The Wizard of Blog!

Friday, July 27, 2012

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu. Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

Have you ever marveled at all the projects you've started but haven't completed? I certainly have. Learning Spanish, workout regimes, plans to travel, etc. I have an exquisite hand-made guitar that I've owned since 2006. I've never learned to play it. I have 3 different "teach yourself to play guitar" DVDs. I even have a cornucopia of instructional manuals to start with the basic chords. What I don't have is a surplus of time. So, for now I'll nickname my guitar "Dusty" and move on. Soon, Dusty, soon....

 "Soon". That seems to be the mantra for most of our aspirations in life. I think some would disparage this notion but I, for one, celebrate it. I like that our minds and wills sort of branch off like wild blooms on a rose bush. Not every flower gets the right amount of sun (attention) and so growth can be slow. Some plans never blossom and I don't think that's such a terrible thing. I admire people who maintain a single-minded focus throughout life. But I also feel they lack a certain childlike freshness that keeps the heart and mind darting around like a hummingbird.

I often hear people contemplate projects but never begin because they don't think their endeavors will ever bear fruit. This is completely understandable. Why waste time spinning one's wheels? A blog is a perfect modern example of this phenomenon. I resisted starting a blog, read about blogging once I realized it was necessary for business, started this blog with enthusiasm and then, like most bloggers, completely fell off the track. I just simply couldn't get excited to write about my business. It's like being a mechanic slogging his way through a tough, greasy day and then coming home to write about it. I realize many people find the arts world very interesting but I just couldn't seem to get the ball rolling.

 I labored over a million decisions: Should I write only about my business or include my real passions? Should I keep it professional or personal? Should I write like I speak (aka filthy Irish cussing) or keep it bland and accessible to everyone? You get the idea. It's really daunting to consider all these options. I think that's what keeps most people from beginning. Where to begin!?

 Fortunately, I read "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" many times when I was a teenager so I know that sometimes you must reboot your brain and start with fresh eyes. Brimming with new resolve I've decided to add a little sunshine to my blog project and formulate a real plan to turn blogging into a daily practice. I was inspired by listening to my beloved Adam Carolla, a self-described illiterate, explain how he has been able to write two bestselling books in spite of his busy schedule. His solution? Chip away, day by day. "Don't plan for marathon writing sessions" he advises. "Just keep sneaking in a few hours whenever you can and eventually you will be surprised how much you've gotten done." (paraphrasing here).

 The sticky widget though has been to build momentum. For that to happen I had to reassess my goal and figure out a real way to do it. Here's my plan in 3 simple steps:

 1. Start small: The goal is to get the habit of writing and contributing to the blogosphere regularly instead of sporadically. Like a new exercise routine the key to maintaining it is to start with reasonable expectations and allow the groove to happen. Just show up. A paragraph and a picture a day. I can do that. I suspect the rest will grow from there.

  2. Commit: Woody Allen once famously said "80% of success is showing up". Easy enough. I can keep myself accountable by recording each time I comply with my plan...a gold star on the calendar oughta do it. They magic key here is to commit to something do-able. So, a paragraph and a picture a day it is. It will probably be a bit of a mess at first. So be it. Better to get in the game and look like an idiot than preen on the sidelines.

 3. Prepare: Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance! This is the secret to success in almost everything. Instead of showing up slightly caffeinated and hoping for the best I will prepare an ever-growing list of things to write about. This step was crucial for me to get the fire stoked. It was easier than I thought it would be. Once I started making a list I realized I have plenty to ramble on about--even about my business.

So, the game is afoot. Step one is complete....take a step. Now for step two.....

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