Fame and Fortune Awaits!
Now you’ve got your blog running, you’ve published a few articles, it’s time to sit and wait for it to go viral and the associated fame, fortune and 2.3 million Instagram followers that come with it.
OK, back to reality.
None of that happens. Sorry. I don’t want to be on a downer but it doesn’t really work like that. What does happen though, is that you keep working and you get better at blogging and the work you publish will improve, it will get more followers, it will get more exposure and slowly, things will change.
How to be Productive.
Because there aren’t really any shortcuts, or at least, none that are worthwhile in the long run. What is worthwhile is looking at how you judge success and how you appraise failure.
Let me give you an example.
In my day to day life, I find that my mind works in the following way. I start my day and write a list of tasks to complete. I would decide to take over the world, write a cookery book, redesign my website, go shopping and read a book. I get to 5pm and have completed a tiny fraction of those tasks, wasted a lot of time worrying about how I’m going to do them, completed none of them, so my day is an utter failure by any measure.
How incredibly depressing.
Expecting to do too much at once is perfectly normal, especially when you have a fire in your stomach, yearning to set the world alive with your sparkling words, eye-candy photography and incisive wit. However it’s very easy to feel like failing at everything, when there is simply so much to do.
How to Stay Positive.
Now, I set a much smaller list, of specific, manageable tasks. Such as think of a topic for a cookery book. E-mail two people about handling my website redesign. Write a shopping list and decide which book I’m going to read. Allocate 30 minutes to deciding if taking over the world is possible.
All of those tasks can be completed in half a day. By doing so this, my day is an outright success. I then get the second half of the day to go to the park and eat ice cream in celebration. How awesome! Or, I can start reading my book or research website layouts, both of which are now ‘bonus’ activities over my successfully completed to-do list.
What a ridiculously successful day.
Doing smaller tasks doesn’t mean I forget about the big goals, because I’m still working on them. I still have my eye on the big dreams, they’re at the front of my mind, but I’m tackling one corner of them at a time. By doing so, I’m turning my progress from being a failure to being a success.
The same is true with blogging. I’m not going to become Ella Woodward overnight (that would be a bit odd anyway, what with me being a man and her being a woman), so there’s no point trying to do that. However, I can tackle small areas of my blog development one day at a time, seeing the small, incremental changes that I make.
So don’t focus on what you haven’t achieved, but the small things that you have. Look at your progress in small, incremental bites. Look at where you have improved, not where you haven’t. It will all come to you, as long as you’re prepared to keep working hard and find joy in progress, rather than seeking sadness. Because when you’re grateful for small successes, it makes the whole journey much, much easier.