Recently I posted a vlog where I briefly mentioned how happy I was that my office was finally coming together. Flying high off the newly purchased coffee table to accompany my small loveseat, I could only imagine the fanciful notions I’d conjure while lounging on it. I had a new organizer and notebook to schedule out my blog posts and write ideas down in. A new set of fresh ballpoint pens sat inside the decorative pen holder, that was also new.
All the things that I felt I needed to write were finally in place, except for the small sheepskin rug that was on back order. . . Bummer.
The Driving Force
It would seem that on the surface, I was ready. Surely, armed with my new pens and coffee table, I’d be inspired to write the most captivating blog posts of my freelance career. Hell, I might even finish my novel this year. With the muse of my perfectly-cute blue loveseat I was unstoppable, right?
Wrong. As I glance up at my most recent purchase, a bookshelf from Target that’s lately held more used coffee mugs than actual books, I am brazenly reminded that no amount of cute office supplies will ever encourage great writing or ideas.
The year has merely just begun and I’ve spent more money on my office supplies than I’ve made off of my blog. Big Mistake!
Making Up For Lost Blogs
So here I sit, actually writing the first blog of the year. It’s only taken three weeks and about $600, but I’m finally doing it! Let this be a lesson to the children; if you can’t come up with a good idea with a composition notebook from the dollar store, you probably won’t be able to in a designer folio.
Mistakes Were Made
In the last couple of weeks, while I should have been writing, I’ve done some pretty extensive research on how to run a high performing blog. I started out by giving my website a mini makeover. I love the new clean look it has. It just seems more accessible than before.
I also took notice of what my favorite websites had writing blogs had to offer. What exactly hooked me to come back in the first place? What was the root of their fan base?
Because We Love A List
Here is a list I’ve compiled during my last few weeks of procrastination of websites that have given me some real insight into the blogging world.
I probably ask myself this question every day, and miraculously, every day I come up with a new reason for my continuous stall. I tell myself things like, “You have a stupid job that you need in order to survive.” That becomes the excuse usually when I’m at the stupid job. Once I get home from work, “You just did a full eight hours of work, you’ve been up since 5:30 am and you have to start making dinner soon, so you should definitely take a 20-minute cat-nap instead of actually working towards your life goals for an hour or so.”
The excuses and procrastination continues into my days off, “You’ve had a long grueling week at work, all I want to do is enjoy my family and relax a bit before I have to go back to that soul draining place.”
It just seems to go on and on until I’m so fed up with myself, that I actually write something. Often I’ve thought, “Maybe this is just my process.” I want you to know that this is not any kind of process. . . Well, maybe the process of someone who takes their entire life to write their first book, lies to themselves all the time and then comes to the realization that once they die it won’t be the book that gets published, but their personal diary has potential.
I understand that not holding yourself accountable is not a ‘process.’ Making excuses until you feel so bad about yourself is only harmful to your piece of mind. I know great art and literature has come out of the direst situations, pain, and anguish. But I doubt the greatest writers of our time became successful by hating themselves.
I’m by no means a successful writer, but I do know a few successful people, and they didn’t build their businesses from the ground up and achieve their dreams by continuously beating themselves.
Those people all held themselves accountable for creating their own opportunities. One of the biggest misconceptions I had once I started freelance writing was believing that someone out there was going to give me my big break. That someone had to notice me and completely understand my voice, and what I had to say. I just had to find that right person who would give me my opportunity.
Since then I have talked to and lived with, many a freelancer that have all proven that way of thinking wrong. These people have taught me an invaluable lesson; You don’t wait for an opportunity to knock on your door. You create your own destiny and you own opportunity.
Have there been people who were plucked out of obscurity? Yes. Is that a common occurrence? No. So you’re going to have to work towards your own dreams because everyone else is busy trying to get their own shit together to bother with you right now.