Almost four months since my last blog post. I'd even forgotten the last features I built in the blog, and they were a nice surprise to find here when I started writing this. The two last features I built (I think) were
- An RSS feed, so that people can subscribe to my blog and get an update whenever I write something new.
- The ability to write blog posts and keep them saved but unpublished, so that I can publish them when I feel I'm finished with the post.
I'm also seeing that the site needs a bit of a design overhaul. And I'd like it to be developed with the midset of "mobile first", meaning I first get it to work well on mobile, and then on tablets and desktops. So as always there's still work to be done on the site.
Creatively, what I've been doing this year is mostly some writing and reading. I've gotten into audio books, and so far have gone through "Blod på snö" by Jo Nesbø, "Mr Mercedes" by Stephen King, "Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann" by Jonas Jonasson, and am currently listening to "Revival" by Stephen King. Writing wise I've writen a few short stories. Well, no, actually I've only finished one. Plus two micro stories (20 words) and a few poems. Parts of the short story were good, and others perhaps not so much.
But maybe let's get to why I'm finally writing a blog post again.
It's because I watched this last night:
When I'm writing, or doing any other creative project for that matter, I tend to get stuck after a while and the project ends. And that's it. And then I try again some time later, but pretty much from the beginning again so all in all I'm mostly treading water. I've thought a lot about this, not just this year but in perhaps more years than I've been an adult (whenever one gets to call oneself that). That's not to say I'm not improving, although at a not-so-fast pace, but I'm just not really producing any results.
I'm sure a lot of people have this problem. In fact, I know they do.
This year I've been pretty good at sitting down to start working, but when I've been working on a project for some amount of time, one/many/all of these things happen:
- The word "why" pops in to my head. "Why are you trying to do this?" "What's the point?" "What is this going to achive?" "Why put all this time into something that may amount to nothing?" And those are questions not easily answered when you're staring at a half written page you've been stuck at for the last few hours/days. Why put so much time into something that takes so much effort and has such an unreliable result. "Why" makes it easy to quit.
- I start comparing my work with the work of other, more experienced people, and see how very far from their level I acutually am. "I't not even close". It's like standing on one side of an ocean by a rowboat, wanting to get to the other side, but it's just so impossibly far away.
- I question whether I have anything unique to offer. There are so many voices in this world, and so many talented people with amazing ideas. Art is being pumped out from all corners of the world every second. Can I really add anything to the conversation?
- It feels like I need to create everything at once - just a whole mountain of work - or it wont be enough. And that's too much to do. So I quit.
What really clicked in my head when I watched the video above with Zack Arias, was to be honest about where you are, what you can do, and what you've done. To not try and project yourself as the person you're trying to be, but instead be honest about who you are. You don't need to compare yourself with people who are award winning experts. You may be at that level some day, but not right now. And that's okay.
Another thought, or mantra or whatever you'd like to call it, that I actually started with last year is "Why not?". Throw away "why" and ask "why not?". There's too much "why" in the world as it is.
Let's have some more "why not!" And to not be afraid to look like who, and what, we are.