May 1, 2017
Most of my life I’ve lived as a self-proclaimed perfectionist and procrastinator with little remorse or understanding of how those poor habits would affect me. This made for a lot of frustration, mediocre papers and college gen-ed classes completed with little to no long-term knowledge to show for it.
Womp womp…Sadly I’m sure many of you can relate.
BUT as I’ve transitioned to the world of full-time entrepreneurship, I’ve learned more about myself and the habits I’ve used as a crutch than I ever expected. And BOY, am I grateful for it! Lemme tell ya…self-discovery does amazing things for productivity!! But that’s a topic for another day 😉
One hobby and joy of mine, that has suffered as a result of my perfectionist procrastinator tendencies, is my love for writing. As a wedding photographer, blogging, although enjoyable, was the first task to be dropped off the list and until recently, I haven’t made writing a priority in my life. The saddest part is that I actually really love to write!
My elementary age self worked a hard side-hustle after school and on weekends writing a family newsletter, featuring our last name and the 4-inch thick Canon laptop I used. For real, though, that thing was a dinosaur!!
I named it… The Allen Canon News. *insert jazz hands*
Creative naming, right? 😉
Nevertheless, 27-year-old-me could learn a little something from that inspired little girl working hard and making time to do something she loved.
So, this year, my also-ambitious-husband and I decided to make writing a priority in our life, and we planned our first two-day writing retreat!
We spent a little less than 48 hours in a quaint cabin in the woods, and we wrote our hearts out.
Well, sorta. 😉 Mark spent a fair amount of time mastering the art of fire-building, and we also slept in later than planned.
But you know what? We got. work. DONE! I made it way over halfway in a workbook I’m writing (stay tuned!) and Mark wrote 4000 words of his BOOK! Yep, my hottie husband is writing a book. Aren’t we adorbs? 😉
So – in light of this first venture into the world of intentional, extended writing time, I wanted to share what I learned this weekend on our very first writing retreat!
Because I haven’t written much over the past few years it takes some time to really get into a “groove.” BUT I found that it’s important to push through the mental blocks and keep going. Like strengthening and training a muscle, the more you write, the better you get.
Enter that terrible perfectionist habit… Most of the papers I wrote in high school and college took me FOREVER because I would edit as I wrote every. single. sentence. Maybe I ignored it (because you know, when you’re young you know everything LOL), but I can’t remember anyone ever telling me that I needed to start with a crappy first draft. I’m talking just writing, no judging, no deleting, no editing, basically just incomprehensible strings of words that barely pass as sentences. For some reason I thought I was less talented if I had multiple drafts. But THAT is just a lie. All great writers start somewhere, even with a crappy first draft.
Writing for the public comes with quite the roller coaster of emotions. Am I actually qualified to talk about this? Will So-and-so think I’m dumb when they read this? Who am I to give advice? So-and-so already wrote on this topic…do I actually have anything else to say? When you first make the decision to write, whether it be a blog post, a book, even an Instagram post, you will doubt yourself. I think it’s important to start the process already recognizing that at some point, you’re going to want to throw in the towel and assume that someone else will write the same thing, but they’ll write it better. But the TRUTH is, there’s just about nothing completely unique or new under the sun. But you know what is unique? You. Yep, YOU! Your story, your experiences, your worldview, your heart…is 100% unique to you, which means that you have something to say.
This one is simple, but monumental. What do you find yourself saying you wish you had more time to do? What hobby or long-lost talent has been buried in your closet waiting for revival? Do you like to write like me? Whatever it is, it’s time we stop blaming our busy schedules and start scheduling in what’s most important to us.
So, here’s to my fellow writer-wannabe’s and dreamers struggling to overcome imposter syndrome. Your story matters and your gifts were meant to be used. Let’s make our dreams a priority this month.
Goals and dreams mean even more when you speak or write them out loud. Tell me, friend – what do you need to start scheduling into your calendar? I want to cheer you on!!
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