Writing for oneself - setting out writing intentions for this blog

Mar 29, 2024 • • 🍿 3 min. read in writing

Encouraged by my colleague and friend Kate, I thought it would be good to set some writing intentions for this blog, to make it easier and clearer to put virtual pen-to-paper and reduce a sense of writers block I often get when wanting to write but not knowing quite what or worrying it won't be good enough or that it has to be some earth shattering think piece to bother.

I'll preface this with two quotes that have been on my mind of late.

I like the framing of Ethan Marcotte at the start of the pandemic on his blog:

Let a website be a worry stone
...I’ve kept working away at this website, much as I’d distractedly run my fingers over a smooth, flat stone.
...there’s something truly centering in this work. Not least because whatever happens out in the larger world, this little place is mine.

I also like this from Jeremy's more recent post entitled "What the world needs":

I mentioned that the two reasons for not writing that I hear most often from people are variations on “I’ve got nothing to say.”

The first version is when someone says they’ve got nothing to say because they’re not qualified to write on a particualar topic. “After all, there are real experts out there who know far more than me. So I’ve got nothing to say.”

But then once you do actually understand a topic, the second version appears. “If I know about this, then everyone knows about this. It’s obvious. So I’ve got nothing to say.”

In both cases, you absolutely should be writing and sharing! In the first instance, you’ve got the beginner’s mind—a valuable perspective. In the second instance, you’ve got personal experience—another valuable perspective.

In other words, while it seems like there’s never a good time to write about something, the truth is that there’s never a bad time to write about something.

... I’m writing for myself. I write to figure out what I think. I also publish mostly for myself—a public archive for future me. But if what I publish just happens to connect with one other person, I’m glad.

So I think there's two loci of focus I need to be looking at:

  • Share learning as I go with a beginners mind without worry: I think taking a focus on things I'm learning professionally, and creatively for me is key - documenting them as I go. There's been instances where I've gone back through past writing and 're-learnt' something from my wise past self.

  • Look back at things I've gone through with personal experience (and hopefully some wisdom), with some tangiable learnings and outcomes.

  • make loose notes regularly and set out quiet time to write and expand on thoughts

As someone wiser than me once said 'writing is thinking' and I think whether to do with design, art, music making, photography or just life I need to not worry about what people think (most people are too busy worrying about what others think of them to really care about me!) and just document my thoughts more - a website as a worry stone or fidget spinner for the brain is an apt metaphor.

Posted in writing