I’m doing an experiment where I’m asking my friends to tell me what skills of mine they admire so I can either tell them how I do it, or do it and give it to them. This is because, as a part of our recent troubles, I have been trying (with varying degrees of success) to convince as many strangers as possible to find value in me and I’m starting to have trouble articulating what that is after so many interactions that are the conversational equivalent of being picked up and put down at a garage sale.
Matthew wanted to know how to blog regularly.
This is another one I feel a little silly writing about since I stopped blogging five days a week back in December, but I had previously kept that schedule since February 2012 with very few missed days. So I lasted almost five years blogging 5 days a week with no breaks. That’s pretty cool.
The most important factor in my obsessive love of blogging was a lack of creative direction at work. As soon as I started working for myself blogging became a chore, but I kept it going for two more years because I’d already changed so much about my life that I used blogging to give myself a sense of place, but I had less clicks, less traction, and more bullshit stories. Also I complained about starting a company a lot.
When I started blogging, I felt stagnant, I wanted to make my own creative decisions and I wasn’t able to in my day to day life. I also missed writing. I was a literature major in college, I started my career as a copywriter, but at that point, writing was the smallest part of my job. So in order to feed that echoing emptiness, I started to blog.
Like working, writing for has been a huge part of my identity for as long as I can remember. For whatever reason, if I don’t write enough in my day to day life, I feel obsessively compelled to do it in any way possible. Before there was blogging, I journaled almost daily. In college I was always working on a paper, then copywriting. Writing is how I deal with stress when I can’t work.
One of the major issues since I started the company is that I write SO MUCH now. In the beginning, I blogged for my company , I blogged for my clients. Now Kate blogs for me, but I still write all the proposals, processes, and analysis. I also write for my part time job constantly. When I’m done with that writing, it’s really difficult for me to think of what to write about on my own time, although sometimes I still feel inspired.
The older I get, the more I value my ability to get my meaning across via writing. I don’t know if my social anxiety has gotten worse, or if it took 30+ years to notice exactly how awkward I really am in person, but my face to face interactions tend to leave me with a lot of stress about my inability to communicate well. I think I freak people out. I mean, I probably freak people out on the blog as well, it’s not like I’m a different person in writing or anything, but on the blog the person has the option to go away. When I’m right there in front of them saying this kind of shit, most people will also find a reason to go away, but it’s slightly more obvious for me.
Working and writing are the things in my life that belong to me the most. Which is maybe why I feel so gutted by my recent business struggles. It’s literally not business, it’s personal. Here I have invested in the two spheres of myself that have always been safe for me, and it didn’t work. I mean, yeah it worked for three years, but it isn’t working now. My happy place has become distinctly unhappy.
Recently, I’ve been trying to answer the question of who am I without outside validation. Like the validation I got from work and writing all these years. So far, the answer is profoundly sad.