funnel that nurtures you to want to buy my copywriting but…I’d argue that’s ok. I want to work with humans who think deeply about how the world work and that, in general, think deeply. If a future client thinks this space is too personal or sloppy, or it turns them off for whatever reason… again, just another great way to filter out people who aren’t my tribe.
There’s a reason I called my blog “Related Thoughts”, it’s the things I’m noodling on right now and still, they end up related and tied to my work because I can’t stop looking at the world through marketer colored glasses and trying to understand what it means to live as a creative and nurture your creative process.
Yea, I am that annoying friend who analyses literally everything for the brilliance of it as a marketing stunt or way to get the word out. I’m insufferable at times.
So cheers to beating my 21-day write streak. I’m on a roll people! And I’m really happy with how it is shaping my brain and helping me better organize my thoughts. It’s like going to the gym for my brain, what a stark difference from the distracted, darting mental state I was in before when I used social media regularly.
I can think of countless writers from Joan Didion to Jia Tolentino who have been quoted as saying that they don’t know what they’re thinking until they write it down. It’s true, few ways are as effective at helping you order your thoughts and actually know what they are. And as you write them down and explore them, more great ideas flow. The more you write, the more you get. It’s the best kind of bottomless cereal bowl.