Last Friday, my brother-in-law Robbie Pelletier stopped by while my sister-in-law and I were working in website hell. (I’m almost done with my brand new website, and can’t wait to show you!*) He dropped this book off and told us that we all needed to read it. (One of the best things about my in-laws is that they’re all artists, too.) He instructed me to bring it home to my husband so that we could read it first.
I’m already in love.
The book, by the way, is Austin Kleon‘s Show Your Work!—a book about sharing your process as you go. It’s an approach that I’ve tried to take throughout my career, but always stumbled upon.
“I’m supposed to be a professional. Maybe it’s not a good idea to share my mistakes.”
I’ve struggled with this over and over again. I’ve deleted months’ worth of blog posts because I got nervous about my failures being there for everyone to see. Every time I posted something along those lines, I received comments and emails thanking me, but deep down inside I worried.
After a recent itchy delete button rampage, I decided to give blogging another shot. And then, for weeks, I posted nothing. Sure, you could chalk it up to being too inundated by my battle with yet another bout of depression. Mental illness can be awfully exhausting. You could say that I just had too much going on in my personal life to take 30 minutes out of my day to write something up. Living with chronic pain can definitely make it hard to sit at the computer for long, and I already spend a lot of time writing. The truth is, though, I was just too scared.
I had lost my blogging voice.
Then I read Oprah’s list of “20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself,” and the old urge to sit at the keyboard and share overcame me. Little by little, I began answering them out loud and inviting others to do the same.
Though I’m not far into Kleon’s Show Your Work!, the section on being an amateur jumped out at me.
Amateurs might lack formal training, but they’re all lifelong learners, and they make a point of learning in the open, so that others can learn from their failures and successes.
I’ve been so afraid to look unprofessional that I forgot how good it felt to share.
I can’t promise that blogging and I are on the mend, but I do feel comfortable again. It’s like after several years of hiding, I’ve rediscovered my voice. It feels pretty great.
*So, about that website. I’ve still got a few more pages to make, but it’s pretty close to done. Here’s a sneak peek:
I’ll be unveiling it officially to my email list in a few weeks, so make sure you’re a member of Barone’s Belles. Click the button below to join! It’s free, and it’s fun. DO IT. 😉