Happy first birthday to my blossoming little blog!
If you have ever spent a moment on this website, I thank you from the depths of my spirit. Here are eleven lessons that I have learned through my writing adventure this past year. I hope they resonate with your own lives and lessons and growth and discoveries of the past year too – as Ram Dass says, “We’re all just walking each other home.”:
1. I care more about creativity and self-expression than I initially knew. As I shuffle back through my posts, almost all of them are about creativity and releasing blocks to expressing Who We Are. This wasn’t planned – one year ago, I had no idea why I was starting a blog other than to follow a nudge of divine guidance that I had ignored years before. (…and to fill a void after I had to walk away from a farmers market I co-created.) But by writing what was tugging at my heart, I have unraveled what is at the core of my heart.
2. Diving right in is the best way to learn.
3. I thought I couldn’t write about creativity & the writing process because I’m not Qualified. No published books, no letters after my name, no legions of Little Monsters. I stopped waiting for the world’s permission to write about these things and gave myself permission instead.
4. I don’t think of myself as a blogger. I don’t comment on the blogs of strangers soliciting their love and clicks, and I can barely understand how to use wordpress. I am a writer. This blog is my means of communicating – my smoke signals to the world with a 21st century kick.
5. Trying to define ourselves as artists and human beings sucks time and passion out of actually making art and being Who We Are. Fears of “doing it wrong” arise when we realize that we don’t fit neatly within a cookie-cutter category.
When I started to let go of defining what Kind of writer I am, a spaciousness opened up. My self doubt cracked apart, a teensy bit of light filtered in, and I reveled in the juiciness of putting a pen to paper and letting words flow through my hands.
6. I spend hours writing each entry on this blog. Sometimes tears are involved, always accompanied by a soft tremor of anxiety over whether anyone will like my writing, and finally a deep breath of excitement as I send my musings off into the world.
And sometimes, after all of this, after the twinkling in my toes the day I publish a post, after I go to work and wonder ravenously if anyone has commented on it, I check my stat tracker at the end of the day to see that “only” 20 people read my post.
Lesson learned: If you tie your success to the quantity of people who pay attention to you, it will never be enough. There is no magic number that will ever satisfy you.
Every person who clicks on a post has zillions of pulsating cells in their pointer finger that could have been doing many other things at that moment. The five minutes that someone spends reading what I have to say are sacred, yet in a miracle of time and space and love and little letters on a screen, every time I write on here at least one person makes a conscious decision to read my words.
A year ago, I was writing in journals that never saw the light of day. After taking the leap and making my writing public, so far one piece has been used in a middle school creative writing class and several people I adore have revealed that my writing has helped them in one way or another. This is the true reward – statistics be damned.
7. A word to anyone who advertises anything online:
Every person who “likes” your page, visits your website, follows you on twitter, or buys your product is a living breathing human who has experienced ecstasy and loss, heartache and joy, grief and malaise and confusion. They are not just a Like. They are each infinitely holy, so you must never complain that you don’t have enough of them.
8. Sometimes I am braver on the page than in the movements of my waking life. Sometimes Life is so big and splashy that I can’t bear the thought of trying to distill it into cramped little words.
9. When I say “I” too many times in a blog post, I worry that everyone will think I’m a narcissist. When I made a facebook page for myself and asked everyone I know to “like” me, this feeling was suffocating. This Lesson is still in progress.
10. I have a few ideas glowing in my mind, but at this point I don’t know what this website will become. Wherever the path may lead, it is an honor and gift to be able to share these short passion-soaked sermons to the people I love.
11. If something ignites your heart, work it into your daily life and stop coming up with reasons why you don’t have the time. Start things now. Make art on your train ride home. Share your writing now, even if it is imperfect. Do not wait for the world to give you permission and ample amounts of time – decide that you are a rock star and begin doing what you are called to do.
… And then start a blog, and then tell me about it so I can soak in your wisdom and creativity 🙂
Love & Gratitude & A Fun Year to Come,