Simply Begin, Do 1%, You’re Ready

I was laying on my bed winding down to go to sleep (and yes, you’re right, I shouldn’t be on my phone before bed) when I came across a Youtube video Ali Abdaal posted.

The gist of the video? Begin (and more importantly sustain) writing a blog and good things will start to happen.

At the end of the clip, a sudden blast of insights from thought leaders I admire rushed through me. It was like a scene from “A Beautiful Mind” or “The Da Vinci Code.”

“If you want to be useful, you can always start now, with only 1% of what you have in your grand vision.”

- Derek Sivers, “Anything You Want”

“The only choice we have is to begin. And the only place to begin is where we are. Simply begin.”

- Seth Godin, “The Practice”

“You're ready. Start making stuff.”

- Austin Kleon, “Steal Like an Artist”

For the last 3 months, I’ve been searching for a creative outlet. The question was…what? Often, I’m guilty of falling into cycle after cycle of analysis paralysis, prolonging the making of a decision and taking action. And here I was again, caught in a web of my own making.

So. Write a blog. I can do this. The questions and doubts are still there in the back of my mind, but I want to move forward and figure it out. I should’ve started 15 years ago. But I’m reminded of a quote from Karen Lamb, “A year from now you’ll wish you started today.”

When I woke up this morning to tell my wife, her first response was, “Does anyone still read blogs? Who still reads blogs?!”

I can’t say it was the response I was hoping for…but in some ways, it was the ideal response. Everyone needs a check and balance. Time is the most valuable resource anyone can have, and when you’re married with children, you better have a good justification for how you spend your time.

Writing is hard. It takes focus, cognitive energy, and that oh so precious resource, time, to write anything of value. If I am to do this, it needs to be more than a late night whim. It has to be a commitment. A long term one at that.

My wife and I talked it through, to determine how practical this was. We have two young children who we love dearly and I want to make sure that, in the quest to self-actualization, they stay a major part of my day-to-day life. We spent most of the day talking about how I could logistically do it in a meaningful way. I think realistically speaking, I’d need to devote at least three hours a day.

We wondered together if it is even possible for someone who’s middle-aged with a family and a career to start, and more importantly, sustain any long-term creative endeavor along with their career? A “side-hustle “as the kids like to call it these days (though I’m not a huge fan of that term).

I hope it’s possible. And if you’re in the same boat, maybe I can chart the waters for you a little before you set sail.

When doing anything, it's important to know your 'why?' Why is this something I feel that I need to do?

I’ve thought about this a lot and it boils down to two scenarios. Both of which seem like a win in my book.

Scenario 1: No one outside of a couple close friends ever visit this blog.

What outcomes would still make it worth my time?

  • I become a better writer.

  • I learn to convey my ideas more clearly and precisely.

  • I understand myself more deeply.

  • I create a record of my thoughts and learning.

Scenario 2: After a period of time of sustained upkeep of the blog, people discover and explore what I’ve written.

What outcomes would be nice?

  • An idea I’ve written about or brought attention to brings value to a single person’s life.

  • I meet people who are interested in the same things I’m interested in and we build a community.

  • [The dream] To have conversations with the people I admire and have been learning from for years.

I’ll wrap up this first post with a quote from the video that sparked this blog into motion.

“Writing is not just a way of communicating with the world, it’s actually a way of communicating with yourself…

“I have more to say [to the world], because I sit down and write every day and I figure out what I’m thinking…”  — Austin Kleon, author of “Show Your Work” and “Steal Like an Artist”

If you’ve gotten this far, chances are you’re a close friend. If you’re not, there’s a slight chance we may one day be friends.  Please say hello.

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©2024 Milani Creative LLC. All Rights Reserved

©2024 Milani Creative LLC. All Rights Reserved