Just show up is terrible advice because it actually doesn't help anyone.
It just makes us feel guilty when we can't pull it off and get things done.
Last week I was on holidays and gave myself permission to go a week without publishing a new article.
It broke a chain and getting back on track was HARD!
I didn't want to write today.
Didn't feel like writing yesterday either.
But I did, and the result is here.
For better or worse, I delivered.
In my book, that's all that matters.
I showed up, I did the work and I delivered.
But how did I do it?
1- I Procrastinated A Lot
I got back from holidays on Sunday.
And proceeded to procrastinate and put off writing until Wednesday afternoon.
Bearing in mind that blogging is my #1 creative focus these days, that's just not the right approach.
Sure, I got some work done…. Practicing and playing the piano is always a good thing and planning for the next course is work.
But it's not my MOST IMPORTANT work right now.
It shouldn't be the ONLY work I do.
So how did I justify it?
2- I Made Excuses
Argued I was entitled to more rest
Sure it is!
But you still have to show up in the office… Give yourself a chance to get going again.
The truth is, I wasn't really too tired to write. I was just afraid because I didn't really know what to write about.
Just as I've been scared for the past 6-7 weeks because the novelty of publishing a new post regularly has worn off and I'm not quite sure how to keep things interesting and helpful on here :/
Tried to distract myself
Yeah, sure, 'coz losing focus and switching to another project makes all the sense in the world :p
I've worked so hard these past 6 months to build up the blog that running away when it's getting good is the perfect solution!
Ever got bored of an album after months working on it that you ended up moving on before you truly promoted and commercially exploited it? 😉
3- I Decided To Try Something, Anything
Wednesday morning was so ridiculous that it spurred me into action!
After snoozing every 10 minutes for 2 hours (TWO HOURS!), I finally got up and felt like crap….
Crap enough to guilt myself into work.
So I started writing.
I went through frequently asked questions in my inbox and started writing about licensing music that's in the public domain.
It was going to be short and sweet. Straight to the point.
But as often happens with subjects that have an admin/legal component, I started to question whether short and sweet was enough. Did people need more legal background on the subject?
If I'm going to make this a blog post, I want it to be the best resource there is on the subject. Short and sweet just won't cut it.
So I started doing more research and digging into the legal side of things which I inevitably found boring and uninspiring.
Still, I powered through and ended up with something decent.
Just not great.
It'll take a little bit more time and edits to be great.
To make sure my post is clear, fun, helpful and concise but complete.
Ok, so too late for my Thursday deadline then…
4- I Cursed Myself For Being Crap And Uninspired
It's Wednesday evening, I put in the work, followed the "just show up" advice but it's not good enough.
I feel tired and uninspired, no clue what I'll publish tomorrow.
Or if I'll publish anything….
Suddenly this one month break idea sounds appealing again…
Surely I can justify taking a break from blogging and focusing on my new course to help musicians turn pro?
5- I Calmed Myself Down
When the inner voice(s) started to spiral out of control, I did my best to keep them reasonable.
"Alright, there's no reason to panic. This has happened before. Some of my most appreciated posts were written in a few hours, almost stream of consciousness."
"Yeah but I can't do this every week! How is talking about me helpful to others? It's so self-indulgent and lazy!"
"Chill out. You're just doing your best. People recognize that. They're going through the same things. As long as you offer keys to unlock those situations, you're being helpful."
"Ok then, one thing's for sure: I need to get up when the alarm goes off tomorrow morning. No way am I snoozing for 2 hours again, it just made me feel horrible!!"
6- I Tried Something Else
I got up when the alarm went off.
Exercised, journaled, meditated and read for a while.
Then I got to work at 9am on the dot and started writing this.
It's 10am now. 10:01, exactly.
I'll write and edit until it's 11am then I'll take a break. And start again at 4pm until it's done and ready to publish.
If you're reading this, I made it 🙂
Ha! It's now 2pm and I'm ready to publish…. Ahead of schedule!!
Thanks for being an awesome audience that is always supportive and gives me enough confidence to keep putting myself out there and doing my best to help.
If there's anything you'd like me to write about next week, let me know in the comments.
I can always use some inspiration! 😉
5 Key Takeaways From 4 Epic Days
— Remembering how shitty I felt snoozing for 2 hours on Wednesday morning really helped me get up on Thursday.
— Doing my best and trying to help is all I can do. The people who like it will like it. The people who don't are simply not my audience. It's terrifying but I need to be ok with it!
— I can only improve and get momentum back by putting in the work and sharing it, noticing what works for me and what resonates with others.
— Running away and starting new projects every time something is hard is NOT a good business plan.
— Great work on an "outside" topic takes time, like my post on how to copyright an album. Great work that comes from inside doesn't have to, especially if you manage to go with the flow and not edit yourself too much.