On being present

Daffs

Starting something is half way to finishing it. I think I just made that up, but I needed to get something down to get going with this. I have the best intentions in the world when it comes to blogging. ‘I’m going to sit down, pour out some words and get a blog post up this weekend’ I think to myself. Every weekend. I think of blog post ideas about 10 times throughout each day and I have endless notebooks full of drafted posts to prove it.

But I’ve completely failed in delivering you something to feast your eyes upon (even my Nan has been requesting posts). And for that I am sorry.

In my head I always toy with the phrase ‘build it and they will come’, because I work in marketing I know in my heart that this isn’t true. You can put something amazing out there on the world wide web (does anyone call it that anymore?), but if you don’t tell anyone where to find it (using email marketing – I love email marketing more than I care to admit, social media, a billboard, whatever) an audience won’t ever arrive. They just won’t.

But at the same time, if you don’t built it, ‘they’ absolutely won’t come. How can they, there’s no where for them to go.

I’m not looking to build a massive audience (famous last words of every massive YouTuber ever), but when I think about the blogs I love to read, I love more than anything that they’re consistent. They bring me regular blog posts, social media posts, YouTube videos and even podcast episodes – I’m very late to the podcast party but how great are they?

I don’t care whether the writing or content is perfect; I care that it’s there for me, that it’s interesting and that it’s an insight into the lives of these people I feel connected to via that funny old thing that is the internet.

The thing that I really want for myself, via this little old blog, is to stop being afraid. You see I’m one of life’s double-checkers. I can’t leave my flat without double or TRIPLE checking that the curlers I didn’t even use that morning aren’t plugged in, or that the balcony doors are locked even though it’s too cold to open them and I’d already checked them before bed the night before anyway.

I have the same attitude to writing. Before sending copy to a client I’ll always take extra time to double-check it with a fresh mind, ideally coming back to it the next day, but at least after a walk, cup of green tea or half a pack of jaffa cakes.

And shock horror I’m the same with this blog. Which is why I have a shit load of posts saved on my mac desktop (I double check things but I don’t tidy them up), waiting for my final seal of approval and probably at least 3 more rereads before they’re uploaded. It’s not surprising they’ve never seen the light of day, is it?

The other thing that stops me writing is getting so truly stuck into the incredible things being created by others. I’m not ashamed to admit that I lose entire evenings reading blogs and watching YouTube videos because omg there are some amazing people doing amazing things right now. 

This week I tweeted about a blog post by Laura Jane Williams in which she talks about burnout, and it really resonated with me in a bunch of different ways. Not necessarily in a ‘that’s exactly what I’m going through’ way, but as a reminder to always take a step back and check you’re happy with your life. The things you’re aiming for, your goals, aren’t everything. They’re important but there’s so much more going on, or at least there should be.

This is, along with her bravery for publishing a book that I’ve preordered and cannot wait to get my hands on, has inspired me to pick up my proverbial pen and get blogging again.

Here’s to being less afraid of putting raw, unpolished content out there. And here’s to building it and not caring whether they come, but enjoying getting my hands dirty in the process.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and hound me if I don’t upload another blog post really soon.