I had a sneaky suspicion but never truly knew how challenging writing would be.
I started writing as somewhat of a creative experiment without really understanding the time and effort it would take as well as the internal challenges I’d have to overcome. Creativity has never been an attribute I thought I possessed and I’ve never felt like I had a creative bone in my body. I’m more introverted and analytical but have always appreciated art and the creative qualities others have. As I get older, I want to push the limits I’ve set for myself and want to continue to learn and grow. Hopefully, writing can be that thing that pushes me and helps me develop a creative side.
The writing process has not been easy. At times, I struggle to think of things to write about. Even though I have a huge list of topics, which is great in theory, I often find it hard to come up with entertaining stories or content that will provide value or that I think is even worth reading about.
Who really cares about this?
Does it really matter if I share that idea or not?
What value is there in me talking about this topic?
That’s the self-talk I have to overcome each and every time I sit down to write. Most of the time I have to draw on the discipline I’ve developed in other areas and make myself get started. It’s not ideal but once the ideas start to flow the writing becomes much easier.
Part of the reason writing has been challenging is because I don’t really have a set schedule or process for writing. I’m very much a routine and systems oriented person. I appreciate my routines and habits and they help me stay the course and focus on what’s important. I have yet to develop a regular writing habit or routine.
Currently I do most of my writing at work during free time that I have throughout the day. This is not ideal or sustainable but it’s what I’m currently working with. Many people write in the mornings or evenings at home but I already have routines in place during those times and I’m not ready to make that change yet. I have limited time with my family and I’m not quite ready to plug in writing time during possible family time either. I know a lot of people write at night after the kids have gone to bed but, yet again, I’m not ready to give up this quality time with my wife or stay up longer than I normally would to write.
It boils down to priorities. We talk a lot about prioritizing when it comes to finances but the same goes for your time. If I want to make writing sustainable and something I continue to do for a long time, I have to figure out where it fits best in my routine and make it a habit. Right now, writing isn’t something I’m ready to prioritize over other personal and family commitments I already have.
Even though writing is not a top top priority, it’s still something that I’m enjoying and committed to working at to improve so I will continue to do it when I can.
Another thing I’m still trying to figure out is my writing style. To be honest, I’m not sure what the different writing styles even are. I sit down and start to riff on topics and then edit A LOT once I’ve gotten all of the ideas out of my head. I’ve noticed that I enjoy telling stories and try to make my posts more personal. I’ve also realized that I tend to try and be very thorough when discussing a topic and sometimes maybe a little too thorough. I want you to know every detail – the background, foreground and everything in between. This means that a lot of the time my posts can be a little longer than I’d like. Oh and did I mention that’s after doing A LOT of editing. I’m not good at the quick hit posts that cover a simple topic in a short sweet manner. For some reason, I want to give as much detail and context as I can to a given topic.
Good or bad, that is yet to be seen but that’s the form I’ve gravitated towards thus far.
I approached writing on this blog as a creative outlet. I really do enjoy writing and once I get started on a topic I find it fairly easy to brain dump and get everything out into the computer. For me, starting is the hard part and I’m definitely a victim of paralysis by analysis at times.
I’m committed to writing and will continue to do so. Topics may vary from time to time but at the end of the day this has been something that I’ve found great joy and satisfaction in. Writing has really challenged me to be open and push my introvert tendencies to the side which hasn’t been easy.
The encouragement from my wife and the FI community has been wonderful and I hope everyone continues to read. We’re just getting started.