Hang on, It's Gonna Be a Bumpy Ride
I talk advice on writing, creative growth, and share my two cents on creating on the internet.
How the heck are you?
Earlier this week a friend reached out to me and asked how they should go about starting their writing journey and sharing it publicly on the internet.
I was pretty uncomfortable giving a response because I don’t feel like I have any accolades worthy of giving an opinion on this…at least not yet.
But it got me thinking about my progress and my growth as a writer, a creative, and an overall citizen of the internet over just this past year.
I’ve talked about how I always found writing mystifying and impressive. It was something that big name bloggers and masters of the craft did and no one else. Then I found a few smaller writers on the internet who inspired me and encouraged me to just give it a try.
So I gave it a try, almost out of guilt.
I didn’t know what I wanted out of writing or what I even had that I could contribute to it. I tried to write things that I thought other people wanted to read but had no rightful opinion on the subject myself (regurgitation). I also tried to write about things that I cared about but had no marketable value for anybody else in the world other than myself.
I tried a lot of different things, but nothing seemed to really stick. It felt frustrating and it felt like I wasn’t really producing anything of long term value.
It wasn’t until I allowed myself to write about whatever the hell I had a decent thought on and stopped caring about the long term marketing strategy of what I was creating that I was able to figure out the topics that I felt good about sharing.
In February, I force myself to write a blog post everyday for a month and publish it to my website. I’m not sure how many people read them or even saw them, but it gave me a deadline to come up with a finished piece of writing on a daily basis.
This forced me to write about whatever I had to say. I couldn’t be picky about the subject, the tone, or how it was going to affect my overall image of what kind of writer I wanted to be. I just had to strip down the concept and write.
About two weeks into this, I realized the subjects I was writing about all fell under a similar category. I was writing about art, creativity, and development.
I didn’t intend this, it just happened. I let my thoughts shape the kind of writer I was - not my intentions - and you know what? It felt right.
I say all this not to offer advice on how to become a writer. You can take it as that if you want, but what I want to communicate is this:
When my friend asked me for advice, I felt like I had nothing to offer because I haven’t found too much outward success as a writer.
But in reality, my time spent writing has been short, and in that short time (a little less than a year), I’ve grown significantly.
It may have felt bumpy and it may not feel significant, but it’s been a stride in the right direction. I’m reminded of this visual I made back in January:
My exploration, failure, and internal growth hasn’t lead me to marketable success, but it has shown me fresh paths to pursue. When I started writing, the idea of writing about creativity and personal growth hadn’t even occurred to me. I had experience with art and illustration but I wasn’t using those skills at all then. These new paths I’ve stumbled upon have brought these things back to my attention and now I’m using them in my pursuit of creative excellence. It’s still the same goal and ambition - creative excellence - the journey just looks a little different than I thought.
To keep you all updated on that journey, here are a few of my pieces from the last week.
As you can tell, I’ve been sticking to the whole National Park theme but I’m starting to explore illustrating other locations: cities, landmarks, parks, homes, really anything that holds significance. If there’s something you want illustrated, I’m always open for a challenge and would love to talk to you about it.
I also published a collaboration piece this week with my friends Jamie & Paul about “Why We Create.”
I think the piece does wonders in exploring the reasons why I’m so thankful to have discovered the hobby and pursuit that I’ve found in creating things and sharing them on the internet.
Read it here
Thank you so much for reading; it truly means the world to me.
I hope you have a wonderful week.