do your do
create what you love to create, and the people with whom it resonates will find you.
Back in the olden days, when I first started blogging (over 13 years ago, now!), those of us who blogged did it for very different reasons than most of us who blog do now. Back then, there wasn't Search Engine Optimization, or "monetization," or any of the myriad of other technical terms that have arisen as a result of the blogging "industry." When I first began blogging, it was entirely for the purpose of keeping our family up to date with our adoption and subsequently, our brand new baby; the idea that anyone other than them and a few friends would read what I had to say seemed ridiculous, if not downright arrogant. Why, in the entirety of the internet, would anyone find my site, much less care what I had to say? And two years later, when I changed the format of the site from "mommyblogging" to "photoblogging," I felt the same: I was sharing photographs publicly merely to force myself to try harder, and therefore hopefully improve my photography. I assumed most people would arrive and then click away. Why would anyone care about the photographs of my quiet life, especially on a tiny island in the southern Caribbean?
Well, if I've learned anything from blogging back then, during those days when no one really knew what a "web log" was, it is this: create what you love to create, and the people with whom it resonates will find you.
It sounds easy enough, but nowadays, when blogging tends to be less random-musings-on-the-internet and more with a business purpose in mind, there are so many rules: like how often you should blog, how to maximize SEO, or the preference over short-form-top-ten posts over long form. It's part of what I was wrestling with a few days ago, when I wrote that post about "hustle." But today, as I was thinking about this and while taking the photograph above, I realized that despite everything, I can only do the work and the art that speaks to me, despite what the popular trends are. Anything else is just disheartening.
And ultimately, I think that when we create what we love to create, everything else becomes academic. Amplifying your soul work to maximize the opportunity for people with whom it resonates to find you, just makes sense. Following other artists -- even the ones who copy popular trends -- makes sense, as long as you take what inspires you, and leave the rest behind. Figuring how to stretch yourself, not just to inspire innovation and creativity, but also to determine where the boundary is between what is trendy for the world, and what is true for you, makes sense.
It's a bit of a tightrope act, but ultimately: you gotta just do your do.
Soundtrack: Tightrope (Oliver Nelson Remix)