Write like nobody’s watching

Photo by Peter Kleinau

It’s been less than two weeks since I stopped blogging daily. Prior to then, I’d been hitting ‘publish’ daily for almost three years.

I have to say, this whole not-blogging thing has been a bizarre experience. For a few days, I was in a haze. My family and friends were concerned.

What?! You stopped daily blogging?! Are you okay? Can we help?

And they were serious.

I miss posting daily. I really do. And I may be back to it at some point.

But I’m also enjoying this season of kicking back with my journal and being mindful about where I take this writing life of mine in the new year. I want to be intentional about it. And I’m glad I pumped the brakes a bit.

Which takes me to you…

Are you shipping, shipping, shipping these days?

Because yes, there’s value in getting work out to the world on a regular basis. I get it. But what I’ve learned through experience is this…

Too much shipping can easily lead to deadness in creativity.

You have to replenish the well. I mean, think about it…

Bodybuilders have ample gym time between competitions. Actors and musicians have rehearsal between shows. Martial artists have their dojo practice between matches.

Yes, there’s a time to ship. No, there’s nothing wrong with shipping every day. But if all you do is ship, you will get depleted. I promise.

When our work is always public, our ideas are constantly censored. Every word comes out under the scrutiny of the internal editor.

Some of us dance better with the internal editor than others. I got pretty good at it. But I’m fortunate.

These last few weeks, having gone back to the private pages of my journal, I’ve already experienced a massive recharge of creative juice. I’m in contact with my muse again.

Yes, this is totally magical thinking — unabashedly so (more on this coming soon). Because it IS magical. When we sit with our inner narrative and shamelessly express the words that live in the depths of our being, we find our truth in the moment. And that sh*t is powerful.

This is where strong writing comes from: a deep connection with self.

No ‘marketing hacks’ ebook or ‘growth blueprint’ can teach you that.

Take some time away from shipping. 

Write for you, uncensored.

Give yourself to proverbially scream into your pillow through your journal. 
Write badly. Horribly. Boldly.

Create in a place of raw, untethered humanity before one of forced perfection.

No, you can’t fake this. You can’t go into a journaling session with the idea that you’re going to turn your private work into public work. It has to genuinely be for you, only.

This passage from one of my favorite humans in history has long been a favorite of mine and is my guiding light now (too bad I abandoned it when I started blogging daily)…

We must reserve a back shop all of our own, entirely free, in which to establish our real liberty and our principal retreat and solitude. Here our ordinary conversation must be between us and ourselves, and so private that no outside association or communication can find a place...

Michel De Montaigne

Have you reserved your ‘back shop’ yet?

Write like nobody’s watching. 
Even if you’re not shipping, I promise you, it’ll be worth it.