"Contribute a verse" – Savannah Brown
My 30 day challenge for July is to write and publish one blog post every day. The whole process has been challenging, even after just a week.
This doesn't address why it's challenging, though, so let's dive into some of the roadblocks I've run into.
I don't feel like I have anything to say
It's more accurate to say "I don't feel like I have anything interesting to say", but writer's block is a real problem. To sit down at your desk and to have your mind go blank when you're expected to publish a few hundred words is frustrating. Two habits I already practice are helping with this:
- Journaling daily. I have random thoughts that pop into my head, and journaling has been how I've been able to capture and bring sense to those thoughts.
- I've been contributing more to my personal wiki, especially while I've been reading Building A Second Brain by Tiago Forte (my currently-incomplete book notes are here). My ideas have value, but only if I am able to tie them together into cohesive thoughts along with my other ideas. I may only add a few lines to a page on the wiki or interlink two concepts, but sometimes that's enough to contribute to the interlinking of ideas.
I don't know if what I have to say is valuable
One key aspect that's missing from that statement is who my writing is valuable to. Is it valuable to me? To friends and family? To the rest of the world?
How is it valuable? For me, it's valuable because I get writing practice. For others, I hope something I write lights up a section of their brain and encourages them to ask questions. While I hope what I write provides value to others, going through this practice provides value to me and therefore it has value.
I don't think my writing is good
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius
I hate to say it, Brian, but sucking at something's the first step to becoming sorta good at something. There is no way past this but to press forward, to practice, to put in my 10,000 hours.
Publishing to the world is scary
Here's the (un?)fortunate reality: almost nobody will read what I write. And that's okay.
This is me putting in my reps, getting used to the process, and if at some point this blog gains traction then I can sit comfortably knowing that my writing has improved over time.
It's taken effort to push past these thoughts. The thoughts aren't grounded in any sort of reality; my brain has made them up based on my fears and previous experiences. It's an exercise that's hard, but the things worth doing often are.