Why do we stop doing what we love and enjoy and start doing things we dread or even hate?
Today I want to mainly focus on the first part: “Why do we stop?”
Recently I’ve been thinking about why I stopped writing.
When I started my business, I was writing a lot. I was regularly documenting my journey, sharing my learnings and takeaways as well as talking about my work process.
Then I got busier and busier, and a few things happened in my life and business and I stopped writing. I stopped documenting my journey, I stopped sharing. And I started hiding.
That’s not to say that I haven’t been honest or transparent, because being open and upfront is my nature. When you ask me a question, you’ll get a straightforward answer. Sometimes you get a little bit too much then you were asking for. But that’s part of the deal.
But why did I stop writing?
What has changed, what happened that I no longer felt inspired to write, to capture my thoughts and feelings and allow my community to join me on the journey?
I haven’t stopped writing completely. But, I stopped finishing and sharing my thoughts.
If I open my notebooks, my Google Doc drafts or my audio notes, there will be lots of short notes, commentary or ideas for blog posts. But whenever I intentionally sat down to finish them and wanted to turn them into something meaningful, I felt stuck.
Due to some personal and business challenges, I was low on headspace and I struggled with focusing on one thing at the time – which is quite crucial if you want to write a meaningful piece of writing.
I started comparing myself. I started questioning myself and my imposter got in a way. I wanted everything to be perfect and that held me back from doing anything.
Meaningful writing is hard!
There’s a difference between writing a short social media post, putting together a random announcement and throwing together a bunch of tips and tricks and writing a deeper, more meaningful story, a valuable blog post or an insightful email. It’s easier to do the former, but sometimes really hard to do the latter.
Even though I stayed active on social media, I rarely had anything meaningful or valuable to share. So I kept posting superficial updates, but they didn’t resonate with me and in return, they didn’t resonate with my audience. Leading to more frustration from poor results…
It’s hard to carve out quality time to sit down and pour out your soul onto a blank piece of paper (or an empty screen).
With so many things going on and with more and more time without writing, I was getting more and more frustrated with myself and I was being really harsh on myself because of this ‘failure’.
Plus the world of social media was getting increasingly more busy, loud and crowded. A new feature or a big change was announced pretty much daily and it got increasingly much harder to stay on top of things. And the longer I stayed away, the more I struggled with peer pressure, perfectionism, and comparisonitis which stopped me from posting. I always saw others doing something similar, different, better, more creative and that completely blocked me.
So, how did I get out of this vicious circle?
It didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t easy!
I started slowly by journaling more and carving more time by myself to write, to practice capturing my thoughts onto paper again and to get comfortable and even excited about writing again.
I made a conscious decision that I want to write more, even if it’s just for myself. That I won’t put that much pressure on myself and won’t have high expectations of the results. I simply wanted to start writing for myself, to find the joy in writing again. And if it resonates with others, it’s great. If it doesn’t, I won’t make a big deal out of it. As long as I’ve enjoyed writing and I’m happy with the outcome, that’s enough for me.
This really helped to get me started. And once you start something, you put the intention out there and you start taking action, the universe usually acknowledges it and helps you along the way.
For me, it was by bringing information about a writing workshop from a brilliant writer and also an incredibly inspiring person to my feed. This workshop came up at the right time for me and its title “A workshop on finding your voice and telling your story” really resonated with me.
At that time, I already started writing this series of Finding Myself and Finding My Way, so adding the part about Finding My Voice seemed really appropriate!
This workshop really helped me understand some of my blocks and gave me tools and courage to start working on the stuff that’s holding me back and start putting myself out there more with my writing!
So, no matter what happens, no matter what challenges the world throws your way, no matter for how long you “fall off the bandwagon” and stop doing something you enjoy, there’s always a way to get back to it!
It might take time, it might not be easy, but if it’s something that used to bring you joy, there’s always a way to bring the joy back! This article is proof of it. After years of not writing, not finishing my articles and not sharing them, not I write more than ever and I love it again!
And I hope that you enjoy reading my thoughts and observations as well!