One Week Later: This Was NOT Part of the Plan

5 Things You Need to Know After You’ve Launched Your Project

Canva - Woman Feeling Emotional Stress
Photo by MasimbaTinasheMadondo–1388843

 

Last week was hard. 

I chose to write the articles on the same day, thinking I’d be able to carve time out. 

Here is a visual representation of how easy it was to find time to “carve out.”

But, that’s the reality of “just starting”. Whether you’ve planned ahead, or chosen to start on the spot, you’re going to encounter challenges. That pretty picture you have in your mind? That glistening image of how everything is going to turn out? Dead it. Now.

There is no solid plan for avoiding mishaps, setbacks, and frustrations. They come in all shapes and sizes and they have two goals:

  1. To frustrate the life out of you
  2. To show you the parts of your plan that need work.

When I committed to posting five times a week, while balancing work & general living, I knew that it was going to be hard. I did not expect to be burnt out by the end of the week.

Was it the blogging? Maybe. But, life has been very hectic for the last 3+ months, so I think this burn out was inevitable. But, today we’re not discussing burn out.

We’re navigating the concept of “just start”. Because it’s great to tell people to “just start”. I get it. Actually, I believe in it.

It’s the best way to beat the feelings that hold you back, and it forces you to take charge.

But, I also think we need to be just as clear about what’s on the other side of “just starting”. It isn’t a clear, done-for-you path. 

It’s a road filled with constant tweaking, researching, testing, hoping, praying, doubting, sighing…

And that’s just the first week.

If you’ve ever tried to launch a project for the first time, you’ll know what I mean. That doesn’t mean you should quit. It definitely doesn’t mean you’re doing the wrong thing.

It simply means you need to buckle up because you’re in for a wild ride. To give you a glimpse of what this “wild ride” entails, I’ll share my top 5 observations from my first week of constant blogging:

1. Stop striving for perfection. Just get it done.

I realized that my writing time was taking too long because I kept thinking, “I need to get this right”. I’ve read amazing work on the internet and I wanted mine to reach that level. So, instead of just writing, I’d analyze the sentences before they were on paper.

Striving for perfection is unhealthy – because perfect does not exist. And no form of it will show up the first day, week, or month of your journey. Focus on getting it done – and doing your best. 

There’s something James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, said that stuck with me. When faced with committing to his own writing challenge, he focused on getting “3 good sentences” and allowing that to be good enough.

His blog grew exponentially because of his consistency (and implemented strategies), and this thinking formed the foundation of that.

So, focus on a manageable level of “good enough” and get the job done. Perfection can wait.

 

2. Get comfortable with messing up often.

I’ve lost count of how many things went wrong last week. The blog’s URL kept appearing as “insecure”. The theme I’d chosen for the blog looked terrible once a post was actually up. I didn’t get to post on Friday because that day was such a mess. And I’m confident that one of last week’s posts had terrible grammar.

You’re not going to get everything right and some of those mistakes will be crystal clear for the public to see. So, what do you do? You keep moving.

Fix the mistakes and carry on creating.

I managed to have the URL issue resolved in 15 minutes (s/o to WordPress’s support team), I found a better theme, and I’ve accepted that Friday happened. As for the terrible grammar, I can always revisit the post and make it better.

You have to get comfortable with the rough patches – they aren’t going to stop. But you can get through them.

3. Just because you’re excited, it doesn’t mean you’ll always want to commit.

The only time I was excited to write last week was Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday took a lot out of me. But, that’s also because the topics required more than what I’m used to doing. I’m used to writing from a personal perspective that requires little to no external research. But the topics I’d lined up for last week required work

Writing outside of my comfort zone scared me, too.

What if I’m not making any sense?

What if no one gets it?

But, what if it’s the moment I need to push myself to read more, write more, and talk to more people about this topic?

What if this piece sparks meaningful conversation?

There’s usually a flip side to my anxious thoughts that try to sell themselves as the truth.

4. Keep learning – that’s how you grow.

If you want to get better at something, it’s not just about doing it over and over again. There’s a fine line between that advice being great for productivity, and a sign of questionable behavior.

People often argue about the “better teacher” – experience vs learning/study. My short opinion: you need both.

You need to study so that you can understand the essentials of any field you’re going into. It’s good to learn from the experiences of others.

But, you also need to implement that work so that you can find what works for you and what doesn’t. That’s how you learn from “experience”. So after you “just start”, surround yourself with content that will encourage you and educate you.

You can’t go on this journey alone.

5. Show up, regardless

One thing that stops people from starting anything – mainly creating – is the fear of “what if no one shows up?”

Here’s the truth.

Unless you already have an active, engaged audience that is hungry for your work – you’re going to experience what almost every other person does:

 

The struggle to get people to believe in your work. There will be times where you’re your loudest fan, most consistent consumer, and #1 sharer.

But you have to keep showing up. I don’t know why, but there’s something about consistently believing in your work (and being loud about it) that makes people want to check it out. You’ll have days where it’s frustrating and you’ll want to quit.

Allow yourself to take a breather and regroup. Then, come back when you’re ready and keep pushing. You’re playing a long game here. Remember that.

So, that’s it for my review on my first week of this journey. I’m looking forward to seeing how this week turns out. There are definitely more challenges ahead, but I know that every post that goes up is a win.

Every successful day is another link to the chain and a step closer to saying, “I did this challenge.”

Take my observations and see how they hold up against your own. We do need to get our ideas out there – there is space in this world for that. 

 

But, it’s also important to remember that there’s more to building a sustainable, successful project than “just starting”. You need to combine it with consistency, constant learning, and commitment.

 

It’ll be worth it in the long run. I’m sure of it.

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