Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My Self Help Journey: My Writing Career

I've been reading Mastery by Robert Greene which is a self help book that focuses on career and vocation. 

Greene writes that in order to gain mastery in any field one must focus on learning a specific skill first. For example, Mozart started as a piano player. Mozart had to master playing an instrument before he could start composing music. Da Vinci started out sketching. He needed to master being able to see like an artist before he could paint or sculpt.

So I asked myself, what skill do I need to first master? I want to write a novel so I thought maybe fiction writing. I also love to draw so I thought about focusing on those skills. But these didn't seem quite right. Then I started to think about what job title I would give myself at this particular moment in time.

Blogger! I didn't hesitate at all when I immediately thought I would describe myself as a blogger.

My goals are to be a popular writer and get paid for it.  I want to be a bestselling author. Ultimately I dream of winning a Pulitzer Prize and/or have my book chosen by Oprah for her book club. Making a lot of money would be awesome but for me, being recognized as someone influential is far more meaningful to me. That is what success looks like for me. 

This is getting a bit ahead of myself. Writing a book are skills I will need to develop however right now the most important thing for me to develop are my skills at blogging. 

Sure I can incorporate sharing my fiction, poetry and art into my blog but if no one is reading my blog, that doesn't mean much. The most important skill for me to develop first is to learn how to write a successful blog. I need to work on building a platform. I could be an awesome writer but none of this means much if no one is seeing what I'm posting. I want to do more than just have people read my posts though. I'd like to inspire people. 

Honestly, I feel ridiculous, vulnerable, and somewhat self absorbed for writing this post. I have a huge desire to delete this entire series that I've called "My Self Help Journey" and pretend like I never even started it. I don't because I know it's exactly what I need as a writer. I want to be challenged. I want to feel just a little uncomfortable and vulnerable. I want to write about things that are real for me.  Maybe that makes me kind of pretentious. I don't know.

What I do know is this. I've been doing a version of this self help journey in private for years. I've wrote pages and pages of journals and diaries about this very thing but there's something different about putting it on a public blog. It gives me accountability. If I spend the next year or so whining and complaining about my problems but never doing anything to change them, then whoever is reading this sees that. It's not another journal I can stuff in the back of my closet that no one will ever see. So even though I feel absurd writing this, I'm doing it for me.

Which brings me to a key issue about being a blogger. I want to have a popular blog that people read and I want to make money at it. But this blog is first and foremost for myself. How do I balance writing for myself and having a successful blog? That's what I need to learn, right?

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