Create more. Hustle less.

water-reflection-1

A couple weeks ago, Shelton and I were coming home with a hot dinner in tow when I saw this. This is the entrance to our apartment complex, and for a while now I’ve been waiting for the water to be still and glass-like like this so that I could take a picture of the trees perfectly reflected. Sometimes you wait and wait and then when you least expect it, things just happen. When they finally do, you let your dinner get cold so that you can experience them wholeheartedly. I’m sure that’s a rule somewhere.

I’m doing a lot of re-thinking and reflecting in my life lately. Reassessing my priorities – asking myself questions like, “What is the most important thing to me right now?” and “Am I spending my time as I should be?” and “What makes me feel fulfilled?” and then most importantly… “Am I doing the things that make me feel fulfilled often enough?”

In case you were wondering, the answer to that question is “No.”

When I started blogging in 2009 (I can’t believe it’s been almost four years), I did so because I needed a creative outlet and I craved attention. Only one of those is a good reason to start an endeavor like blogging, but hey. At the time both my professional and personal lives were extremely stressful and taxing, and I saw blogging as an escape. It was also around this season of my life that I drank just about every day and on the weekends I would listen to music and write aimlessly until 4 am. I would do things like this instead of working through my problems. I numbed my feelings like you wouldn’t believe.

A lot has changed since then. Like, I don’t even live on the same planet anymore. Which is very ironic, because my old blog was named Sarah Planet.

Why do I blog now? If you’re a blogger reading this, or a hobbyist of any kind – I encourage you to ask yourself the same question. Why are you doing what you do? Has your motivation evolved or changed since you began?

Mine has. Every time I receive a comment, my heart flutters. I get the same feeling when I get a new “like” on Facebook. But blogging is not an escape from my life anymore – it’s a way that I celebrate my life. All that being said, I continue to put way too much pressure on myself lately when it comes to blogging. I am incredibly driven by my firstborn mentality, most of the time to a fault. My inner critic is just so mean. I spoke about my tendency to self-shame in this post about fitness, and guess what? My inner-critic uses the exact same tactics to make me feel like shit about blogging and my creativity.

“Sure, that’s a good post, but no one will read it.”

Emma and Elsie are so much smarter than you. Why can’t you post as much as them?”

“You are doing this all for nothing.”

So mean, right? These thoughts make me not want to post, cause me to think more about other blogger’s styles than my own, and leave me feeling uninspired and numb. The truth is that I love my voice/writing style now more than ever because it is more open and honest. I think the projects I have posted recently are very inspired, and I’m proud of them. When I publish a heartfelt post, I feel like I am aligned with the Universe. And those are all good feelings.

But then comes the hustle of promoting my posts on Facebook, pinning my own images, tweeting, etc. and the good feelingsĀ dissipateĀ because newsflash: the blogging community is huge and I’m not the only one pushing my content. There is so much focus on self-promotion within the community that it’s become more important to me to receive feedback/praise on my posts than the actual act of posting.

That’s sad. But, makes sense once the pieces are put together.

So, I have decided a few things based upon these realizations. I am going to create more and hustle less. If I am hustling more than I am creating, something is wrong and I should stop immediately and give myself a break. I am going to show up and be present in my own life, and always be proud of my successes both on and off the blog. I will do all of these things even if no one is watching, it seems like no one cares, or no one gives me praise.

Create more. Hustle less. | sweetandsavorylife.com

I will create from a raw, honest place. Not a place that is driven by recognition. When I create good, honest, heartfelt content that I am sure will resonate with someone else, I will lightly promote it. And then I will post again when I am inspired, and so on and so forth. My hope is that this will be a healthy cycle of creation, not one where I constantly feel like I’m not good enough. Because that is simply not true.

I am good enough. My content is, too. And if this ever feels like work, I’m gonna back off. I’m gonna re-read this post. I am going to remind myself of all the things I’m doing well in my life outside the blog (work, relationships, personal development, etc.). I’m gonna keep being raw and keep being me.

I love the person I’m growing to be. It’s shit-hard sometimes, but crazy worth it. Wouldn’t change a thing.

-Sarah

Comments

  1. Hi Sarah! I couldn’t tell you how I stumbled upon your blog, but nonetheless, just wanted you to know that I really enjoy reading your stories, inspirations, creative ideas, and truthful words. Hope you continue to create more and hustle less :)

    PS. I am also a new North Carolinian and have to say I’ve been enjoying it here so far. I try to do something new every weekend and find it’s the best way to get to know the area :)

    • sweet sarah says:

      Thank you so much for your comment! I really appreciate it – definitely inspires me to create a LOT more and hustle a LOT less :)

      Where are you at in NC? I still haven’t made any friends here really, but we are hoping to do more exploring now that it is getting warmer!

      • My boyfriend and I just moved to Raleigh together. A new adventure for the both of us! We also haven’t really made friends yet – tough to meet people! I work with mostly older individuals and he just started working. So maybe soon? Haha. I was thinking of joining a running club or something like that to meet new people. Any suggestions? :)

  2. Thanks for this thoughtful posts. I am struggling with many of the same things in my writing/blogging adventure. I often feel that I am doing the wrong things, or not enough of the right things. It gets confusing and discouraging at times.

    • sweet sarah says:

      You are so right to call writing/blogging an adventure – most of the time it’s like one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. Sometimes the adventure is only as good as you make it, but at the same time, it can be very difficult to muster up the inspiration for things that can feel like “work.” I tell myself that trying to figure out how other bloggers have happened upon their success is like trying to put lightning in a bottle – impossible. We all have our own paths, and you most *definitely* have yours :) Thank you so much for your comment!

  3. I love it when bloggers get real. My inner critic is so mean, too! I don’t want to walk down a road where writing for me feels like working – just another job. If I don’t have anything to say, I back off, just to keep it fun.

  4. I love this post. Love love love it. :) New follower! :) Visiting from SITS.

  5. This is truly an inspirational post. Loved it. Love you.

  6. Thanks for speaking your mind and saying things I am not always able to put into words. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my questioning.

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