Nine years ago I launched this blog. And each year, for the past nine years, I’ve been celebrating, congratulating myself, offering folks all sorts of discounts, free downloads, and the likes.
I think I wrote and published well over a million words by now. Probably even more. Who knows? Who cares?
After all, the blank page that I have to fill right now with words doesn’t care about my previous articles, short stories, or novels. All it cares is that I transform its emptiness into something worth someone’s time.
This is what being creative means: to turn the white page, the blank canvas, the empty document into something by sheer power of will, which is, at times at least, quite a painful process.
And don’t believe anyone who tells you that being creative can be effortless. They are trying to sell you something, whether it’s an e-book or e-course.
After nine years as a full-time blogger, and sixteen as a writer, I can tell you that there’s no shortcut for hard work.
That’s why today I’m sharing with you nine tips that… well… I’m not even going to pretend these tips are going to make the process effortless, but they are going to give you a bit of clarity, which I found to be extremely useful, especially when you’d much rather bang your head against your keyboard than struggle to string words together in a coherent manner.
In case you’ve missed it, this year I’m designing, building, and launching a new project every month, using mostly no-code or low-code tools and platforms.
In January, I’ve launched blogsy, a hybrid built in WordPress and Adalo. It’s still a work in progress, as I doing a complete overhaul of the platform that allows you to submit blogs and articles.
As a sidenote, that’s what I’ve decided along the way, that I’d allow myself to blend and refine , going back and forth and changing a lot of things.
For instance, what I launched as The Art of Marketing in February has become The Toolbox, a curated list of hundreds of resources for bloggers, marketers, and content creators, while The Art of Marketing became its own blog.
This month’s project became irevuo, a platform dedicated to helping modern polymaths connect seemingly unrelated dots and apply knowledge acquired from various disciplines in their own lives or creative endeavors.
Both The Art of Marketing and irevuo are built on Ghost, and I believe this requires a bit of an explanation, because I’ve been building and launching blogs on WordPress since 2012.
When I was a kid, I thought I was destined for great things. I was born on Christmas Day, exactly one year after they shot Ceausescu, the only ruler of a Communist country to ever be executed. Now, in the same spot, they’re building a shopping mall.
Maybe because I was born when I was born, I don’t really listen to what other people tell me I should do. I never did.
I don’t like authority. I don’t like to follow rules.
I am not afraid of the consequences of not doing what I am told. I am not where I’d like to be in life because I don’t like most people. I have long suspected they don’t like me back.
I am a rebel without a cause, garnering a bit of applause here and there from those who read my stories.
“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” — Ambrose Redmon
I began writing in my most vulnerable years. I was dumb and arrogant, as most teenagers seem to be, and I did my best to pour greatness into every sentence I wrote.
But I was also lying to myself, writing about what I didn’t know, pretending to know, and I got caught and people could see that I wasn’t willing to let them in — I was building this wall to protect my true self from anyone who would be searching for it behind my words. There was nothing that belonged to me in the stories I wrote.
There’s this poem by a Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu. It’s called To My Critics, and the last verses go like this:
It is easy to write verses Out of nothing but the word.
“Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood.” — Terrence McKenna
You are probably familiar with the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
We use it to justify the idea that one must focus on one thing, reach mastery, as this is the only way towards success and fulfillment.
As most simple truths in life, we use it because we don’t want to use precious mental energy in trying to understand the nuanced truths of success and mastery.
The nuanced point is that even the notorious specialists, such as Salvador Dali or Pablo Picasso, were masters of a multitude of skills and crafts, not the least of which is their charisma and their ability to market themselves.