Sophomore slump, writer’s block, paralysis analysis…
Whatever you call it, these are examples of creative resistance that result from overthinking. Let’s say you write something good. Or you find yourself working on something that feels “important.” This can easily lead a person down the rabbit hole of overthinking. Suddenly, the creativity and inspiration that was fresh and organic and fun becomes twisted and blocked and tense.
They call that “being in your head.” This is not a good place to be. Believe me, I know!
As I thought about today’s post–the final day of Blogging Year Two–I could detect just a hint of that kind of thinking. “Well, Chris, what are you going to do to make this last post special? What are you going to do to make sure it’s good enough, huh? HUH?!”
Fortunately, this ain’t my first rodeo. I’ve come a long way down the road as a reformed perfectionist. So I had a quick response to that old voice: I’m just going to write a post, like I have done many times before.
After all, if I got all in my head about this last post, I could take weeks just sweating it and not getting it done. What the heck would be the point of that?
Maybe I’m comparing myself a bit (unfavorably) to the end of Blogging Year One. “That post about the U.S. Grant book was pretty cool. Remember how great you felt getting to the end of the year? C’mon, Chris. What are you going to do to top that?”
My answer: I’m not going to try to top that. That was an amazing achievement, finishing 365 days in a row of blogging. I’ve accomplished it, and now I’m here. I may be doing it again, but I’m in a new place, and I don’t have to try to replicate or compete with last time. The point of this blog has never been to “top” anything. It’s always been just to be productive, to articulate my thoughts, to keep creating and expressing.
This reminds me of something I recommend to my piano students when they are recording songs they are working on. I offer them the “two-recording rule.” As in, record yourself up to two times only, and send me the one you like best. This eliminates the possibility of perfectionism or burn out from trying to record themselves over and over.
Similarly, I did not want to make a big deal over Year #2, Day 365. I gave myself yesterday off, and here we are, completing the blogging year as planned.
It’s pretty cool, actually. My blog now has 1009 published posts. Not too bad, eh?
Back on Day 1 of this Second Year, I wrote the following:
The simple effectiveness of this daily blog is like nothing I find anywhere else. I just do it, without waiting for the reward. There’s no stress, but instead a completely satisfying act of sharing for its own sake. And though there might be some negative self-judgment now and then ( “Is this stupid to write a blog just for myself?” “Hardly anyone reads this..what’s wrong with me?”), the overall feeling is of freedom from attachment while sharing who I am with the world. That is a gift that keeps on giving.Day 1: Keep Calm and Blog On, from July 3, 2022
Amen to that.
This officially completes Year Two of 365 Days of Blogging 🙂