Summer is winding down. Kids are going back to school, crops are being harvested and the days are getting shorter. It’s nature. Seasons come and seasons go. There’s no sense in resisting or fighting change, just learn to let go and flow with it.
Writing is lot like that. When we’re willing to let go and just write, amazing things happen. You get things written. You improve. People start reading your work. You gain credibility as a writer. It’s a natural progression. You also learn what your writing strengths and weaknesses are and what kinds of writing you favor.
Over the summer I’ve taken a break from blogging. I’ve still been posting, but only half as often as I used to, and I haven’t been working on the technical aspects of the blog itself or doing any form of marketing or promotion. My series on minimalism has got me to thinking about the future of this blog and my writing. Going without an Internet connection at home for the past couple of months has had some impact, too.
I’m going to be making a few changes here at danerickson.net this fall. Let me explain:
1. I’ll continue to post less often. It might be once a week or three times a week, but I will not go back to posting daily in the near future or perhaps ever. Why? Because I value my time. I also believe that pushing ourselves to write more often does not equal quality work. Giving ourselves more space allows for more thought and I believe that deep thought and reflection lead to better writing.
2. I’ll be focusing more on creative writing. I’ve written in a variety of genres, everything from songs to nonfiction essays to fictional stories. I know my strengths. I know what I love to do. I love to write creatively, especially song and poetry. So I’m going to practice my strengths. Heck, the only reason I’ve written “traditional blog posts” offering information and advice is because that’s what I thought I had to do to get noticed in a noisy world.
But I’ve discovered a few things since starting this blog and those things have been reinforced over the summer. First, my traffic has not suffered for posting less often or for posting more creative work. A few of my songs have become my most visited posts. Second, I don’t care about traffic anyway. I’ve come to realize that it’s the writing itself that is the most important part of my blogging journey, not how many people are driven to read it. Third, I love creative writing. We become more accepted and respected as writers when we continue to work on our art. That’s what I’m going to do.
This doesn’t mean I’ll never write posts that reach out to others and provide information that might be helpful. I will. It just won’t be as much of an emphasis.
3. I’ll be spending less time using social media to share and promote my work. Over the past eight months I’ve steadily cut back on my social media usage. I’ve stopped using as many social media sites. I’ve shared posts less often. I’ve even stayed Internet-free at home for the summer. Guess what? It has not hurt my traffic. But it has given me more time to do other things. I’ll continue with this less-is-best strategy.
4. I’ll be doing some subtle redesigning. I’m rethinking my design approach to my blog. I’ve designed my site based on other bloggers’ sites. I’ve followed bloggers who blog about leadership and success. That’s not me. I’ve decided to redesign my site into more of an “artists” blog. In other words, I’m done with some the standard practices such as offering you my help through posts, free ebooks, book launches and podcasts. My blog is not about chasing success. It’s not about chasing a dream. It’s about living the dream. It’s about practicing the art. My gift to you is help and advice through my example rather than through my latest post on how you can succeed. I choose actions over words. Soon, I’ll be redesigning my blog pages to reflect the artist-based approach.
What I’ve learned from three years of blogging is simple: Our blogs should reflect who we are. If we blog because we want to be like others and gain followers we likely won’t ever succeed. But if we blog to share with others who we really are, we’ve already found success.
So as summer naturally flows into fall, I’m going to let my writing and my blog naturally flow as a reflection of who I am. Resistance is futile.
Questions: Have you evaluated your life? Your work? Your writing? Your blog? Are you being true to yourself or are you just following the crowd?