I haven’t written on this blog for a long time. I’ve stared at it for almost an hour this morning wondering what the point of having it is. There’s so much pressure on blogging: make sure you use the right keywords; it has to have targeted and monetised posts; research your topics; write what people want to read; make sure it’s long-form else google won’t be interested.
Many years ago I had a blog that was about what I got up to while I was working abroad. That’s all I wrote. I shared photos and stories and had a little collection of online friends and we all read each other’s posts. This was back in the days before the internet had turned into a money-making machine. I enjoyed blogging then.
Now, I am honestly torn between attempting to make this site and my posts fit the modern definition of a successful blog, deleting it completely and not bothering or just saying f*ck it, I’ll write whatever the hell I want and if no one reads it I don’t actually care, because at least then I’m being true to myself.
Underneath this indecision is something I have come to recognise as fear.
I’m afraid no one will read what I write. Not just on this blog.
What if I’m not good enough. Or worse, I’m good, but I’m just average and anything I do will die a silent death of averageness that is neither completely ignored nor particularly celebrated.
What if my family and friends secretly roll their eyes at my dreams of being a writer?
What if people I know laugh about me putting my life or my work online, behind my back?
Perhaps I do not have the personality – the emotional resilience – to put myself out into the world and face endless rejection.
Today I looked at this site and decided I hated the name. And I didn’t like the logo. I felt like it all needed to change. But it’s all excuses. I’m looking for things to be perfect (which doesn’t exist), before getting on with the hard work of building a writing life for myself.
I’ve known for a long time that there is a backlog of tasks in my life that I use as an excuse to not write or blog. It’s a long list of unfinished projects.
Having finally admitted that all the crap I’ve got hanging around is massively affecting my ability to achieve anything, I made a huge list in Trello of everything that needs to be done. There were 282 things on that list. From half-arsed social media accounts and domain names to half-done websites and unread books.
I am really enthusiastic about starting things, but I am sh*t at finishing them.
So I’ve decided I’m going to crush the backlog. I’m going to annihilate it.
Which is great, but it also terrifies me. Because every time I finish something, or delete something, or throw away something on that list I get closer to having ZERO excuses not be focusing on my writing every single damn day.
Right now I have got the count down to 106 items.
106 excuses not to write.
I’ve blown 176 of them out of the water. Deleted crap I don’t need, finished half-read books, deleted or gotten rid of books I am not going to read.
I want to be able to focus on my goals every day. And my goals are really simple, when it comes down to it.
I want my kids to be happy, I want to be super healthy, and I want to write for a living.
So Now What?
Nothing has really changed. I don’t have a book deal, I don’t even have a finished book (first draft is done, I am working through edits which is painful). I haven’t made any huge decisions other than to reaffirm to myself that what matters to me really is writing.
It really is the thing I love the most.
So I’m going to continue to crush the backlog. And now I’ve written this I’m feeling brave enough to go and delete some more commitments I don’t need.
This is going to be my outlet, my base, my adventure.
It’s far from perfect, and I’m not even sure what this blog is yet, but that will change as I grow into it.
So before I read this and decide it’s too embarrassing to post, I’m just going to publish it and get on with clearing out the old in other areas of life.
This post won’t help you write your book. It doesn’t have any deliberately repeated keywords to increase my traffic. It isn’t monetised.
It breaks all the blogging rules. But it’s what I wanted to write today.