Step one: Don’t quit. That’s all. There is only one step to this plan.
You might have been blogging for a month, or a year, or five years now. Maybe you have enlisted support from your family and friends as well as some of their family members or friends. You have experienced the comfort of seeing your blog page’s stats reflecting a growing cursory curiosity. But what happens next is unknown.
I know that I love the rapid ascent scenario in all of my idols. Condensing years of struggle and self-doubt to a two line blurb is so…efficient. It’s also misleading.
When dissecting most admirable success stories I stumble again and again over the same Hero’s Journey. Adventure – Crisis – Victory – Transformation. The “crisis” stop is where so many people, talented and otherwise, peel off for a bit (or sometimes forever). Because it’s hard and inconvenient and there is no finite end point of that suffering. The obscure algorithm of its duration is mysterious at best, but almost always proportionate to how bad the hero wants something and what sacrifices they make in effort to get what they seek.
I have a month of blogging under my belt. This victory means I need a minimum of twice that content in addition to what I have already produced in order to submit proposals to many blogs that I would like to guest write for. Which alerts my scarcity complex immediately, because I fear that I have already said everything I could possibly say and what if it’s redundant and some else has already introduced my idea, (likely better) and I should probably just quit because I have already spent too much time hurling toward a dead end right? This is shrinking and I am hella good at that already.
Merriam-Webster describes expansion as “the act of becoming bigger or of making something bigger; the act of expanding”. I was shocked to find no mention of pain, of compromise, or of martyrdom. Where was the validation in that, I wondered pitifully.
Writing is a dynamic thing. Sometimes I can be working on a piece and it feels like I can go on forever in all directions, indefinitely. Then I shelve it with promises of consolation – I will come back when I can give it my undivided attention, which it truly deserves. I whisper all the sweet nothings a neglected manuscript wants to believe, smoothing things over by floating out “character development” and “necessary landmark research” when it eyes me full of desperate hope from my handbag or nightstand. Reunited weeks later by some surprising squirreled free time, I find the connection has been lost. The project lingered for as long as it could before it leaves me entirely, treating me to a dose of my own negligent medicine.
Which brings me to the now – and don’t all roads lead there anyway…If I can’t seem to find my place, I will need to make one. Blogging is a tool, a shiny promise of all the things I could possibly do. But I need to know how to use it, what it’s capable of doing and then I can figure out how it works best for me.
It seems conceited to say the least by suggesting that I am on a Hero’s Journey, but it’s a chance I am willing to take if it inspires one other person to go after a dream and make it a reality. There are so many stories of overcoming, shining brightly, and trail blazing by trial and error. But we usually don’t tune into them beginning from the ground level and stick it out to the end. We catch on to them after the final rewrite; when it’s been edited to emphasize the transformation – that concise ascension I know I love.
I’m taking on the whole challenge – with no promise in sight this time, except the one I am shaping by continuing this project each day. I am slowly building my case the only way I haven’t tried so far – by not quitting for a short time or for the foreseeable future, both of which have yet to make me a better writer or more fulfilled person. It is my hope that in this there is something you can connect to, something you can break off and keep, building upon it to best assist you. Here’s to crushing our goals for next month, yes, but here’s to this very minute, may we trust our dreams and steadfastly protect them by keeping them in a state of action.