As I thought more about writing and what I wanted this blog to be, I found myself almost immediately talking myself out of it. That 'inner mean girl' started piping up about how nobody cares what I have to say, my writing is awful and self-indulgent, my photographs are boring etc....so I started furiously writing to try and drown out her voice. Below is the result - eight maxims that I can come back to any time I start to doubt myself and my writing.
It was only when I finished my frenzied scribbling that I realised the below advice could apply just as easily to life as to blogging. A personal manifesto if you will, for writing and for living.
Write the truth
Not cliche, not what you think you ought to write, and not apologising for yourself. Write with sincerity.
Ignore your inner mean girl
Tell her to can it when she starts trash-talking you. She does not rule you. Eliminate the word "should" from your vocabulary.
Push your boundaries
Look to improve your writing and photography wherever possible. Try new things, make mistakes, fail, try something different.
Do it because you love it
Not because you think you should. If it stops being fun, do something different.
Reduce the scope, stick to the schedule
If a topic is overwhelming to unpack. pick just one small aspect - a quote, a specific idea - and bring it back to the personal. Don't get overwhelmed by the breadth of the subject, delve into the specifics instead.
Mistakes are good
You will learn through making mistakes. Do not fear humiliation or vulnerability. Regret is worse than either of those things.
You won't be happy with it for a long time
...probably never. And that's a good thing. Why do something if it's not going to challenge you in some way? Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.