Sometimes I wonder why I write so much. And why I feel a compelling need to publish my writing. What’s pulling me to this?
In November, I decided to start publishing on my blog daily. After 40-ish days, I started to doubt whether this really serves any purpose. I’m contemplating quitting, or at least shifting my approach.
This is not my first trip down the road of creating a new daily “habit” (publishing, like the others, is not a “habit,” but I’ll leave that alone for now). I also teach others how to do this. So, I know a few things about the sticky parts of the process.
I am well aware that this is the stage where fatigue sets in and doubts creep up. Before I quit the daily practice, I’m revisiting my purpose, my outcomes, and how this is serving me (or not).
What Really Drives Change
Yesterday, I shared a list of reasons why I started this daily publishing practice.
Lists are nice. They help us feel like everything is in order.
But lists mask the truth. When I make lists of things to do, the really important stuff typically doesn’t make the list. What makes the list are the things I think I should do. I don’t forget the really critically important stuff. I forget the stuff that has the illusion of importance.
Nobody changes their behavior — at least not for long — because they made a “list of reasons” why they want to do it (or should do it), or came up with a “list of ways” how to do it. That’s just pure bullshit.
Here’s how we catalyze change: pain.
We reach a threshold where something becomes so painful and we decide, in that moment, that something needs to change. That we need to change that thing. And then we do it. It’s not rational, it’s emotional.
Change comes from an unwillingness to tolerate what you’re tolerating for another minute. It comes out of a rant, not a list.
Why I Write
Writing is just something I do. I need to write. Writing helps me think and process.
I feel called to write about my experiences, what I feel and what I learn.
Writing helps me turns information into knowledge. Embodied knowledge.
It’s easy to share “information writing,” or “content.” Top 10 lists and how-to guides that feel generic because they are stripped of personality. How many more blog posts about the top 10 books to make you a better human do you really need to read?
I feel called to share my experience because I believe that we all experience the same things on the deep emotional levels. And, because most people don’t want to talk about emotions, most of us feel alone in our experience.
I want to help you not feel so alone. It’s part of my calling to speak the truths that you feel but can’t yet express, and to expose what is beneath the surface.
My desire is to help you create transformation in your life so you can live a life of fulfillment and deep meaning. And I desire to foster connections — to connect with you, to help you connect with yourself, and to help us all connect more meaningfully with each other. I want to cultivate community.
It’s hard to do that when you’re remaining silent.
Although writing helps me integrate my experiences and wisdom — what I’ve learned about my emotions and my patterns — the only way to catalyze transformation, create connections, and cultivate community is to share these things with others.
I Struggle With Publishing
The writing that displays my best work is the hardest writing to share because it’s personal. It’s not “content” or “information”; it’s ideas, experiences, and emotions.
And publishing that is hard. It feels scary.
Publishing feels like a major commitment.
It’s like a person who tries flying trapeze for the first time. They climb the ladder and then, facing the small step off the platform, their body seizes with fear. Jumping off the platform feels like a big deal—the point of no return.
That’s how I feel about publishing my work. Writing? No big deal. Publishing? Feels like a big leap.
It feels like a huge commitment to hit “publish” or “send” when a piece doesn’t feel finished. Everything feels like it’s not good enough.
And, so, I send most of my writing to the Graveyard of Unfinished Pieces.
My Inner Mean Girl likes to take me on a tour of the graveyard. As she shows me the unfinished work, she says things like:
You can’t even get yourself to do things like finish a piece or publish your writing. How can you help anyone else?
I often believe her. And that keeps me from doing other things that I know will serve my outcomes.
For example, I have a group of people who have said they want to hear more from me (you would likely call that my “list,” but I think of them as people). But I’m at a loss for what to say because while my Inner Mean Girl is telling me that I can’t help anyone else, she is also planting these thoughts in my mind:
Why would they want to hear more from you? What can you offer them if you can’t even get yourself to publish every day?
Like posting on my blog every day is a metric of my ability to help people? When I shine a light of truth on it, it makes no sense.
But when she is talking to me that way I often don’t pause long enough to shine the light of truth on it. I get caught up in listening to her because she sounds logical.
And even as I hate her, and even when I can see that she makes no sense, there is still the part of me deep down that wonders:
What if she’s right?
This is where the cycle starts, and this is where it returns. Every time.
Seeing how much I write, and yet how much I don’t publish, makes me feel defeated because I know that my experiences cannot help anyone if I keep them to myself. And they can’t really help me, either, because without sharing them, I have no witnesses. I can’t keep it all inside. That creates its own pain.
And that’s where it comes from. The urge to write. The need to pour the words on the page. It is not born out of a desire to “create content.” It comes from a deeper place in my soul. A place of knowing that what I’ve been through — what I go through — can serve others. Struggles. Triumphs. Love. Loss. Habits. Rituals. Productivity. All of it — whatever category or label you want to put on it.
I feel the depths of it. And what I feel cannot serve anyone if I keep it inside. I can only serve by sharing.
So when my Inner Mean Girl shows me how ineffective I am, it rings true because I see that I haven’t fully shared. Putting my fingers to keyboard is only part of the process. The other part requires taking the leap off the platform and hitting publish.
Can I Prove My Inner Mean Girl Wrong?
I thought perhaps I could prove her wrong.
If I could get myself to publish daily, my Inner Mean Girl would have less ammunition to use against me.
Also, I imagined that I would start to see what resonated with people — and who those people are. Who you are (because if you’re reading this, you’re likely in that group). I’d get more clarity on what you need to hear from me. What will serve you.
Stories & Beliefs
There are other pieces of this experiment that are motivated by stories I’m telling myself, or beliefs I hold, about what I “need” to have in place to meet my outcomes.
Stories and beliefs about the type of website I need, how much “content” I must “produce” to be considered a “thought leader,” what is required to “get noticed” in my work, and other beliefs that I’m probably not even fully aware that I hold.
Even as I give into some of these beliefs, I am aware that some of them are based on stories that are absolutely not true, because my own experience has proven otherwise. In the 10 years that I’ve been in business for myself, as a real estate agent and as a coach, I have not had a single client come to me because of a blog post. Not one.
Maybe that will change. The only way to know is to test it.
Alchemizing My Fear to “NBD”
I realized I need to make “publish” and “send” less of a “big commitment.” In almost 15 years of training in flying trapeze, I’ve jumped off the platform thousands of times. For me, it’s No Big Deal. I need to put publishing my work in that category.
I believe that the more I practice publishing my work, the easier it will be for me to hit “send” or “publish” on letters to my growing community. Or on bigger projects, like a sales page.
I just need more reps.
“More” Isn’t a Metric
But “more” isn’t a Metric because “more” still leaves me an out if something doesn’t feel ready. And it never feels ready.
I Need a Leak-Proof Structure
I need to force myself into a structure that requires me to deliver. The structure of requiring myself to publish daily would help me go with “good enough.”
That’s part of the goal: published over perfect.
That was the theory.
The Open Question
The question is whether this is working. Is this the best format for me to accomplish my outcomes and serve my purpose?
This is day 46 in my daily publishing experiment. Thanks so much for reading. I’d love to hear your response in the comments.