I was just reading a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers and I had an immediate adverse reaction to it. When this happens, I have to examine my reaction to determine if it is based on feeling called out or if the stimulus is just utter bullshit and deserves my side eye. In a post about being a successful blogger, she wrote that if you can’t be consistent or maintain motivation to blog, then blogging is probably not your calling. Was she just being provocative or does it sting because it rings true?
I started this blog in 2020, but have been blogging since the 90s. My first site was on Geocities, then Blogger, then Wix, now here. Over the years, my motivation and consistency has ebbed and flowed. What hasn’t changed is my desire to tell stories about my life, give advice and talk about fashion, lifestyle and pop culture. It’s something that I’m good at and comes easy to me. What isn’t always easy is being inspired to create new posts. Back when I started it wasn’t common to earn money from blogging. People did it for the merely for the love of it. Nowadays, the stakes are so high because there is real money to be earned in ‘content creation’. When you see someone being incredibly successful, it can feel like they must have ‘it’ and you’re not as successful because you don’t. I think there is more to it than that though.
Let’s consider her hypothesis – if you can’t be consistent or maintain motivation is that thing (blogging or whatever it is that you want to do) NOT your calling?
Does a writer with writer’s block NOT have a calling to write? I’m sure it can feel that way at the time, but, it is common for creative types to require inspiration to create new art. Think of your favorite artist – visual or performance artist – and how often they produce new projects. Its pretty common for the great ones, the real geniuses to take their sweet time to drop new hot shit. They typically like to take time between drops to live life, have experiences and find inspirations that trigger their creativity. In interviews you’ll hear them talk about how dealing with a life changing event like divorce, birth of a child, death of a loved one or travel to a new place, completely shifted their world view and caused them to be be inspired and innovative in their craft. While, we might not be Beyonce or Kehinde Wiley, we may also need something to inspire us to be consistently motivated to create.
No matter what it is that you think might be your passion or calling, the key to consistently delivering content is developing systems that foster discipline, not motivation. Motivation is fickle. Any number of things can deactivate your motivation. You could be busy at work, hungry, having relationship issues or just not feeling well, all of which could pull your energy away from your calling. But, discipline requires that you’ll devote time to your passion in a methodological way. The differentiator between world class creators, athletes and performers is discipline. The writer that makes a habit of writing something, even if it’s crappy every single day (or every weekday) is going to eventually create work that garners success. That writer might not even be the most talented or have a calling, as it were. It’s the commitment to practicing the art will result in it feeling like second nature.
So, now when I think about that blogger’s opinion about motivation, I believe my negative reaction was because her idea just didn’t ring true based on my lived or learned experience. It was bullshit. If you have a calling to do something great, definitely put the work in to make it a reality. Also, don’t beat yourself up when you encounter creative blocks or feel unmotivated. Recognize that this is part of the process. Commit to creating something, even if it is just a paragraph about being unmotivated. You may also want to step away from the project for a pre-defined time period and dive into whatever inspires you.
The Flossie Life is all about being good to ourselves. We are here to give you tips and tools to flourish in life, not discourage you from pursuing your dreams. There are people out there right now that think they are ‘called’ to do something that you have an innate talent for. But, they are winning because they are disciplined and consistent. And their motivation is just to be famous and rich. There is room for everyone, so don’t stop.
What do you think about the idea that if you’re lacking in motivation the thing you’re doing isn’t your calling? Does that statement ring true for you?