This starting-a-blog idea popped into my head a couple of weeks ago, just before the “hurrication” (a.k.a. Irene), here in NY. I figured that a blog would be a great way to keep me on-track as I’m beginning my grad school audition prep (which technically already began months ago, but more on that in another post). I also figured that a blog would be a great way to keep in touch with my family in CA. Annnd after reflecting on my experience auditioning for grad school last year (my 2nd try), I realized that something that would have made the process more fulfilling for me would have been to have more of a sense of community support, so that I wouldn’t feel like I was doing this ALONE, ya know?
So I took advantage of the time-off during the hurricane and began to plan and prepare for my self-exploration/accountability blog which I entitled Acceptance Project. Since this blog is about examining my creative process, I feel it necessary to tell you what issues came up for me in the inception of blog-creation… I think it’s indicative of my process over-all.
So, I get the idea to create this blog… then the following happens (mostly inside my head)…
1. Self: Blogging is too overwhelming and too much work and not "me". I am not a "blogger." I do not "blog".… (Attempts to talk myself out of it/Test if it’s just a passing fancy)
2. Self: Idea will still not go away, keeps coming up at random times throughout the week when brain should be focusing on other things. Brings up emotions ranging from giggly joy to total and complete dread.
3. Several days go by… Self: Wrestling with all the logical reasons that a blog might be a good thing for me (as listed in introductory paragraph), but main obstacle has now become fear of self-disclosure on public forum (a.k.a. the world wide web)… Q: Am I confident enough in who I am to actually be vulnerable in my blog posts? A: I will never know unless I actually DO IT. And confidence will be gained in the action of doing it, so how I feel about it now is really irrelevant.
4. Self: Decide that FEAR is never a good reason for not doing something that you know will be a good thing for you/is fun/you (secretly) want to do.
5. Hurricane hits and I sat in my apartment for two days straight and designed the blog… started working on the menu pages and brainstormed about content, etc. (Didn’t tell anyone what I was doing… Could hardly admit it to myself yet.)
6. Got the bare bones of the blog up… and figured out my “statement of purpose.” (Finally told someone about it!) I enlisted the feedback of one close and trusted friend to bounce ideas off of (I let this person in on this project at this early tender stage of the project because… A. I knew they would encourage me to move forward without judging and B. They have some computer/technical expertise that I don’t have.) A super judgmental “friend’s” criticism of the project would have crushed the idea for me at this stage. I was still finding my legs with it and feeling it out. Intense scrutiny or even flippant comments from well-meaning supporters wouldn’t have been helpful at this point. Gotta protect your babies!
7. After putting together the structure for the whole thing… And planning all the steps that I had to do next in order to begin blogging on my start date of Sept 5… I let the blog page sit there on the internet for about 5 days without touching it at all… just anticipating… just letting it BE, as I started to get used to the idea that I am making myself into a “blogger” and in what ways will this change my experience of grad school audition prep? (Still wrestling with... “Why would anyone care to read this besides my mother?" But, hey!, that’s one subscriber… and that’s all I really need to be accountable. So then… I’m good. Right? Right. Acceptance Project will be successful in that way no matter what!)
8. Cut to yesterday… I finally got the email subscription up and running and I’ve started to tell people about what I’m doing… in person… via FB… by text message… a few emails… slowly building up the confidence to share the project with others. I am really excited about it and happy to be able to do something that kind-of freaks me out too. It’s a good challenge and I know I’ll grow from it somehow, in some way. Also, most everyone has been encouraging, which has been a gift.
9. So now, here I am… 8:15am on Labor Day morning… writing my first blog… my “labor” of love… and oh, boy… It ain’t perfect. I am having to deal with all kinds of crazy negative self-talk in my head right now… But I have not set myself the parameter that my blogs have to be “good”… The guidelines are….A. that I have to post 6 days a week (which I am doing)… quantity is key, quality will get better over time (that’s what PROCESS is about)… and B. that my writing has to be my vulnerable truth reflecting my creative process and not what I think other people want to read (which this is... and I am certainly impressed that you’ve read this far!!! Ha!)… So, anyway, I’m following my own rules... and avoiding one of my major blocs… perfectionism. Because it’s better to move forward from where you’re at, than to stand still, waiting for the "perfect" moment and wishing you could move. There is no perfect moment. There is only now. At least… that what I've found to be true.
10. Next steps… keep posting!!! Tomorrow is another day! And… now that I’ve got the blog up-and-running I can look to improve it and play with it… make it into just what I want it to be… or just what it’s supposed to become… or whatever! And I can continue to tell people about it and build confidence and hopefully create a sense of community around this very personal dream/goal/process I am working on... getting accepted to grad school!!!
That said… I’m very interested in what helps you to be able to move forward in your process? What are the obstacles that sometimes inhibit you from taking action to begin to accomplish your goals/dreams/secret wishes? How have you overcome them in the past? Share the wealth of your self-knowledge!
Love to you all!!
Thanks for reading. Thanks for subscribing. Thanks for being you.
P.S. First blog post. Done. Whew!
"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."
~ Gretchen Rubin author of The Happiness Project