I started this blog a few months ago. I planned to write something every week. I knew that would be difficult, but I figured it would be a good discipline.
All of the advice I’ve read on writing successful blogs have consistently said to be sure to write consistently on the blog. If I decide to post one article per week, then I need to make sure that I am actually posting one article per week. It’s the consistency that matters. I think this is true.
However, there is another side to this story. What if I just don’t have anything to say? What if the well of interesting thoughts has run dry at the moment? What then?
One strain of wisdom says to produce something anyways. It doesn’t matter if it is top quality, as long as the content is there. Just write something for the sake of delivering on time.
I understand this sentiment. I think it has merit. I, for one, could surely benefit from producing a significant amount of work regardless of its quality. The perfectionistic part of myself wants me only to work when I am confident I can create excellent material. That is merely the reality of things. So it is better to churn out as much content as possible, with the hopes that a small bit of it is quality, then to produce nothing at all.
I actually have recently started the practice of writing for an hour or so every morning before beginning any usual work. It doesn’t matter what I write, only that I write something.
Of course, there is another strain of wisdom, perhaps a little less listened to. It says that when you have nothing to say, say nothing. When you need to produce or create but the tank of ideas is empty, the best way to refill is to walk away. To do nothing. Not barreling forward to produce content anyways, hoping that something good will eventually happen.
Instead, this is the wisdom of rest, of perspective. The question I often need to ask myself is why am I doing what I’m doing? Why do I feel the need to write, create, produce, perform? Is it because I have something to offer, or because I want to have something to offer so that I’ll get a pat on the back? Do I feel the compulsive need to produce at all times so that I can gain the approval of others?
Maybe the best thing to do at that particular point is just to walk away. Even when all of the blogging and marketing experts tell me to produce at all times consistently, a more profound wisdom says no. I’m not hurting anyone if I don’t create something on a consistent basis; I’m not that important. And I don’t have to kill myself to try to do so, I’m more important than that.
It’s when I can find the courage to walk away for a time, recognizing my limits, that I can recharge and again identify my strengths.
So I haven’t written anything for some weeks, because I didn’t have anything to say. And what is more, I felt the anxiety welling up within me that said if I didn’t write, create, produce, perform on time that somehow was a judgment on my character. So I decided that because of that feeling the best decision would be to produce nothing and merely allow the tension of the moment teach me.
And I think it has.
Now, again, at this point, the blogging experts would have me think that the right thing to do would be to share how I have gone on a flurry of creativity and I now want to share the 11 things I’ve learned from doing nothing for a month. But that isn’t real life.
But I have learned some things. Over these past few weeks of not writing on the blog, I have become interested again. I have a new sense of freedom and direction. A feeling that, since I’m not all that important to the wide world of internet readers, I have the license to do whatever I feel like doing. I’m not bound to anyone but my self. That’s kinda cool.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to the last few weeks. How about you?