I attended one of those internet book marketing seminars where they tell you that you have to blog hourly, at least six days a week, and that every word you write must be keyed and tested for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that Google algorithms snatch your post and put it at the top of the page and everybody who reads it signs up for your email list.
When I hear things like this (translate: each time I hear anything about internet marketing), my stomach seizes up into a dark little raisin. My eyes glaze over and I get a headache. I say to myself, “If that’s what it takes, I’m going to plumbing school.”
This seminar leader actually pointed his finger at me and said, “What’s the point, if you’re not building your email list by 10-20% every week?”
My teenage self rose up from God knows where, scowled at the world, and said with the cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face logic of adolescents and two years olds, “Okay, then I won’t do it at all!”
THE FALLOUT FROM “NO!”
Normally, I post on WRITE IN THE ZONE on Thursdays and on THE SOUL OF SELLING on Tuesdays, and write both posts the week before. By last Sunday night, I had written nothing. All I had was a teenager inside me with folded arms and steam coming out of her ears.
When Monday morning dawned, I realized that I’d missed writing my posts. I wrote one for THE SOUL OF SELLING in 45 minutes, and immediately got the idea for this one, which I’m enjoying tremendously.
I got out of my own way, did and wrote what gave me joy, and realized that I was having a great day even without a 20% increase in email subscribers.
KEEP ON KEEPING ON
The point is that very often, we get in our own way. We make excuses for not writing. We don’t write because we’re mad at people, or mad at ourselves. We say we don’t have enough time or energy. We make up stories about not being good enough.
We get in our own way whenever we believe something—from our own minds or from other people—that keeps us from the pleasure of writing. The trick is to remember that we are what’s in the way, not other people or outside circumstances.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THIS: No matter how much we get in our own way, we can get out of the way thoroughly and immediately just by putting fingers to keyboard or pen to paper.