I was telling my friend the other day how, of late, I wasn’t feeling in the flow while writing blog posts. April had been magical. I was able to connect with something deep inside me and pour out whatever came through. I wasn’t sure why that wasn’t happening anymore.
How I viewed my blog until now
My friend asked me, “Why do you write blog posts in the first place? What do you aim to do with your blog?”.
I thought about it a little. I said, “I wanted my posts to be the place where I pour forth my most positive and optimistic self. I wanted people who read my posts to feel uplifted. I wanted my blog to become that place that they’d always leave feeling playful, hopeful, and optimistic.”
My friend said, “For a moment, take others out of the equation. Your blog and you have a relationship. Imagine that you are sitting down with your blog to have a conversation about that relationship. What would you say to your blog? How would you want your relationship to be?”.
Defining my relationship with my blog
This was an interesting exercise. As soon as I saw the relationship with my blog as this real thing that was alive with energy, what I wanted from my blog changed. I wanted my connection with it to be authentic. I wanted it to be deeply personal. What other people thought about it suddenly mattered very little. In fact, I wanted to define and enforce healthy boundaries so that I could filter out unhelpful external influences and make the relationship intimate and deeply meaningful to me.
Once I visualised the relationship this way, it was as if the veil came off. I no longer needed to share only the positive aspects of what was going on with me. That was like trying to show my blog only the ‘nice’ me which makes for a rather stunted relationship. I now wanted to share all aspects of me including warts and scars. That was the only way I could deepen this relationship and make it richer.
Scars, hardships, and lessons are valuable too
My friend added, “A lot of times, sharing your trials and tribulations adds value to others. It also sends the message that you are real and human. I personally find it useful when I read articles on the hardships faced by people. It helps me prepare, take heart, and know that I’m not alone”. He was right, of course.
Redefining what blogging means to me
I thought about what I wanted blogging to mean to me. Here’s the list I came up with:
- I wanted to write for myself. I wanted blogging to feel like I was writing in my personal notebook.
- I wanted to feel free when I wrote something here. I didn’t want to put any sort of pressure on how I wanted others to perceive it or the sort of impact I wanted it to have. As soon as I released that need, I felt free.
- I wanted it to be fun, I wanted to enjoy it.
- I wanted to share anything and everything under the sun so long as it came from within my heart.
- This meant that if I wanted to share something purely for the benefit of others and making a difference to them, that was fine too!
Redefining what a ‘blog post’ is
I was getting hung up about how long I needed each post to be. If it weren’t a long post (at least 700 words), I thought I wasn’t delivering enough value. Since I decided that blogging was going to be a deeply personal thing, here’s what I decided about the posts:
- The length was immaterial. It could be 20 words or 20,000. So long as I was conveying all that I wanted to and was packing valuable content, it was all good. Take a look at Seth Godin’s blog and you’ll know what I mean.
- Each post could be a little check-in. A journal entry.
- I could blog about what was going on with me. I could blog about the most mundane stuff. I could blog about earth-shattering revelations. I could blog about anything, without restrictions. That was so freeing.
I had this conversation with my friend on Friday. I’m now in the process of redefining my relationships with a variety of things (such as fiction writing and eating healthy) in a similar fashion. My energy has shifted massively ever since; I’m not sure if you are able to perceive it as well. I want to write blog posts and at the same time don’t feel any sort of pressure to do so. It’s that beautiful sweet-spot where flow occurs.
I feel so close to my blog now. I can say that our relationship is back on track. 🙂