What I thought was my friction, isn’t actually the case. I’m new to blogging for my own brand and I thought my apparent slow start was because of a lack of making time to write for myself. But I’m not new to writing. In fact I write a lot. I’ve been “regularly updating informal content” (the definition of blogging) in a Moleskine journal every night for at least the last eight years of my life. Writing is not hard for me. Sharing feelings and beliefs, filtering lessons and forming opinions actually come quite naturally to me. But personal judgment is hard for me. I know I'm not alone in this and there are other stringent, personal critics out there. When I think of something I want to write on this blog specifically, a series of rigorous questions similar to this usually follows:
-“Is that relevant to the mission and work of Ladder?”
-“Will people want to read that?”
-“Is it growing your readership?”
-“Is this thought leadership or just your opinion?”
-“Are you writing on this topic because you actually want to or because it’s enjoying a popular cultural moment and you want to be relevant?”
It turns out my friction is the stage and the critic, both of which I created.
I’ve false started on many blogs now, honestly not because I didn’t have time to finish them, but because I decided they weren’t good enough or because it was content I was forcing myself to write versus content I couldn’t keep from writing. But I told myself, “You aren’t giving yourself enough time to write” and “this must be writer’s block”. I think it was writer’s block, and I was playing both roles, the writer and the block.
And so I’m writing this now to confess the feelings I’ve had so that if you have them too, you can know you’re not alone and also to remove the block, relieving myself of my own future criticism. After all, one of Ladder’s brand values is Grounded, meaning that the best work comes from the heart and that couldn’t be more true for the content shared here.
This applies to blogging for me, but it might be something entirely different for you…business development, public speaking engagements, improving a skill or adding a new service. If your problem is making the time, then prioritize the assets that are important to you and give them time to be successful. If your problem is that you are your biggest critic, please be gentler with yourself, someone needs to hear, read or experience what you have to share.