Today is the 300th blog post of my daily blogging challenge.
300 days, 300th post.
Here’s are the big takeaways I’ve learned so far:
1. There is no such thing as writer's block.
Some people wait to be inspired before writing or doing their type of art. They wait for the time to be right. They wait for more stability, energy, lighting, environment, or _______ (insert the thing you want but can’t seem to get here).
An artistic block is waiting for inspiration to come to you. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn’t.
An artist who never gets blocked and seems to always put out original work doesn’t wait for inspiration to come to them, they seek inspiration everywhere, all the time.
If your output is blocked, your inputs might be the cause:
Are you reading inspiring things?
Are you doing things out of the ordinary, stepping out of your comfort zone?
Are you testing new things, talking to new people, absorbing inspiring work?
And are you trying hard enough?
You would be surprised how often I would have zero ideas what to write about, and I would sit down to a blank screen, let my mind wander on what was happening in my life, and pull ideas out of my butt.
The act of making yourself create helps to inspire the expression of your art. Or in other words, you don't have to know what you want to do, you just have to start doing it.
2. You don’t know what you are capable of until you challenge yourself.
Before I started blogging every day, I could barely even squeeze out a blog post a month. My mind was in anguish that I wasn’t writing like I wanted to, wasn’t working on my pursuits like I wanted to. I just couldn’t seem to find the time or the will to create.
So I did it anyway.
When you set a goal to do something every day, the more you do it, the more you want to stick to it. Streaks are powerful. Imagine getting all the way to 299 posts in a row and NOT doing the 300th? I don’t think so.
Would I have believed that I was capable of writing every day before I started this challenge?
I’m not sure. It’s hard to know what you’re made of when you’re not actually doing what you wish you were doing. It’s hard to know what you are capable of until you push yourself to the breaking point.
3. It doesn’t have to be great, it just has to be real.
A blog post can be anything you want, but typically it’s a snapshot of what was going on in the writer's mind at the time. It’s as if you tore out a page from a book had captured a few ideas with a big ‘TO BE CONTINUED’ at the end. Daily challenges are like creating a sculpture from a marble slab. You’re chipping away at ideas, bit by bit, and you have a fuzzy vision of what you are trying to express but not quite sure how it will turn out in the end.
It’s okay if your work isn’t the best thing in the world, as long it’s the best thing you have to give right now, in this moment. My posts are a rollercoaster of hits and misses. But no matter how good or bad each was, they all eventually lead me to a better way of thinking about what I’m trying to say.
If you don’t have a daily creating challenge in your life yet, I highly recommend it.
Don’t wait, start immediately. Here’s to your first day of many.
— Josh Waggoner