How many of you remember the first drawing class you took? Do you remember how you felt as you moved through the class? Suddenly, the looked different, details you never new existed seemed to take over your world. No longer was a tree just a tree, now it was a collection of leaves on branches connected to larger branches until they got to the trunk, which was then connected to the ground. Doors, windows and even people started to show up differently…if you were anything like me the entire experience was a bit overwhelming…I remember wanting to go back to just seeing blobs!
Soon seeing the connections within everything I looked at became second nature and it took me beyond just drawing it allowed me to see the world in a much deeper fashion than I would have had I not set out on the adventure in the first place. The experience of learning to see was scary I felt the need to judge whether I was seeing “right” and the more I tried to draw using “rightness” as my guide the less what I was drawing really looked like what it was and the less willing I was to step out of my “rightness”. It was much easier to say I didn’t know how to draw.
I experienced this from different point of view, while in another lifetime I was teaching drawing. My students experienced the exact same fears and tendency to force their drawings into “rightness”. Remembering the upside down drawing exercise in Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain I gave my class Xeroxes of some pretty complex images and instructed them to draw what they saw and not to turn the sheet “right side up”. The collective “ahhaaass” of wild eyed amazement that filled the room at the end of the exercise was truly inspiring. That and other classes never saw the world the same way after the exercise . . . they had seen the error of “rightness” and went on to draw and design with confidence knowing that what they saw was their view of the world.
The Connection and the Journey
Now this relates to Blogging …how? Well, today I was on a call with John Jantsch (Duck Tape Marketing) and author Seth Godin when John asked Seth why he thought starting a blog was important. Seth’s answer was that it helps you see the world in a way you wouldn’t ordinarily see it and it didn’t matter if anyone read what you wrote because the mere act of writing was transformative. He pointed out that soon we start to see things in our lives that we want to describe, explain or share, soon we see connections where we had not. We start paying attention, start talking with a depth we didn’t know we had. And we have a time in our lives memorialized so we can look back a year or two later and see how far we have come and be happy we took that first step.
Writing like drawing is a journey inward and outward, we learn about the falseness of “rightness” and our world becomes broader. We learn that what we see, what we think and how we talk all adds up to how we are in the world and most importantly that we can grow and change and the world won’t come to an end! Once, we break through that barrier we see the world as limitless because we know we are our own author and artist.
That is why or at least one of the most important reason I recommend that having a blog is the singularly most important thing you can do to position yourself to thrive through the economic and social shifts that are occurring and will continue to occur. The other important thing to do is just START! Don’t worry about whether you will be perfect or if anyone will read because it doesn’t matter…if you do collect readers that’s great but in the end what you learn about yourself and how you see the world is worth more than all the readers in the world!
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