She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain..Dec 02, 2021
Urggh, the dreaded flashing cursor.
Standing proud, alone on the page, defying me to start writing.
Well, there'll be no more of those intimidation tactics here!
After two days of procrastination, prevarication, and fridge cleaning, I'm writing my blog - today, no, in fact, this morning, no backing out, no walks to clear my head, no more "I'll make a start after I've scrolled a bit more through Instagram," or had another cup of tea.
No, it's happening now!
To get past the cursor of doom, I thought I'd write a post giving you some strategies for dealing with writer's block; things like going for a walk, starting to write anything, even it's "I hate my blog" over and over again until the words start flowing, or even how to batch your content, so you don't have to deliver on-demand, but I've decided not to.
Instead, I'm going to give you a pink ticket or a hall pass. Yes, I'm going to let you off the hook!
Look, running your own business can be tough. We're constantly told that we need to stay in the game, go hard or go home and hustle, hustle, hustle if we want to see success.
We need to show up consistently, no excuses. You have to deliver valuable content every.single.week, or people will loose their trust in you.
How many times have you heard that discipline is the key to your success, and without it, well, you might as well pack your bags and go back to your strip lighted cubicle?
Look, it's fine, genuinely, if you WANT to beast yourself every day, self-flagellate until you feel worthy, or scale the highest peaks of business success using just your wit and wile.
But I want to talk about doing things a bit differently.
As I see it, we're all just playing a game. We make up the rules, and we decide when we win and when we loose.
The rules you write for yourself can be that to be successful, it has to be REALLY hard, a slog, a cross country run through the mud on a wet February morning, OR you can choose to set the game up so that you can win easily; think a stroll along a white sandy beach at dawn, watching the sunrise.
I know, I'd be lying if I said every day is going to be an absolute walk on the beach when you're running your own business, but it doesn't have to be punishing, tough and relentless, unless you want it to be.
So what do you want running your business to be like? What are the rules of your game?
Will you be whoop whooping and virtually high fiving your fellow business "beatches" when you've won that day's game, or are you coming with me on a different path?
You see, I prefer to go around the mountain, through the valley or along the beach.
We'll get to the same place, a business you love that generates a great income, but the rules of the game and the journey we'll take are a bit different.
We'll meet the crazies who have gone over the mountain for a drink when they get there. We'll be waiting for them, sipping our G&T's, while they wipe the blood, sweat, and tears off their faces and order their craft beers!
And you know what, we'll all be happy! Each to their own. Everyone's journey is valid.
And that means your rules are as valid as ANYONE else's. You have permission to do things your way, to set your own rules.
They'll work if you let them. So what are your rules going to be?
My rules are that I let myself off the hook every now and again.
I know when the cursor of doom starts flashing on my screen, it's time to recharge.
It means I need to give myself some time to refuel my creativity. I need to let my mind decompress so I can allow new ideas to thrive.
When I'm tired, I can't write. Well, I can, but it's forced, and its soul is missing.
And that's not serving you or me.
So the rules I play by include letting myself take a break when my mind feels dried out. I don't force myself to churn out content just for the sake of it.
I rest, walk, cook, watch crap TV, listen to music and let my mind settle. I potter.
And I don't panic. I know I'll catch the wind in my sails again when they're ready.
And when you're setting the rules for your game, I'd love you to consider something similar.
How can you give yourself a break? How can you be kind to yourself? How can you take the pressure off?
Remember, we're all headed for the same destination; it's just a matter of choosing your route.
Are you going over the mountain with the whoop whooping pumped crazies, or coming with me on a slightly more graceful trip through the valley!
But look, before I finish up, I want to make it super clear that I'm not saying the rules of the game should be that you only show up when you feel like it.
No, missing a blog once in a while is self-care. Twice on the trot, and I'd be raising an eyebrow, three times, and I'll be having a word!
Showing up MUST be one of your rules if you want to succeed, but you choose HOW you show up.
So, if you're facing a blinking cursor and you feel totally uninspired, give yourself a break.
Be kind to yourself.
Open your metaphorical thermos flask of tea, sit down, enjoy the view, and wait till you're ready to move on again. It won't be long.
I'm officially declaring box-set bingeing a bona fide business strategy, and I'm giving you a get out of jail free card to stick on your desk for when you really need it!
Look, if a professional content writer with content plans coming out of her ears can't bear to write her blog sometimes - you're doing just fine - but don't forget to give yourself a break.
Stay in the game, but be kind to yourself.
I consider the blinking cursor incident now resolved, but I'd love to hear what the rules of your game are.
Have you given yourself some "chance" cards, or will you let yourself take panic-free time-out sessions when you need them?
Leave me a comment and let me know!
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