So, I could be a smartass and say, “you have but to check the archives, scan the headlines, read a few posts, and come to your own conclusions.”
But when this question was posed to me today, I thought it might be worth addressing in a blog post.
After all, if you’re going to publish daily, as I’ve been (since July 28, 2020), you’d better have something to talk about. Ideas aren’t that hard to generate, but blog posts don’t come out of thin air, as it turns out. They take time and effort to produce. And I have friends who say writing is one of the most grueling things you could take on.
I’ve Been at This a While
Now, it should be noted at the outset that creating content isn’t anything new for me. I’ve been blogging since about 2007 and creating content for the web since 1997.
I first started blogging in a professional capacity in 2011, and since then I’ve taken on a myriad of freelance writing, ghostwriting, copywriting, and “you name it I’ve probably done it” writing assignments.
But then, last year, I was presented with the challenge of publishing daily for a full year, and I said to myself, “why not?” I was excited about the possibility and was eager to get started.
I’d been doing a bit of publishing on Medium prior to beginning this 365-day experiment, but the marketing course I was taking at the time suggested publishing daily on Medium, so I went with that.
I was also instructed to begin by sharing my origin story, so I ended up creating a couple:
It felt a little awkward. I’d written a ton of how-to guides and informational posts to that point, but I’d never written anything that had followed the hero’s journey so closely. It was a great learning experience though.
After spending years writing in a professional capacity, it was an odd feeling – like I was discovering my voice all over again, and in a new way.
Most of the writing I’d done up to that point had the music business as the central focus. I’d made some detours into personal development, sure, but overwhelmingly, I dedicated most of my energy to the music industry.
During that time, I made the deliberate decision to write on something I’d never written on before – life transitions. I also had the sense that it would become a rather critical topic in the coming months and years though
Once I got back from vacation, I started going to school on Medium again, and that’s when I finally settled on a bit of a formula for my publishing efforts. It just so happens that it’s on my about page as well, though I’ve deviated from it at times:
The Central Theme
So, the central theme of my publishing efforts, since about December, has been inspiring creatives and creators.
And I’ve primarily been publishing on the topics of entrepreneurship, self-improvement, productivity, creativity, and inspiration, under the main umbrella theme.
That publishing pattern has basically held for the better part of seven months.
The focus has shifted slightly to documenting my journey, but that has mostly just been an extension of an established workflow.
Ultimately, it has all stemmed from a desire to be a source of inspiration for creatives and creators.
One of my mentors shared with me that my recent publishing activity has resembled sharing knowledge and wisdom as opposed to marketing and peddling infoproducts. Which is probably true.
It’s not that I don’t have things to sell. It’s just that I’ve always put relationship, connection, community, and exchange at the forefront.
But to an extent, I think this has been a journey of reaching and hunting for things, experimenting with different approaches and ideas to see if there might be another way of achieving my overarching goals.
I think the conclusion I’m coming to is that I wasn’t off base prior to beginning this journey. Maybe bored or frustrated with the process at times, but well within the ballpark of what I’m meant to do in this world.
I’ll have more thoughts on this when this experiment comes to a close but suffice it to say it has been a journey of discovery for me, too, and I want to thank you for coming along for the ride.
If you had told me this just four years ago, I’m not sure that I would have believed you.
But I was on a coaching call today, and while my projects have been progressing nicely, I had a lingering sense of sadness that was coming from stories I’d been telling myself.
Stories about time. Stories about being a certain age. Stories about not having accomplished what I’d set out to by this point.
What my coach told me was I was in full control, and I could choose at any time to declare the sadness complete. So, I did exactly that. I said:
“I declare my sadness complete.”
And what happened next surprised even me.
My heart opened wide, and tears began to well up in my eyes.
I’d felt a sense of freedom I hadn’t felt in a while.
I didn’t know I could become complete with anything that easily or quickly. I’d always thought it would take more digging.
And yes, sometimes getting complete with something will take some digging. But not always. Sometimes, it’s real enough for you in the moment that you can clearly see the story you’ve been perpetuating and the impact it’s had. When the impact is real, letting go becomes a must rather than an option.
You can be complete with anything. You don’t need to drag that baggage into every relationship or situation. It can be complete the moment you declare it complete. You don’t need to carry it with you. It’s not a sentence.
It’s Monday, and increasingly, I’m finding it the perfect time to plan for the week, make to-do lists, get organized, and outline content I’ll be completing later in the week.
I used to do this type of work on Sundays, of course. But because of recent changes to my schedule (mainly due to the yearlong leadership and management program I’ve taken on), it’s the only full day I can realistically take off. So, it doesn’t make sense to force the issue anymore, especially if I’m feeling exhausted.
