I think now I want to choose to fall down less. Although it has taken me 10 days to get back up, so getting back up faster would be nice too. Medium just hasn’t been a priority for me lately. I still Write, I have my (usually) daily journal, and a few other projects always in the works but Writing and posting on Medium just hasn’t been as important.
My focus lately has been on Why I want to build the habits I’m trying to build. I just can’t find an answer to why I want to write on Medium. In the beginning it was about discovering the workings of my mind and putting it in the public eye to keep myself accountable. Somewhere along the way I realized this doesn’t actually keep me accountable to anyone. So I feel like I can still do the writing but in private and get the same benefit. When I try to look beyond right now though I can see benefits to long-term posting. I’ll have a proven track record of consistency, thoughtfulness, credibility..the list goes on.
I think what I’m struggling with is why do I want those things? Why do I want a “personal brand”. What’s the point?
I have a bit of a dream lately to be an author. I can’t point to any specific pullings towards it, but the general lifestyle is something I think I would like. Work on my own time, creating content mainly for myself but sharing it. As I’m typing this I’m being pulled in two directions. “Just double down on it and go for it, you can figure the rest out later” and “Your mind is just going to change in a few months or a year anyway, wait for something you know won’t change.”
I know that the second one is complete bullshit. No one ever truly knows 100% that what they’re pursuing is going to be what they do forever. Chances are it’s almost certainly going to change. That shouldn’t be what stops us from pursuing something. At this point in my life, a “blogging” career or any other form of writing is only going to be immensely helpful for me. Completely ignoring the benefits of understanding myself better, which in itself is enough of a reason, this can still teach me a lot of transferable skills that I can use for almost anything. I’ll learn how to create a website, market the website, market myself, advertising on the internet, partnerships with publications and affiliate advertising, SEO, key words, attractive headlines. On and on and on. That’s really just the back end. The amount that my writing has improved already since November is phenomenal.
I had a 1000 word essay to write for school a few weeks ago. 1 year ago 1000 words sounded impossible. Now, after posting 300–1500 words almost daily it seemed laughably small. My original goal was to write 2–3000 and summarize it into 1000. That was of course if I had started writing it early. I didn’t. I did about an hour long planning session the day before it was due. Then the next day I continued planning it, and then put the pieces together. I spent 5 hours total working on an essay worth 20% of my grade. 2 years ago that would have gotten me somewhere between 30 and 60%. Not to mention a whole lot of stress. I ended up getting 83%, and wasn’t even slightly worried the entire time. I knew I could without question write the essay in less than an hour. Most of my time was just spent getting facts and stats.
And I still think I’m a bad writer. I know I have a whole lot of improvements to make. I know that this skill can help me in school. It can help me in any type of career I want to go into. So I’m probably going to continue writing, and go more in depth with it from now on.
But I said “probably”. There’s still doubt.
There’s a line between making a task grand enough to want to pull off, and making a task look large enough to be overwhelming. That’s for tomorrow though.
Consistently Ask ‘Why?’ was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.