I can’t say that I reveal too much of myself on this blog (yet). I’ve announced that I I’m on a journey to rediscover my inner artist and I’ve shared some glimpses of her possibilities. I especially like How to Discourage Unconventional and Draw a new Perspective and What is Your Art Journal About? The admittedly vague idea was that perhaps we could focus on the art journey--only--and maybe I could get away with avoiding my personal life. Lots of people seem to do it., even during what has in fact been intense transition moving houses and life phases and life's work (change at all levels: emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual).
I can give you many reasons, and surely fear tops the list. It always does. Fear of exposure. Fear of criticism. I don't know, fear of being seen.
But truly, one of the reason I been playing duck and cover is because I just. can't. seem. to know. What do I really want to do (including, on this blog?) What is my goal?
I don't know about you, but do you notice that when you are searching for something all kinds of clues to your questions flow right to you? (Especially now that we have Google--our modern day oracle--and blogs readers)
Within the last several weeks, I've experienced a deluge of clues--so many, in fact, that I just had to stop everything to just listen.
And so, rather than go into my story just yet (which I have yet to write, but it's coming, it's coming!) I would like to share with you some of what has come my way to help clear my path. Again, if only in the hope that perhaps something in my journey can inform yours.
"There Needs to be a Why" says Amy Gutman so eloquently in her latest post.
"There needs to be a why. There always needs to be a why. And when the why is strong enough, it propels us into the how."
"Be useful and interesting" is Penelope Trunk's mantra, and maybe because I've followed her for years and hold her advice so close, I edit out more than I ever publish.
But this week I learned a great deal more from her during her week long webinar, "How to Write About Your Life." She really made me think about how important it is as a blogger to keep your contract with your reader--and to keep your contract with yourself. I've definitely fallen down on both counts. Also, in her closing remarks she said that in the end it's not the writing or the doing of anything that fulfills us, but "what makes you fulfilled is being true to yourself." Ahh!
And if done right, the writing and the doing just help you get there.
I paid for Penelope's webinar (and it was worth every penny), but in the meantime Problogger's Darren Rouse put out a free 1 hour webinar (that stretched to almost two hours) in celebration of a milestone, "What I learned in 10 years of blogging", so I had to catch that as well. It was amazing--he is amazing--and I highly recommend listening to the audio and downloading his accompanying slides. He made me really think about the why, again, of running a blog and the importance of committing--or not. Run your blog like a business, no matter whether your goals are financial or for other reasons.
His sincere and authentic commitment to service to others is also a big reminder--a point Trunk repeatedly makes as well--that blogs are for readers. Serve the reader not yourself.
Finally, two other pieces came by to hit me over the head with what I call "Do It" wisdom. Do it right. Do it well. Do what you love. Go for (the doing of) it. Chris Gullibeau brings together his advice to Find a Valuable Skill and Leo Babuta writes a short post filled with links as well, The Work You Love is Waiting for You. All the links in both posts are thought-provoking and filled with great advice.
I am blown away by the generosity and wisdom of each of these thought leaders, and surely it is time for me to get unlost--to figure out the why, finally, and then to commit--To keep my contracts, to run with this blog and my work as tenaciously as any work I've ever done, and to serve you, my readers.
To tell my story. To reveal a little more of who I am as I commit to what I am in fact about.
And all those reasons why I haven't (yet)?
They're now as brittle as the last leaves of autumn piled on the sides of the sidewalks (at least here in California). See how easily they crunch and blow away.