In 2019 one of the first articles that I had ever posted went semi-viral on Medium. It was picked up by a publisher before I even knew that was a thing (I still don’t know how that works) I was BEYOND excited, it was completely unexpected. It got picked up by Prototypr.io, don’t ask me why.
Here it is, in all its glory:
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At the same this, this spontaneous occurence set a precedent in my mind and left me paralized. For almost a year, I didn’t write.
Why didn’t I write anymore?
1. Unattainable goals
After not writing for 6 months I decided that writing really was what I wanted, and what I was (considerably) good at. So I set a goal, an unattainable one.
The goal: Write a piece of content everyday.
The thought process behind this was: Go BIG or go home, right? (spoiler alert: I went home). The article announcing this goal has since been archived, but for the purpose of letting go of what happened here it is (the intial ambition was REAL).
2. After (quickly) realizing it wasn’t attainable
A mental block was created where I thought:
That’s it, it’s done, you’ve failed. No point in creating anymore. There’s so much I could have written about, but thought “show’s over”.
2. High expectations
I had these high expectations for my content and I did not want to know what it felt like to try and not reach them.
So, here was my next brilliant thought:
If I don’t try in the first place there’s no way to measure the degree to which I didn’t achieve my expectations”
What if what I created yesterday was the best I could do? What if I had already peaked? Maybe it’s better if I didn’t find out.
At a certain point, I started conjuring up ideas that never got completed/ posted due to my idea that things I had to outdo myself with everything I decided to write.
I took way too long to post because of researching, tweaking, etc. In doing so, I lost the essence of the content and interest in the topic which meant not posting altogether.
My neocortex was coming up with all of these lovely ideas for pieces while my lizard brain was perceiving the act of posting as a threat to my life’s continuance apparently.
What if I try this and no one likes it? Is it a waste of time? What if I am perceived as dumb? Simple minded? What if I write the wrong thing and I receive backlash?
To this day I still don’t necessarily grasp all the content writing industry, but at the time time I let this ignorance hinder me from creating.
I didn’t have a niche, didn’t know how to gain followers, didn’t know about affiliate marketing, didn’t know about other mediums like medium, didn’t have any experience writing published content, etc.
So I refrained from writing altogether.
What was the point of participating in a game where I didn’t understand the rules?
What’s different now?
Writing stayed on the back of my mind throughout this year of not writing. My brain was literally bursting with ideas anyway, the most I honored it was through tweets and some copy writing projects for businesses.
I was still itching for more and then I read Big Magic — Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert and this changed my perspective on and relationship with creation.
Aside from that, there’s no denying that I am a little bit older (and thus a little bit wiser) so I decided to move away from the past presumptions and decided to….
and no longer gatekeep my creativity for the thought of a lack of better ideas for tomorrow day. I realized that by…..
Releasing myself from….
my mental blocks I made room for other ideas to come surging in. Then I decided to….
Go with the flow….
by honoring my creativity and the constraints of this creative outlet. I also…
Find pleasure in simple creation.
Not worrying about monetization, niches, reactions, the industry, etc.
It’s just not that deep.
Go out and live your life, post what you want, make mistakes. Soon we’ll all be dead and no one will remember a single thing we did. (The internet is forever, though!)
All we have is now.
I have since, set attainable goals (4 posts a month) , and have since found the courage to share my writing with more people. It’s been exciting, and I’m enjoying the ride. The simple act of posting content feels like I’ve come full-circle with myself, and I can’t wait to do another 360.
Hopes for the future
I do hope to learn more about the industry, publishing, niches, virality, monetization, etc. But I am confident that all of this will come with time as long as I follow the daily nudges I get to create, read, research, etc.
Have you dealt with any fear blocks?
Are you currently blocked (in a creative sense)?
Does this sound familiar?