4 months since I found out my writing coach and spiritual mentor was going to die.
4 months since I decided I was going to finally launch a podcast I'd been dreaming with and working on for two years but was too scared to do it.
4 months since I decided this quarantine was going to be my ally and not my enemy.
Well... if someone were to ask me what the sum of the last 4 months has been I would be an ungrateful bitch if I didn't say the result was overall positive. I've grown a lot the last few months and I can't be blind to that (it's so easy to not recognize and celebrate your small achievements.)
It's funny. When I'm busy and when things are going well, I don't have a need to blog. It's when I am feeling another level of rock bottom and all sorts of emotional and mental crises that I have the need to write about it. And while I could use this outlet to talk about the things bothering me now.
I think it's best if I start with a celebrating reflection list of what I've learned from the past few months:
I can actually finish what I start:
I'm a quitter. A natural quitter. It's so easy for me to quit anything that is no longer adding value to my life or making me happy. This can be good, but it can also make you feel like a loser. There's an overall bad rep on quitters but Seth Godin's book "The Dip" will show how quitting is not necessarily the worst thing you can do.
I finally found something I don't want to quit, not now at least. I have loved being busy doing something that I love. And that was working on my podcast. The experience of building a project I have always wanted to bring to life has taught me a lot about productivity, time management and endurance.
As I end my first season and take a pause from this, I am starting to analyze in what ways I am going to improve the second season and the entire workflow system as well! I don't want to quit this project and have seasons worth of planned content left yet and plenty more of dreams as to where it will continue to expand into in the future. HOWEVER... my body needed a reset. A pause. A break. And that leads me to...
2. LISTEN TO YO' BODY:
I had been going non stop since April, when most people were resting and chilling during the first phase of the quarantine. I had been working non stop since I launched the podcast and a month before launching learning about the system and workflow as I went. How long it would take me to edit, to conduct an interview, to then promote it, etc, etc, etc.
After 3 months of this, I could feel myself needing sleep, needing brain space to not think and just be versus do. It wasn't just my body feeling tired but my body too. I wasn't as motivated or excited anymore (this happens all the time and continuing to work despite it is key for anything you choose to do in your life. You can't be happy ALL the time.) I was still happy to edit and publish every episode but my creativity was starting to burn out and taking time to rest and distance oneself from social media to rethink things and consider your next steps is necessary.
Normally, my ego would not let me accept this call to take a break but I know that the quality of my podcast would be negatively affected if I didn't give my mind and body the rest they deserve. And as I give myself time to just do what I want such as read, take up some courses and also figure out where I am going professionally, I can feel my energy recovering and my ideas starting to bloom again.
It's funny just how simple it is to listen to your own body for when you think you need a break to reassess your life before you get back on the marathon again. The long term results will be way better than if you fight against it and push yourself because you want the short term results (more productivity and more quick audience growth.)
That leads me to...
3. Do I want quantity or quality?
So I've gotten a lot of opinions on how I should be interviewing influencers and famous people. And I have a couple of interviews of well known people under my belt (aka. waiting on my hard drive). And all this not because the content is absolutely necessary but because "it's the fastest way to get a quick growth and more exposure!". And this is something I have had to decide from the start. Do I want my podcast to be famous quickly or do I want nice slow paced steady growth but with a faithful audience and quality content? The kind of content I actually want to deliver.
My answer is: I'm not into shortcuts. They tend to leave you crashing quickly when you do things because you want fame and money and not because you actually want to help people.
Where I'm at now:
Well, I am waking up every day with the notion that I am closer to turning 30 than I am to being a twenty something year old and that is starting to make me think about money a lot more. The years go by so quickly I want to be wise about how I spend them before I reach an age where my goal is to make money from something I enjoy. And I've come to recognize I've had a limiting belief dominating my decisions all these years and that is this:
"You can't make money from your passions so get a job that will make ends meet in the meantime."
AH. It makes me angry just writing it but I have to come to terms with it. This is something we've all heard from teachers, counsellors, family members (especially), and even friends or romantic interests.
Well... I've decided I don't really like that belief system and being a "pessimist realist" isn't really working for me anymore. Yeah, making a living as an artist isn't easy. Yeah, it's best to have a job that will help you financially as you work on your creative endeavors. But the job I was working on every day wasn't fulfilling for me. And while I accepted this as my reality and was grateful for the comforts the job gave me, I think it is time I start creating my future versus letting my external environment create me.
So, this is the journey I am on now. Finding a way to make money off of something I actually like to do and that goes hand in hand with my calling. If others can do it, why can't I?
I will keep ya'll posted.
For now, let me announce that I will be blogging once a week (been wanting to keep this up for a long time but haven't been able to make that commitment until now!)
Hope you get a kick out of these posts and feel less lonely. I sure do.
Until next week, folks.