How To Do The Thing
I seriously hate doing the thing.
In this particular narrative, the blog is the thing.
I’ve spent hours rigorously scrolling through all manner of career advice from every young, bubbly, entrepreneurial, Pinterest-perfect goddess I could find. I’ve filled up half my notebooks with hand-lettered logos and ideas for DIY crafts I’ll make one day never. Anxiously stressing over the fact that my Instagram feed isn’t 90% white space and 10% colorful baked goods and perfectly styled wardrobes.
Blogging seemed like this huge clique for all the popular, crafty ladies who had something profound to say about their work and their lives every single day.
I’ve even attempted to imitate them by starting blog after blog… thinking maybe I could somehow adopt their pastel habits and fashion as my own.
Obviously that didn’t happen. Failed blog attempt. Ice cream. Cry. Rinse. Repeat.
Then, after an interesting chain of events in November of 2015, I woke up, revisited this abandoned hobby and wondered why the heck I so earnestly wanted to represent a lifestyle I neither live nor am interested in living.
My attitude started to change. And so did my approach towards blogging. It stopped being a competition and it became an outlet.
Tentatively, and happily, I made an agreement with my inner critic and my muse to play nice so that I could spend my commute, my evenings and my weekends exploring the nuances of the ever-growing list of things I’ve always wanted to do.
As for how I finally got to this point, I can boil that down to three frustratingly simple ideas that helped the process along:
1. IT WILL BE BEAUTIFULLY IMPERFECT.
“Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly." - Robert H. Schuller
In other words, “If it makes you uncomfortable, you’re on the right track.” As a loud and proud perfectionist, this was (and is) a huge hurdle for me. In a digital world of color corrected selfies and flawless skin, this acne-prone author has more than a few insecurities when it comes to “putting your stuff out there.”
Sure, there’s value in thinking and musing and planning, etc. But there comes a point when it just needs to get done. And, ironically, if you keep doing it… it inevitably will get better. So everybody wins.
2. GO WITH YOUR FLOW.
Historically, I will get so enmeshed and obsessed with a new skill or project that it’s all I can think about… and then, after a few days, I’ll inevitably lose interest and quickly move onto the next big thing. Or, for a period of time, onto nothing at all.
I used to think this was a horrible character flaw that needed to be removed my natural wiring. I was told that this happened because I was impatient or lacking in discipline or unfocused, etc.
But I realized that I actually never experienced total burnout. My metaphorical creative flame was just being lit elsewhere. Or in multiple places at once. Until the original flame was just smoldering quietly, patiently waiting to be attended to again once I had made the rounds to my newfound campfires.
Everything in nature has a cycle, including the mental welfare of artists and writers and everyone in between.
3. KEEP IT REAL.
“This above all - to thine own self be true.”
I’ve spent so much of my life trying on hats and awkwardly hiding underneath the ill-fitting hats I was so convinced everyone wanted me to wear.
That ends now.
So celebrate your imperfection, follow your campfires, embrace the things that make you special and take them out for coffee.
And no matter what… just freaking do the thing.