The Surprising Thing Blogging Every Day Taught Me About Vulnerability
Well, I did it. I completed my experiment (read: fight against Resistance) of blogging every weekday for the last 10 weeks of 2017.
… And then I didn’t post at all for three days. *thumbs up*
I’m definitely glad I did it. If for no other reason, as I’ve said before, to prove to myself that I can and that the world will not implode if I “show up and share the things”.
It was also a good way to solidify that no one cares what you’re doing as much as you think they do. So you should, you know, really stop caring what people think, get out there and make and share the things. (Admittedly still working on that one… but… I do know it to be true.)
What else did I learn from this?
I now understand why people are protective of their process and personal growth work, and why they don’t tend to share the hard stuff they’re going through on the internet until after they’ve gone through it. I understand why people need that distance. Writing in your journal as you’re going through therapy is not the same as writing about it on a blog, even if hardly anyone reads it. Especially if it’s a blog under your real name.
Here’s the thing. I really value vulnerability and being open about both the good and the bad. I’m big on the process. I don’t like when others gloss over things or make something seem easier than it was. It bothers me in DIY tutorials and it bothers me in “How I Started my Business” founder stories. It’s not so much that I want everyone to share everything, I just want the acknowledgment that there were hard bits. I want creatives to feel safe mentioning money or relationship or mental health struggles as part of their story. I want Solidarity.
My thinking was that I don’t want to wait until I’m “successful” or have started a business to share my story. I want to document the ups and downs of the process as I’m going through it, whatever that looks like, because it’s something I wish I could see for the creatives I admire. It’s one thing to hear your favourite author say, “I was rejected by editors 200 times when I was getting started 10 years ago” on a podcast, and another to be able to read part of the journal entry from the night of that 200th rejection… you know?
(Editors note: Do I sound like an asshat here? Jury’s out…)
I still think that’s important and I do still want to be open, but I’m realizing that vulnerability doesn’t mean sharing everything with everyone as you’re going through it. (Duh, I know). You have to be protective of your mental health and of your progress.
The most surprising thing about sharing what I did in my Dear Diary posts over the last few weeks (stuff that was a nod to past trauma, current therapy, dysfunctional relationships, etc…) was that I think it exaggerated my mini depression over December.
I thought putting words to it and getting it out there would help me process and move past it, but I think it made me focus on it more. Like I said, it’s not the same as journalling or morning pages. Putting that much attention on “the hard stuff” just magnified the hard stuff. It pushed me further into my own head and I actually found myself feeling more isolated and alone, not less. As someone who already has a tendency to overthink, this wasn’t healthy.
I started this blogging experiment in the name of Showing Up and Doing the Work… but I found myself shying away from the real work I needed to be doing.
Maybe this doesn’t make any sense, maybe it makes all the sense in the world.
In any case, something clearly needs to change for me.
My priorities this month are my health, increasing my freelance income (that’s the work I’ve been shying away from…), and creative expression.
Tracing Threads will continue to be my outlet for creative expression and I want to post here 1-2 times a week. I want to share more photo journals, it’s genetic posts, and still some written blogs. I want to start sketching again and posting bits of that. Whatever comes up, really. It just needs to be less…here’s the ashes I’m standing in currently…and more…here’s what I learned after cleaning up the ashes.
The creativity experiment continues…!
Because: Consume less, create more.