It has been a long time since I have written a blog post (almost 9 months to be exact). We’ve all hit that time when blogging just doesn’t seem like a priority anymore, and unfortunately, that was 2021 for me. For a long time, it felt like my job was draining me of all my creative energy, in a good way. However, when it came to Another Long Weekend, I felt like I couldn’t get myself to produce content that accurately portrayed how I felt.
It’s been a tumultuous year: I changed jobs, switched career trajectories, moved to a new city, ended relationships, gained lifelong friends, and also lost someone very close to me. And let us not forget the continuing COVID-19 pandemic that has taken so many lives.
This time, as I return to creating and curating for Another Long Weekend, I wanted to set an intention for myself to truly serve as a platform: for resources, for strength, and for voices.
Once you start publishing, it can be hard to remember because everyone else’s voice becomes louder. Others want you to keep creating, writing, producing, so that you can help them cope. You want to keep creating, writing, producing, so that you don’t feel alone.
But, eventually you shut the computer off and stop writing for a second, only to realize you still feel kind of lonely in the middle of it all. This doesn’t mean you’re far gone or that you should quit, but it does mean you have an opportunity to cultivate something for yourself that’s outside of what you’re able to create to connect with others.
You want to have a little piece of the pie that’s just yours.
Here’s the golden rule I wish I was given years ago – your creativity is a skillset and your humanity contains multitudes.
The more you can sit with this as your golden rule the less likely you are to fall down the rabbit hole of writing or creating only because it feels like an obligation. You’ll have a better understanding of what your gut continues to tell you because you won’t have stopped listening to it after its first few sentences. You’ll try different outlets, just for you. You’ll explore different feelings, because you haven’t narrowed in on just one.
I measured my writing and community building career as success because everyone else did. Today though the question I always ask myself is “…at what cost?” and if the cost is my sanity, my well-being, or my inability to iterate, then it’s just too high of a price to pay. (I’d been paying it for a very long time.)
This is a hard concept to sit with whenever you literally live to tell your stories. I lived to tell my stories too, so I get it. But just remember, your art and your well being benefit from having a support system outside of just the pen, paper, and reader.
I feel strongly that one of the aspects of passion projects we get wrong is the idea that it’s only driven by passion. Whether you’re writing a blog post or creating a community, you’re leaning on passion as the fuel in your gas tank, but what helps drive you is your learned ability to actually drive. Your creative skillset is just that, a skillset. You’re able to turn to a skillset no matter the day or the reason. Use this as your permission slip (as I will now) to pause and put yourself first, whenever you next need it.