Start Thinking Like You
I haven’t written a blog for three weeks. I just have not wanted to – while I’ve been really getting some momentum in other areas of my life, this just kind of fell away.
Every Monday the reminder would pop up in my calendar and I’d sink – no inspiration, no desire.
Why? Why not?
Ever just lose inspiration for something only weeks ago you thought you were passionate about? Ever wonder why?
It finally came to me during the week as I was tutoring some design students, and saw the reflection of what was going on in my own life.
I Have Been Trying Really Hard NOT To Be Me
What do I mean by that?
When I started blogging I would sit down at my computer and just start writing, and see what would come out. I’d kind of reflect on my week. The lessons I’d learned from the way I saw the world and how they could be applied to work, life, career – and I’d share them, purely with the intention of exactly that. Of sharing what I’d learned in a way that could maybe help someone.
And perhaps have a laugh at my self and provide some light entertainment on the way.
When I read back over blogs, some of my writing is okay. Some is pretty awful and needs a lot of work. And some times there are moments that just work – for no apparent reason. A thought, a sentence, a paragraph that just says exactly what it needed to.
That’s kind of why I write – for the moments. That’s why I create – for the moments that actually work.
Even as I write some of these words, I feel a sort of flow coming back, because they’re MY words – and people will get what they need to, or what they want to. It does not matter as long as you are singing your own tune, and expressing the truth of what’s going on in you.
Somewhere I Lost My Voice
Somewhere, the words stopped flowing a little, as my mentors and coaches and blogs and advice columns kept telling me that blogs need to have a certain structure:
- You have to have an Infographic – to post on Pinterest.
- You have to have “to-do” steps – so people can actually do something with the information.
- You have to write 1,000 – 2,000 words – because that’s what the data says is most read.
- You have to have video – because you do.
- You have to have an audio – because you do.
- You have to have at least one or two links to your latest optin or sales funnel.
- You have to be “professional” and “business-like” – the exact masks I chose to discard in pursuit of working on my own.
- You can’t show what’s really going on with YOU – people don’t want to know that stuff, do they?
So many rules, processes, formulas…
Somewhere in there, I got lost…again.
The last few blogs I wrote started to feel onerous, just another task on my to-do list. No wonder I was losing interest. Especially at a time when my creativity was really starting to kick right in.
The spark was starting to light my fire and was fluffed out just as quickly as it began.
Light YOUR Spark
I figured out what was going on this week, when I was given the opportunity to review some architectural design students from another class.
…(Aside, I’ve recently started teaching architectural design, and my goodness, the learning curve and the self discovery is amazing, but more on that later…)
After reviewing 3 or 4 students work, I realised very quickly what was going on. No criticism to any other teacher, because this is the whole point of what’s going on here…
But, they were all trying to emulate the ideas and thinking of their own teacher, to the detriment of their own work.
When you don’t think like someone else, how can you think like someone else?
Working Within Frameworks
I have a very logical approach to design, creativity, work, life…My whole philosophy is about creating frameworks that ANY ONE can use to express them self through and within.
When the framework gets too tight and restrictive, the framework’s gone too far. It’s no longer something that you can weave your own story through – it’s become a series of rules and regulations that restrict your creative voice.
When it feels like hard work, you’ve gone too far – that’s what happened to me and my blogs.
That’s what was happening with these design students.
They were trying to design within the rules and constraints and systems and processes of someone else’s mind.
Not their own.
And so their own voice and expression was getting lost. And the spark of inspiration was slowly fading. Because it was becoming…really…hard…work.
When You Don’t Think Like Someone Else, How Can You Think Like Someone Else?
There’s a catch-22 here, I know.
Because, as a teacher, my intent is to help students uncover what works for them, within an overall framework that is there to guide them, so they don’t go too crazy off path.
As a teacher, how can I not help but deliver my own influence, my won perspective. You can’t.
It’s who you are. It’s how you see the world. It’s your own unique perspective and your own self expression, that must be free to flow in it’s own way.
The Key To Your Own Voice Lies With The Student
Any time you learn any thing (let’s face it, that’s pretty much all day every day if you allow it), you have to look at the information, not the teacher.
As a student, you have to know your self so well that you can figure out which bits work for you and which bits don’t. this is part of your own journey, and early on you’re going to make mistakes. They key is to make sure that you have teachers around you who are open to helping you make the mistakes and helping you figure out what works for you.
Test Every Thing Out, Take What Works And Discard The Rest
That’s what learning is for.
That’s what life is for.
Some times you’ll do it well.
Some times you won’t.
And so, today, I just write what needs to come out.
No rules, no lists, no key words, no labouring for an hour over the title,..no “to-do” steps.
Just a story and a reflection, on what I learned this week.
The blog that stopped has started again…for now.