Last year I took three months off from public blogging. Back then, my attitude, my motivation, my focus was all way off. Ambition was consuming me, an obsession with stats and success.
Today I’m considering taking another break from public blogging. But this time, my motivation is very different.
In my last post I mentioned how I’d been struggling with writers block and how I managed to have a major breakthrough, which reawakened my love of writing. My writers block is well and truly over now. Lots of ideas and pieces of writing are being birthed.
But something still wasn’t quite right.
Then it became clear.
I haven’t fallen out of love with writing. I’m losing my passion for blogging.
Blogging can be fun, without doubt, pieces don’t take too long to write, and it’s informal. Above all, I love that it’s great way to communicate and share my work directly with my readers. There’s much to enjoy about blogging, and I would never give it up for good.
I’ve never shared something on my blog I knew wasn’t the best and most honest work I could create. I never have, and I never will. And I still love writing as much as I ever have. But recently, though I still have lots of great ideas, I know my enthusiasm for blogging is going slightly. The result being that whilst I have blog and book ideas I want to develop, I’m not devoting as much energy to them as I could, or should.
And so something had to change.
Because I want to create great work on issues I care about. Honest, real, birthed from deep inside. Not forced out of me by duty.
Don’t get me wrong, blogging regularly is a good discipline to get into as a writer, to connect with your audience, develop your message, test ideas out, and build community. And I continue to value all of these things.
But just as important is not to let anything become an idol.
I can’t let my healthy desire to expand my reach as a writer morph back into an obsession and worship of success and status.
Our identity should be grounded in who we are, not what we do. If we ground our identity, value and worth in our work, our art suffers – and everyone loses. (you can tweet that)
Not just ourselves, but those our work could potentially help.
In light of all this, I’m going to make a small but important change in my approach to blogging for the immediate future, which is simply this:
I’m giving myself permission not to blog every week.
For the foreseeable future I’ll only share something if I’m inspired to. And if not, I won’t – and I won’t feel guilty about it.
I’ll keep writing regularly, and if an idea grabs me and I feel it’s right to share it, I will. But I’m not going to blog to say something, I’ll blog if I have something to say. If I don’t get round to blogging one week, I won’t. If I need to work on developing a blog series, e-book or some other project and there’s no time to even think about posting a blog post, I won’t.
And I won’t feel guilty about it.
The Secret To Work That Matters
I’ve got lots of ideas for blog series, books and other projects – I certainly have enough ideas in my mind which should get me back into a pattern of weekly blogging in due course. Freeing myself from obligation will just give me some space to develop them – which ultimately benefits you, my readers, because it ensures you get my best work.
And it benefits me, because I’ll be able to create better, more honest work.
You see, if you want to create work which matters, which is a reflection of who you really are, which is truly authentic, sometimes you need to lay it all down and go back to your roots.
To strip it all away, and go back to where it all began.
So what does this break mean for you? Well in some ways, nothing will change. I’ll still be blogging here. Indeed, I have two more blog posts written ready to be published over the next couple of weeks. And I’ll still be keeping in contact with subscribers.
At some point, I’ll recommit to blogging once a week, as an act of discipline. But I won’t do this as long as this sense of obligation and guilt remains, and until I’ve developed ideas I can share in this context.
But right now, I’m going to remove that sense of obligation, pressure and guilt I have felt about having to blog every week.
I’m going to use this space to try and get back into a rhythm of writing 6 days a week. If it’s only 50 words, so be it. If it’s 2000 words, that’s OK too. And I’m going to devote more time to creating the work I really care about.
But ultimately, I want to remind myself again how much I love the simple craft of writing. Writing for writings’ sake, from the heart. Honest, truthful, authentic writing, which holds nothing back.
This is where all of our best work comes from.
And it’s where we can be most beneficial to others.
Are you with me?
Question For Reflection
Are you willing to lay down your art in order to make it better?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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(Pictures: Online sources)