I’ve been blogging for over a decade now, and in many ways I’ve got a great fondness for this medium. It’s a safe space to share the genesis of ideas, to connect with people, and to be vulnerable. It also allows me to keep the discipline of regular writing.
However as I’ve said before, blogging has become more a burden than a joy in recent years. And as I’ve begun a podcast this has been brought more sharply into focus.
I’m loving the creative process and weekly sharing of interviews and occasional short talks on the podcast, and can’t wait to do more (you’re going to love this weeks episode..). But blogging every week feels a burden, and has for a while. And above all, I believe it’s hindering me from doing justice to the message of my second print book, which I’m writing at the moment.
So something has to change.
I will unashamedly say here and now that writing books is my first love. The opportunity to really develop ideas, flesh them out and explore them in depth over a book, spending time creating and crafting a message, that’s what I love to do.
Books are a step up from blogging, and writing books always challenges me to raise the bar in terms of the quality of my writing. Blogging in many ways has become a comfort zone for me, an easy way to avoid the challenge of writing books.
I’m working on writing my second full length book right now (the first is done, and due out sometime this year – more on that soon). It’s all mapped out, planned and ready to go. I’ve written the first two chapters, but because of blogging and allowing myself to be overwhelmed, I’ve simply not got anything done on the book for several weeks.
I need to get this done. And I need to do it justice. So what to do?
The Solution – And Why The Message Matters More
Having talked to some wise friends, I’ve made the decision to focus on getting this book done. And on books generally. And to facilitate that, I’m scaling back on the blogging. However I’ve got several blog posts written and ready to be shared – so here’s the deal:
From this week I’m still going to be blogging, just slightly less frequently. I’ve got posts scheduled every fortnight to the end of May, which will give me space to devote all my writing energies to the book, without worrying about the blog whatsoever.
I’m also going to open this blog up to more guest posts – so if you want to submit a post, on a topic related to the ones I usually cover here, of about 750 words or less, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to submit.
At the end of May I’ll reassess again – but I do know I’d rather blog when I’ve got something to say, not simply because I have to meet people’s expectations or ‘build my platform’. So we’ll see what that eventually looks like.
The podcasts will keep coming on a weekly basis (I’ve got some amazing interviews coming up with some extraordinary people…I’m so excited to share them with you), it’s just blogging which I’m scaling back slightly.
I alluded to this above, but one of the main reasons I’m focussing on my book, apart from what I’ve mentioned, is something I believe is vital to all creative work. It’s because I’ve realised I care about this message, and want to do it justice. To give this my absolute best energies and talents, so that I communicate it as well as I possibly can.
This book I’m working on concerns a topic I care deeply about – identity and calling. And whereas I used to be in a place where the challenge was simply to write a book – create the product – now I’ve become more concerned with the message, and doing that justice, than the actual product itself.
Because ultimately, communicating the message is what matters most. (you can tweet that)
Sharing our heart, sharing what we’ve learned, sharing our passion – getting it out to the world is so important. And as artists it’s vital we give it our full commitment.
As artists, we should be more concerned about doing justice to the message, than simply the act of writing a book, composing a song, or making a short film – or whatever artistic endeavour we are pursuing. It’s communicating the message, what we care about, that thing we just have to get out, which really matters.
We owe that not just to our readers/listeners – but to the message itself.
Are you with me?
Question for Reflection:
What’s more important to you – the message of your work, or the result?
Let me know in the comments below!
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(Picture Sources: writermyessay.com / iwakari.com)
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