I’m not ashamed to admit that there are many times that I doubt myself. I suppose that’s the nature of a parent. Or maybe I’m getting older and these are things that happen. Or maybe it’s a global pandemic and a global call to end systemic racism. Maybe it’s all of these things, and probably a whole lot more. But I find that in these times, I often end up finding my way.
Life, for the most part, has been really great for me. I know that with all that is going on in the world, this is a hard thing to say. But given where I’ve been over the past few years, I’m in a really good place. The past has given way to new opportunities and better choices for my life. I am in a new relationship that is healthy and fulfilling. I’ve received not one but two promotions in the last year, and I feel like I’m where I need to be with my job.1 I’m even down 20 lbs now, and working on the next 20. I’m starting to hit a stride for my life with which I’m comfortable.
Yet, there were some things that were not happening. My personal projects – my writing and my podcast – have been on hiatus for a while. I felt like my creative energy was zapped, that I didn’t have the desire to do these things anymore. I’m not sure if it was depression or a culmination of things, but I just didn’t feel creative anymore. I felt unmoored while trying to navigate my creative life.
It’s in these times that I turn my focus to my journal, so I can start to figure out what it really is that’s driving me. Why am I writing? Why am I podcasting? Do people enjoy this? Does that matter? Who am I writing or speaking to when I share my thoughts? At the end of it all, I have to ask: What’s my why? 2
This question set me down multiple paths. I sat alone with my thoughts, figuring out what I wanted to do. My initial thought was to stop. Stop writing. Stop podcasting. Do things for me, and forget it all. I don’t owe it to anyone to continue these things. If I don’t want to do them, then I can just hang it up and walk away. These thoughts consumed me for weeks.
But in my journaling and even in discussions with others, I found myself pulled another direction. I started thinking of the why for my writing. And really, it comes down to what it started to be: I write for me, and me alone. What I have learned over my time of writing is that people seem to enjoy what I write for myself. I’m honestly shocked most of the time that it even makes sense, people enjoy it, and – much to my shock – it even gets requested at times.
So, I’m going to be doing some things to return to form. I’m starting to write again, and it’s pouring out of me. I’m going back to the approach I took when I first started: write for myself, and then publish. Some of my stuff might be small, some of it larger. But it’s going to be on the subjects and topics that I want. Over the coming weeks, you’ll see some posts about my favorite app Drafts: the posts aren’t going to be a regurgitation of the release notes nor will I cover everything. But what I will do is cover particular things that speak to me in the various releases. And this is how I will generally approach most things going forward. If I’m being honest with myself, this is what I should have done all along.
With this renewed focus, I decided to update the site a bit. I commissioned a new look and overhaul of the site from top to bottom, which was done by the amazing Jeff Mueller. I also got to collaborate with Jeff Perry to create a logo for my site. These are two things that I have wanted to do, but did not have the time or the creative energy to develop properly. I’d rather have these things taken care of for me than do them myself, and that’s ok. This also helps me recommit to the future of my site, my writing, and my creative life in general.3
I hope that this is a new beginning. By reframing my mind, I’m freeing myself of guilt and returning to the positive mindset that allows me to be creative. I’ve gone through the questions and come out on the other side with the answers. As I wrote recently:
Sometimes we question what is important. I now realize how vital it is to question – but not doubt – your motives as to why you do something and why you might want to continue. I’m not afraid of this process, but rather I embrace it. Onward…