3 min read

10th time's a charm

I'm proud of myself. (There's no pretty hook, nor catchy story. I'm immensely proud of what I've accomplished. And I'm writing today to celebrate myself.)

Let's start at the beginning: Two weeks ago I set a goal for myself. "Publish 10 essays on the blog within 14 days." No constraints on the topics or word count. Just "freerange" writing with one rule: Write and publish on the very same day.

This is my 10th essay – and I'm breaking the fourth wall to share how this experience went for me.

I've wanted to express my thoughts for a very long time. Instagram in 2021, Twitter in 2022 (remember, I even went viral there?), Instagram again in 2023 – and I'm not even mentioning a couple of breaks in between. Yet, nothing stuck. So here I am again, wondering how to get back into content creation – for myself personally and commercially.

One might assume that I'm not cut out for it but I refuse to believe that. What if I just haven't found that right mix for myself?

One might assume that I hold some deep-rooted fears about this whole thing. I admit, I do but I refuse to believe it should hold me back. What if I just haven't found the activity that inspires me to go further, to remain persistent in the face of fears?

(In hindsight, every experience with creating content has taught me something invaluable – I never start from scratch. It's like a map in a video game that expands with every step, and you can see the path ahead with much more clarity. I know my strengths and I'm playful with ideas and thoughts; now go.)

This time around, I made a decision not to make grand entrances. No "I'm back" content, no mega content plan to tackle the month ahead.

There was a twist that my husband suggested: "What if you turn it into a game, with phases to complete?" My brain immediately went into "curious explorer" mode.

Phase 1 usually implies something incredibly basic. The goal for players is to get to know the game and have some quick wins. The player doesn't have access to all the tools, the gameplay is incredibly limited.

"What if I focus on the single unit of my content, something that taps into my strength of storytelling yet I can improve, something with the shortest writing-to-publishing loop?" The idea of writing essays and publishing on this blog was born.

Now, how did it go? (This is my assumption on what helped me.)

Day in day out, my creative routine was narrowed down to three actions: 1) Tease out a thought, 2) think in writing, 3) take it to a blog. The less steps I have, the less space I have to get scared.

There was no timeblock attached (but I figured that mornings felt the best for me), no mandatory checkbox to tick. "To write or not to write" was a decision: I felt comfortable saying "no" and at the same time I'd say "yes" in a heartbeat and jump to my laptop if a random observation made me feel curious to explore it.

I leaned in heavily on what was on my mind. My voice lends emotions that resonate with others – and at the end of the day, this is what I'm after. For people to feel seen and inspired to act.

Right now, I think that I'm onto something. For these two weeks it worked, and I'm incredibly proud of myself for playing into it. This little game quest has grown into a practice that I look forward to.

I'm proud of myself for starting to centre my writing around what I want to explore. Not "what do people expect from me" but "what do I want to say." (Yes, because being selfish reveals your voice.)

It's become an act of tapping into my emotions and thoughts, of letting myself express what weighs on me and what lifts me up.

I go where my mind wanders – and turn it into a tiny little story.