This is a sort of follow-up to my previous post. Blogging is Depressing. I explain further why I have stopped trying so hard with my writing.
Learning how to be a blogger became too stressful for me. What I read was constantly telling me what I wasn’t good enough at it.
It left me having no enthusiasm, demoralised and not writing.
Not so long ago I stopped reading so much blogging advice. I removed subscriptions to blogs and a community of bloggers.
I still check blogging occasionally, but I’m now more careful how much I read and what.
Giving all that up has helped me focus better and restored my desire to write a little. I feel more relaxed about writing.
One of the things that made writing so demoralizing was the goals and aims that were lauded to new bloggers like myself.
The ideas of having a successful blog, with hundreds if not thousand followers. Ebooks, income, possibly even seminars workshops, a book deal even. Creating a movement that changes the world.
None of that really grabbed me.
I wanted to feel excited, I tried to be. I want to believe that’s what I wanted too, but my heart was not in it.
It was a vision I realise now that came from other bloggers. I was trying to follow their advice, their lead because they were successful and I wanted to be as well.
But a lot of it seemed a very stressful grind towards a goal I felt rather indifferent about. Having hundreds or thousands of followers to keep happy seems like a burden to me.
I couldn’t care less if you follow me or not. I just wanted to say something. Such an attitude is not conducive to writing or creating a business.
Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend – Albert Camus
That is what I was aiming for, making a living from work I had created, but the burden of leading others, it’s not something I feel comfortable with. Such an idea would lead me to more anxiety and stress.
Most fiction writers I feel don’t aim to please others, or change the world. (Dickens being an exception). They just want to create something to satisfy their own need to create and perhaps, someone else will enjoy.
This idea is not something put forwards in the blogging advice I read. There it was about creating content, building an audience, monetization. i.e. creating a business. As I said, I don’t care for that. But I do want to create something people will enjoy, to help others, make a difference and get paid to do so. So perhaps I’m naive to want nothing to do with running a business.
With my new passion for art, it’s different. I can see myself selling paintings or prints, entering competitions, making money through my creativity. Such a vision does excite me.
Perhaps three years ago I just wasn’t ready to become an entrepreneur. That may change, but first things first, getting the skills necessary to create good work.
Another reason why writing became difficult is that the process of writing was very head driven. I’m the anxious type, so reading all these ideas and then writing about them keeps the emphasis on thinking. Such overthinking has left me stressed and unhealthy. Writing, such as nonfiction seems very analytical to me, and I’m tired of thinking so much that my head hurts. Writing in my experience is a head trip that I would rather do less of.
Art, by comparison, is very different. Not logical, but an aesthetic exercise and physical skill. It had its technical aspects bits it’s not really head driven but heart.
Still a writer
It’s not that I don’t want to write, I have ideas I would like to put across, and I’ve come across ideas that I feel are important to know. So I have something to write and want to share them.
But the dreams I had just four years ago of a successful blog, book deals followers is no more.
I never felt I could write a successful book our blog, at least something to earn a living from.
With art, that is something I feel I can become good at.
Ever since I have given up on trying to create a business, become successful, my writing has become far less writing for others or doing it perfectly and more about writing for myself. I write because I enjoy turning over ideas in my head.
This change has made the whole process far more enjoyable.