Juan of Words

8 years, 1,000+ blog posts later

And still writing is my sanity. You’d think after eight years of jotting down my thoughts and purging my emotions on the World Wide Web I would be done. I wouldn’t have anything else to say. I would have said it all.

8 years, 1,000+ blog posts later

Well, as it turns out, that’s not the case. I actually still have plenty more to say. Although on some days it’s easier to think what I want to say rather than type it out and actually hit that publish button that makes a new blog post oh so official. Of course, you can always hit unpublished too, as I’ve learned over the course of the last eight years.

Some blog posts still make me laugh, or cry. Some of them just make me cringe. All of them though are a part of me. They represent me, or one version of me when I wrote them between the ages of I guess 29 and 38. So much has changed in between. I have changed so much in between. But every single word was true when I wrote it. Or as close to true as my memory would allow.

My family and friends have been quick to point out a couple of times that things weren’t exactly as I remembered them, but this after all is my recollection of things past and present. I’m okay with my memories being a little fuzzy here and there. I like to remember the best parts as much as possible.

And so well after more than 2,920-days of calling myself a blogger, what’s my advice? Create. Just create whatever you feel is inside of you wanting to come out. It doesn’t matter how you do it or what platform you use. If you’re not a writer, that’s okay. If you’re not the best photographer, that’s okay too. And don’t think for one second that the point of all this is to get super rich and famous. It really is not.

I’m not telling you to not make money, just don’t lose sight of why you wanted to create something – anything – to begin with. Believe me, it’s very easy to get lost in the shuffle.

So here are a few of the things I’ve learned along the way.

1. Time waits for no one. If you sit around thinking about it, or debating the pros and cons of a choice in front of you, chances are you are never going to make a decision. Instead, hit your ideas while the iron is still hot. If you mess up, it won’t be the end of the world. Learn from the experience and move forward. I like jotting my ideas down as soon as they come to me so I won’t forget them.

2. Sometimes the easiest thing is the most honest. I am the king of overthinking things. No matter what it is, there’s usually a push and pull taking place in my mind. I used to think it was critical thinking – that I was being “logical” – but when it comes to creating, sometimes it’s just so much more cathartic and helpful to just go with the flow and to let things pour out of you the way they are meant to. You can always come back and edit them later. Some of my most successful blog posts I just wrote and published in a mad dash of self-expression (in 30 minutes or less).

3. Haters gonna hate. I can’t believe I just typed that… but yeah, basically. Whether it’s people who come across your blog and hate your words and decide to let you know they hate your words, or whether it’s someone who has decided they have a personal vendetta against you and just want to tarnish your reputation because they feel wronged by you in some way, the truth is not everyone is going to like you. Repeat these words after me: THAT IS OKAY. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ENGAGE. Take the higher road. It’s just not worth chasing anyone or anything down a rabbit hole.

4. Make bold moves often. I’m still working on this one myself. Because I like to overthink things, I usually find myself being very comfortable with just being comfortable. There’s much less stress in knowing the unknowns and being able to calculate the outcomes of your actions. Unfortunately, that’s not always conducive to taking chances and really going after the milestones you want to achieve. In a lot of ways you just have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. It helps if you have someone who will do the pushing for you.

5. You owe it to yourself to be your own best champion. Not your best critic. Someone said this over lunch the other day: “the world is going to shatter her dreams for her, why should I be the one to shatter her dreams before then.” It was said in passing and as more of a joke, but I think it definitely makes sense when you’re a creator. Don’t judge yourself based on the successes or failures of others. Stand behind what you are doing with all your might even if nobody else is standing with you. I can’t tell you the number of times I have talked myself down from celebrating or appreciating something that I was proud of achieving. You really are the only one who can define what success or failure looks like in your own life.

That’s it. That’s all I got. Other than that, just get out there. Put yourself out there and see what happens.

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