That also means, though, that Mondays need to be especially effective. And I would qualify today as “effective,” given that I didn’t quite get the sleep I needed to be at full energy.
I still haven’t processed as many emails as I’d like, but I got around to a few. I think I should be able to get through more this week.
The theme of the day has been “balance,” and that means not overdoing it. If I pushed myself, I could probably have done more, but that would not be “balance” in any sense of the word. I will be ending the day on a high note (I feel more energetic than when I started the day), so that seems like the perfect space to cause completion in.
Here’s an overview of what I got up to today…
What I Accomplished Today:
I was on five calls and meetings (of various persuasions)
I made my to-do list for the week
I scheduled a few tweets
I went grocery shopping
I started researching what will become my next News Break post
How much time do you spend thinking about the things you’re planning to do instead of going and doing them?
I would venture to guess it’s more than you realize.
The complicated part, generally, isn’t in knowing what to do. It’s the doing that can feel difficult and risky.
If you’ve found yourself shuffling papers on your desk before an important phone call, then you know exactly what I mean.
Chance are the phone call won’t go badly. At the very least, you probably won’t be facing anything you’ve never faced before. But because something’s at stake, you put it off, procrastinate, and sometimes, fail to follow through. Before you know it, you’ve got a laundry list of conversations, tasks, and projects you’ve never followed through on. Things left incomplete.
But if there’s nothing at stake, is it worth doing in the first place?
It could be argued that if nothing’s at stake, you’re playing it too safe. You’re not pursuing anything truly worthwhile.
If you’re dreading a phone call or resisting working on a project, there’s a good chance you’ve spent way too much time thinking and worrying about something you could’ve been in action for days, weeks, months, or years ago.
Where did all that time go?
It went to thinking.
What did thinking accomplish?
Busyness in the mind is just busyness in the mind. It’s not productivity. If there’s nothing happening outwardly, it’s not productive.
It’s one thing to brainstorm, make lists, take notes, or jot down ideas. Quite another to turn over a thought in your mind repeatedly until you’ve worried yourself sick thinking about it.
Intentions may be important to you. But they make no difference to a finished result.
I could lift a cup and put it down with various intentions, and I promise you it will have no impact on the result. I will have lifted the cup and put it back down. I could put it down slowly, quickly, carefully, angrily, cheerfully, or otherwise. If the action were the same, the result would be too.
It’s the same with anything in life.
We make snap judgments about the intentions of another based on what they’ve said and their general demeanor, but the wicked truth is we have no way of knowing someone else’s intentions. Only our own. Intentions basically live in the world of the “mind,” and you have no access to anyone else’s mind but your own.
I point this out because we tend to worry too much about what’s going on in the mind of another. When it has absolutely no bearing on our actions and the results they produce.
Yes, if someone did something to actively hinder and sabotage you, that would make a difference to the result. But that’s no longer in the world of thinking, you see – it’s in the domain of doing. Action.
Don’t worry about trying to be a deep thinker. Be a deep doer instead.
I don’t know any creative who, at some point, hasn’t felt like they’ve fallen into a rut. Unsurprisingly, I have too.
Until I started the yearlong leadership and management program a couple weeks ago, I didn’t fully comprehend or appreciate the extent of the rut I’ve been in for the last year and a half.
Stopping to reflect helped. But it wasn’t enough. I needed to get into community, and not just any community. A community where people were taking on big things in their lives. A community practically dripping with opportunity. And I found that community.
And now my belief level is through the roof. I can imagine the future I’m creating – and have been trying to create – again. I haven’t been able to see it clearly for nearly 10 years.
The wheels are in motion. I’ve started building a team.
But it’s easy to struggle and to fall into a rut where no conversation or communication is occurring. There are things that need to be said that aren’t being said. Partnerships that need to be formed that aren’t being formed. Collaborations that need to occur that aren’t occurring.
And these are easy to put off. It’s much easier to remain in our shells, insisting on our way of doing things, instead of being in community, where things can be messy, and people will be people. But the benefits tend to outweigh the downsides.
It’s been easy to stay locked inside this past year and a half. But if you’re not in community, and you’re feeling stuck, now might be the time to get into conversation again.
With that, here’s what I created for you this week:
David Andrew Wiebe
I publish daily to inspire creatives and creators just like you.
There’s a personal development program I’ve been through three times, and each time I go through it, I learn more about myself and what matters most to me. I’ve also been able to improve my health, grow my business, and challenge myself intellectually.