It is 7:45 a.m on a hot and sunny morning in Beijing, China. I am hot because I am walking, but I am almost comfortable because I am not pushing the speed too much. I have learned to slow my walking pace down when the heat pushes up. That’s what I do. I try and take the time to reflect and learn from my experiences and that of others.
This is what I am doing right now… I am walking through the streets of Beijing on my way to work, and every time I get a thought about my subject for today, I stop (stand to the side) and jot down a bullet point.
Reflecting and learning.
I chose today’s topic from when I woke up this morning. It was in my head as I showered and brushed my teeth.
I had other subjects ready to write about and many other thoughts, but the topic of ‘What I have learned from blogging?’ was niggling at me.
This is how it works for me. Things get into my mind and I build out thoughts, and when it gets a grounding, I walk and think, grabbing some stuff as I go. I take notes, get a shape of what I am trying to say, and see a concluding point. A lot of the time, there is no end. It is just stuff on a list.
When I get a few moments during a break, I add to what I have written earlier. I write most of the time on my phone because it is always with me, and I never know what I might uncover as the world shifts through its day.
I polish as I go, and hopefully, things start to take shape, but you just never know. Sometimes I get to this point, and I mothball what I have and just start over again.
This is my process, and for the moment, it works for me. However, I am new to this, and I know that I will reflect and learn as I build up habits and try new ways of doing things.
As for what I have learned about Blogging so far, I share with you below the points I grabbed as I walked this morning. They are in no particular order, and that might even give you an idea of how thoughts bounce around my head.
I can tell you that my head processes thoughts and ideas no different from yours. The difference is (might be) that I am choosing to try and capture them and explore them more.
Because I can.
What I have learned about Blogging…
The world is a fantastic place, so try and see as much of it as possible through whatever medium you have available.
Keep an open mind to other peoples viewpoint even when it is the opposite of yours. An echo chamber is dangerous to your health.
Finding your voice is something that happens, but your ‘throat’ can get sore, so don’t push it.
Take inspiration from everywhere – a tree, a bee, a glee, a wee… yep, anywhere! (this was a stupid thought this morning, but a dog was weeing on a corner, and it was wearing shoes: yeah, Beijing can be odd at times)
Learn and steal like a pro and understand that there are very few originals out there. Most are building on the shoulders of others.
Start and don’t stop even when you think you want to stop. Write one sentence of bulls*t because that will kick you into action again.
Grab as you go and accept that your memory is not that great, so you need another digital memory and embrace it.
Write what you want, not what they want, unless you are taking the cash for it, then do your job.
‘Habit’ like your life depends on it because it will give you the framework to live your everyday life alongside your creative life.
Make mistakes and be comfortable with them and then move on to the next thing.
Watch people wherever you are. Taking the time to see people helps you realise we are all very much the same, so now you can see an audience in that light.
Only a few make money, so don’t be in it purely for that, because it will disappoint you.
Know why you are doing it but don’t overthink it; everybody is looking for their why. Don’t get lost in detail here.
Listen to other people. There is a ton of people out there that will give you sound advice, so listen with both ears.
Imposter syndrome is real. Also, note, most people don’t know what the f*ck they are doing – but good on them because they don’t give a shit.
Everyone has an opinion, but not everyone has the actions.
Squeeze what you are creating into your everyday routines because you will never have the time in big chunks that often.
Be good to others but not good to badness and accept that some people are sometimes in the wrong kind of place.
Setting goals work but ‘not breaking chains of habit’ is inspiring and will help you land much more output.
Everyone is busy, so do not expect people to read your stuff. There is only so much time in everyone’s life. Do not sweat it. Keep your friends safe from your own disappointments on this.
People mountain, people sea (a Chinese saying) is the size of the global market… there are billions of us. You will connect with someone somewhere. It is a numbers game.
The whole task of Blogging should be fun and enjoyable; if it isn’t, then stop and do something else.
My last point of reflection and learning is that my creative life is blended with my professional life. Now that I am comfortable with that, I get to balance them both correctly.
This is as far as I got today before I had to go into work. But one more thing…
My final point, do not try and perfect everything as that will steal away your creativity and paralyse you from the neck up.
Just be you and chill.