Making Sense of Our Creative Freedom: The Genius of Blogging
“Don't wait. The time will never be just right.” Napoleon Hill
Recently, I was reading some blog posts on Seth Godin’s site that got me thinking not only about the genius of finding original solutions for everyday problems but also about the bravery it takes to make the leap into the creative process and pursue your dreams.
Seth is one of my favorite authors and his most recent book is Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? What makes Linchpin an important book is that it addresses a trend that we must embrace; to rise above mediocrity, do the necessary emotional work, and carve a path that distinguishes us from the dispensable masses or pay the price of becoming just another cog in the workplace wheel.
Seth’s book tackles the lizard brain that constantly interferes with our inner desire to change. It is that petulant, whiny voice in our heads that dismisses everything and prefers to settle for less. We must push past the lizard and take the leap to find our creative genius even in the face of fear. Is there something that you are passionate about but scared to do? This is a call to action to trust your instincts and take the leap.
Unless we do work that matters; work that uplifts, redirects, reinvents, creates change in our world, we are simply biding our time and that is not a comforting thought. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? encourages us to meet the artist within and make her shine. It is definitely a book everyone should buy and read. But let’s get back to the blog posts that got me thinking and writing…
First of all, what got me thinking was Seth’s piece on how genius is misunderstood and comes from many failed attempts at “using human insight and initiative to find original solutions that matter.” The writing process demands the same level of persistence and what we eventually read as great writing often comes from many days/months/years of rewrites and painstaking edits.
The genius of blogging comes from staying committed to writing regularly in a public arena, often without supervision or compensation, developing your craft and a body of work you can call your own. You can look back at your public journaling vis a vis your blog posts later in life knowing you did contribute to the conversation. It is not a simple path but when you join blogging communities like SITSGirls, MomBloggers, Darren Rowse's Problogger, Brian Clark's Copyblogger and a host of others, you will build support to help you grow, blog post by blog post.
When I started blogging in late 2008, I took baby steps and posted only a few thoughts on my WordPress blog Mirth and Motivation. I was quite self conscious of my effort because I grew up reading great authors and great writing and had reservations about my skills. But what I needed to remember is that writing is a labor of persistent love; it comes with peaks and valleys, lots of re-writes, and the key is to start.
I did start and have no regrets. I took Darren's 31 Days to Building a Better Blog challenge for my WordPress blog and I grew in leaps and bounds. I am doing the same challenge now for this blog via SITSGirls and hence the update. I encourage you to do same dear reader for the genius of writing that first blog post and the next is that it opens the door to other creative outlets and helps you let go of the limited expectations you placed on yourself. Write your blog, share it and trust that the universe will let the rest follow.
This brings me to the second post I was reading on Seth’s site that got me thinking about the genius of creating work that entertains and adds value even if it is free or, in the case of Apple, a few products that fit on a table but bring in huge rewards. Seth offered two quotes for a snowy day (we are recovering from a snowstorm here on the east coast); one from Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post and the other from Tim Cook of Apple.
Arianna: "Self expression is the new entertainment; we never used to question why people sit on the couch for seven hours a day watching bad TV. Nobody ever asked, 'Why are they doing that for free?' We need to celebrate [this desire to contribute for free] rather than question it." Tim Cook: “This is the most focused company I know of, am aware of, or have any knowledge of... We say no to good ideas every day … And we had revenue last year of $40 billion.”
Whether we give our ideas freely or say no to some good ideas, what matters is that we continue to contribute to the conversation again and again with focus – that is where genius resides. Don't be afraid to follow your own beaten path. Your fans will find you!
The point is that we must pursue our goal of creative freedom vigorously. It demands commitment, vigilance and a willingness to share it freely if necessary. Our lizard brain might say “I need this and I need that,” but the perfect time to start is now. Start your blog today and write; for the more you create, the more you will learn, and the more you will bloom. Now go meet your creative muse...
What is standing in the way of your dream? Why are you so fearful? Start adding to a blog and watch your words blossom. What are your thoughts on this subject? Thanks for the feedback!
Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©