Well it snuck up on me: my 100th blog post. Oh, this isn't it. This is actually #103. (It really did sneak up on me.) My actual 100th post was about salsa. Which, in hindsight, is perfect because I do really love salsa. Oh well. Anyway, I do think that passing the 100th post is quite a milestone. It means that I've given time, effort, and haven't quit something that is challenging.
To celebrate, I wrote about it. This post is for all of you creative souls out there. This post is not merely about blogging. Most of this post is applicable to other adventures as well, and just life in general. It's more about life lessons that I've learned from doing something creative. Read on for more...
I started this blog in March of 2017. I had wanted to start a blog for a long time, but stayed pretty busy as a yoga instructor and personal trainer. Finally, I just went for it. I had big dreams and big ideas for my blog (still do). I love to read. I love to write. I am constantly learning. I live on a farm that is pretty remote, so I thought it would be a fun way for me to work from home. But mostly, I am and have always been very creative. This would be my creative outlet: yoga, fitness, lifestyle, cooking, wine, what I'm reading, fixing up our old farmhouse, etc.
Nathaniel Hawthorne once said: "Easy reading is damn hard writing." It's true. Over the last three years of blogging, I've learned a lot about blogging and even more about life. Here are a few lessons that I'd love to share with you.
8 Things I've Learned From Blogging:
1. To Not Care About Likes And Follows.
That's right, I want to address this one right off the bat. If you want to be happy (blogging or just life in general), you've got to learn not to care about other people's opinions, or need their engagement or encouragement. Opinions, likes, and follows are a downward spiral if you're measuring your success by such fickle metrics. Why pour your heart into something, have the courage to publish it to the world, then decide it wasn't that great after all just because you didn't get the feedback you thought you would? Ridiculous. Instead, be yourself, do a good job in whatever it is you do, and give it to the world without expectations. Do not crave validation from shallow sources. In fact, don't crave validation at all. You must validate yourself. I cannot emphasize that enough. Then, let your light shine, and give your gift to the world with no strings attached.
You must validate yourself. I cannot emphasize that enough. Let your light shine, and give your gift to the world with no strings attached.
2. Blogging/Creating Can Be Really Lonely
Just like anything else in life (insert your own scenarios here), blogging can be lonely. Not everyone will "get it." I've learned that's ok. Not everyone will not understand you. Many people won't even give your passion a second thought. It's ok. Leave it alone and do not be hurt about it. Remember #1 (above): you don't need outside validation. The people who share your interests, or are also doing big or creative things in their life, they will get it. Some of my biggest "fans" who support my blog don't have hardly any interest in yoga, fitness, or cooking, but they see that I'm trying to put meaningful things out in the world, and they can get behind that.
The Man In The Arena by Theodore Roosevelt is one of my favorite pieces to read when I need a little encouragement. A lot of people won't understand the vulnerability that comes with sharing your creative expressions with the rest of the world. Getting out of your comfort zone is not for the faint of heart. Creative endeavors take heart, time, guts, sweat, and hard work. Learn to see yourself as a warrior in the arena, as ol' Theo would say.
So, do not take it personally when it feels a bit lonely. Just because not everyone will understand your thing (blog/art/book/music/podcast/whatever), doesn't mean that those gifts you gave to the world were sub-par. I truly believe that any gift given to the world with the right intentions will ripple out somehow and create good. So, just keep doing your thing. You just gotta keep livin', man. L-i-v-i-n.
3. It Take Guts
Oh boy, it sure does. To put your heart, soul, and thoughts in a piece of writing and hit "publish" is quite a thing. It is extremely vulnerable. Anyone can publicly criticize you or disagree with you. I have so much more respect for writers of all outlets now, and all creative types in general. Artists, musicians, authors, and anyone who creates knows this truth: we creative souls must keep creating to be happy and fulfilled but it's scary to release your work to the world.
4. You Have To Be Yourself
Nothing else will do. Insincerity shows through fast. Be yourself, especially when it's scary.
5. Write About (or Create) What Fuels And Excites You
Just do it. Someone, somewhere, is interested in that topic, too. The great thing about the internet is now we can find each other with similar interests! How lucky are we? Some of the most obscure topics end up being super successful blogs. My blog is MY creative outlet. I find inspiration everywhere. I can write about anything I want to. So don't take yourself too seriously, and just write about what makes your spirit soar. Write about what excites you.
6. Create To Express, Not To Impress
This comes down to your intention. Again, express yourself. If you start creating to impress others, you've started falling into that insincerity trap and needing validation from others. Create for yourself. I come back to that saying often to remind myself that I don't need to impress anyone. I write to express my heart, and to express my desire to inspire with yoga, fitness, and healthy eating. I write about things that are fun to me, and I write without taking it all too seriously.
7. The Difference Between The Words Affect And Effect.
Actually, I still get confused on this one. Shoot.
8. Good Enough Is Better Than Perfect
This is my new motto. It's been good for me in a lot of ways. I, like many of you, struggle with perfectionism. Shocker. Blogging has been good for me. I don't take perfect photos. I don't have perfect posts. I'm sure there are typos here and there. I don't have high quality sound equipment for my YouTube videos, my alignment isn't always perfect in my pictures, and the list could go on and on. BUT I've learned a very, very important lesson. Here's another of my favorite quotes to live by:
"Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress."
If I waited until my posts were perfect, and for the perfect time and circumstances, then I would never get anything published. I have learned so much by creating imperfect things. I would have missed all those lessons if I had waited. Here's another great one:
“If you aren’t embarrassed by the first version of your product, you shipped too late.”
Mmm hmm. Amen to that. You only get better by doing. Jump in. You have to start somewhere. Even The Beatles were once amateurs. Even Picasso was once a beginner. Even Michael Jordan got cut from his junior varsity high school basketball team. Everybody has to start somewhere. Isn't that great news? That even the experts were once novices? Embrace "good enough" as a motto, keep creating, and you'll be amazed at your progress.
"Every artist was first an amateur."
In summary, no matter what your creative thing is, take heart knowing that creatives all over the world and all throughout the ages have probably felt the same way you're feeling. So just start your adventure, do what fuels your spirit and excites you, and give your gift to the world with no strings attached.
Love + Light.
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Hi, I'm Blake. I love adventure, cooking, costume parties, wine, yoga, and reading...in that order. Follow my blog for yoga stuff, fitness tips, & healthy recipes...
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