So, this is really happening?

This is it. This is really it.

We’re here. You’re here. I’m here.

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*Gestures around*  This is really happening.

The idea is to blog, every day, for 100 days. I’ve tweaked this challenge to work with my schedule – and not burn out – by making it a five posts a week thing. So, from Mondays to Fridays, there will be a new post from me for the next +/- 20 weeks.

To be honest, I’m quite nervous. The usual questions have frequented my mind:

“Who’s going to read?”

“Will I keep this up?”

“What’s the point of this?”

But, I chose not to let my questions remain unanswered. I chose to sit with the fear and address it instead of pretending like it wasn’t there.

  • “Who’s going to read?”

I don’t know. But 7 years of handling 2 other blogs has shown me that your crowd will find you if you continue to show up with meaningful, valuable content. 

So the goal isn’t to amass readers. It’s to make sure I create a hub of content that compels people to keep coming back. To make sure *you* keep coming back.

 

  • “Will I keep this up?”

Well, will I? What makes this different from the last attempts? Intention and focus.

I’ve got two accountability partners, a structure, and a renewed drive to see this through. I hate half-complete things – especially when I’m the one behind it. So, in order to get different results, I did things differently.

I’ve set up the background work. Let’s see how it’ll show out front.

 

  • What’s the point of this?”

I finished reading a book by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) a couple of months ago – Big Magic. In it, Gilbert goes on to speak about the ways of being creative, her own journey as a creative, and why she believes anyone can call themselves “a creative”. 

The one thing that grabbed my attention, from everything else in the book, was her take on creating. Simply put, she creates because she wants to. She creates because it is a part of her. She creates because that’s what she believes she does best.

As someone who has always tried to strive for perfection, meaning, and purpose, this shook me. Because, somewhere along the lines of my creative life, I thought that all work had to have meaning. It had to have “a big reason”. A reason that sounds good enough to be creating.

But, when I grabbed onto that “Create, just because.”? It changed my perspective. Since reading that book, I’ve become more proactive about what I share on social media, I’ve started a newsletter, a podcast with my best friend, and now this blog.

There’s freedom in leaving the fate of a creative project to “fate”. If you want it to be a successful project then you know that it’ll take more than worry, stress, and procrastination to see it through.

If you want to see a project come to life, you have to start.

“Just start.”

I’ve called that my message from the heavens for this season. From the start of this year, that’s all I’ve come across.

“Chipo, just start.”

This is how we’ve ended up here. I became a blogger because I chose to “just start” before I knew what SEO, rankings, and RSS feeds were. I started writing to women before I knew what feminism was.

But starting also pushed me to improve what I was already doing. So, when I found out about SEO, I started to read on it. When I was introduced to feminism? I started learning and it enrichened my experience as a woman – and it also opened my mind to the reality of life as it is for women (especially black women).

If I hadn’t started that blog (that I cringe about whenever I think of it), I wouldn’t have written a year later. I wouldn’t have found my message for my first TEDx talk – and never would have had the courage to audition (and land) my second one.

Most of my achievements can be tied to one simple thing: my decision to abandon fear & worry, and start instead.

I closed down that cringe-worthy blog today. Because I felt it was time to usher out the old and welcome the new. But when I started it, it was the vehicle I needed to reach out to other women, help anyone I could, and also grow as a writer.

I imagine that I will look at some of these posts a year or two from now and I’ll roll my eyes. But, like I’ve done now when I saw my older blogs, I’ll smile and say the same thing I said today,

“I’m glad I started.”

Sometimes we rob ourselves of amazing experiences because we disqualify ourselves before we reach the track. The truth is, you’ll never be fully prepared for something. Sometimes, you’ll have no idea where a project will take you – but you can be certain you’ll go nowhere if you start nothing.

No one has it together the first time. But they get better with more time, intention, and practice.

I may not know where the next 20 weeks will take me and this baby, but I look forward to seeing what I pick up along the way.

What about you?

What are the things you’re sitting on, waiting for the right time to come?

What are you holding yourself back from experiencing?

Fun fact: In addition to Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, my final point of motivation for this project was an episode of The Futur. Seth Godin spoke on his own 100-day blogging challenge, the importance of “just starting”, and some of the things that hold creators back.

If you have time to kill, then you should definitely check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZmxAOHyDBI 

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