Does practice make perfect?

I feel like I’ve been pretty clear about my intention to write more online. For the past couple of years, I’ve been writing, but not so much in this or other spaces where I use my name to claim my work. Most of my work has just been kept relatively private or stored in places that don’t use bylines. So far, I have done a couple of things to try and foster my WRITE MORE goal including keeping a notebook with me at all times, adopting more of a how could I share that approach to what I’m seeing and doing every day, spending time talking with my friends who also work in spaces like this and actually making a routine out of sitting down to write a post every day. So far, so good.

I’ve always held a strong belief that if you want to do something well, the real key is just to just start by doing it more. More in quantity, more in frequency, more in any way you can, whatever it is. I think the idea first struck me as it related to creativity and my philosophy was something like if you do something creative every day, then eventually creativity will come to you naturally. I really believe that. I mean, a marathoner doesn’t just think about running or make a plan to run whenever they have some time leading up to a race, right? Some time? What’s that? Athletes continue to devote a significant amount of time to practice throughout the duration of their careers. So do musicians, artists, dancers, singers…the list goes on and on.

It’ll be no surprise that my most recent application of this theory is related to this blog. I’m trying to live by the advice that I dole out to all of my friends when they talk about how they want to post more, but they just can’t seem to get started or follow through. What do I tell them? Just write. (I even have documented proof!) When it comes to blogging, it’s super easy to want to do it, but it gets a lot trickier when you try to actually follow through. It’s a breeze to drum up ideas and decide what you want to write about, but it’s often really tough to sit down and actually do it. We find a million excuses to get in the way of releasing our words out onto the screen: work, kids, family, exercise and, let’s be honest, tv, video games, social media, etc. I was thinking about it all the time and even talking about it, too. But the tough question I had to ask myself was: do you really want to do this or not? I knew my answer was yes and that’s why I had to make the jump.

I have a number of friends who, like me, are bloggers at heart. If this is you, you know it. You are constantly thinking about how you’d write about things that are happening around you, you think in words instead of colours and shapes, you want to share everything you see in your very own thoughtful way. You think about doing it ALL. THE. TIME. You take time out of work/play/life to devote to it. What I’ve learned over the fifteen years I’ve been writing for this and many other incarnations of this blog is that there is no way to do it unless you go through it. Like anything, it’s uncomfortable sometimes, it’s vulnerable, it’s hard work, it’s dedication. I’ve been able to rally all angles of it for spurts, but I always have to take breaks when I get bored/tired/distracted and I am finally coming to terms with that being okay.

So, I’m making a point to write here every day. I have a long list of ideas I want to write about and things I want to share, but I haven’t even had to refer to it. At the same time I’m trying really hard to just go with the flow and not get caught up in the routine of doing something every day (that is my kryptonite) or to feel like it’s so much of an obligation that I have to post something, anything instead of continuing to enjoy the process and be happy with what I’m sharing.

I guess what I’m saying is that you have to keep doing something if you’re going to make it a part of your life. This applies to anything – learning, reading, cooking, skiing – for me, here and now, this applies to getting blogging back in my life.

What are you struggling to fit into your life? Have you successfully developed a habit by making it a routine/priority? 

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