Keep adding to your body of work

stop-overthinking-keep-adding-to-your-body-of-work

Every few months or so I need a reminder to stop overthinking. It’s a bad habit that always creeps in and, if left unchecked, has the power to halt any progress I’m making on pretty much anything I’m working on.

That’s why I love blogging so much — it forces you to just do the work. The longer you ignore it, the harder it is to come back. No matter how many extended blog breaks I take (which I’ve done as recently as a month ago), I always return with the same conclusion: it’s a hell of a lot easier to create when you’re in the habit of doing it regularly. Ignore a blog for too long, and it’s no longer a blog. Eventually you just have to hit that publish button, regardless of how you feel about the work you created.

We are definitely our biggest critics. I’m willing to bet that the post you are least proud of still had a positive effect on at least one person out there. And if not? Well, the blogosphere moves fast, and that post was quickly forgotten.

The posts we are least proud of are also part of our larger body of work in some way, if only to teach us what we don’t want our work to be about. And it’s only through continuously creating that we can see patterns and improve.

So here’s your reminder (and mine): Stop overthinking. Keep adding to your body of work.

I’m working on a new (free!) ebook for my email list. If you’ve been struggling to launch your website, or you can’t seem to keep it up-to-date, I want to hear what’s holding you back — let me know in the comments, or send me a tweet or email. In the meantime, be sure to get on my email list for weekly tips to make it happen online.

18 Comments

  1. Lori wrote:

    Lisa, this post was so timely for me! Just this morning, I had decided not to publish a post that I had written for my blog this week. I wasn’t feeling 100% satisfied with my writing, and because of that, I figured I needed to “take a blog break.” I wasn’t planning the break because I needed an actual break, it was more because I was afraid to publish my imperfect work. But I can’t be afraid to hit that publish button! Your post reminded me that it’s not about doing perfect work; it’s just about doing the work. Thank you for reminding me to just keep creating!

    Posted 2.23.15
    • I’m so happy to hear that! I know that many people say not to publish any posts you aren’t 100% proud of, but I think we often get in our own way. It’s one thing not to publish because you feel like it was a half-hearted attempt, but we all go through periods where we’re simply just overthinking it and generally being down on ourselves.

      Posted 2.25.15
  2. Clare wrote:

    This post is literally just what I needed. Today I was thinking I really wanted to get back into blogging, but how do I go back to it after taking such a long break? Thanks to this post, I know exactly where I’m going, I’m just going to start creating! Thanks for the motivation!! 😀

    Posted 2.23.15
    • That’s awesome! I went through the same thing last month after taking the month before off. I was so excited to get back to blogging in the middle of my break, but when I actually sat down to write, it felt off. But I published anyway. It took a few weeks of consistent posting before I really started feeling confident in my work again, and now I look back on those posts and am not sure what I thought was so wrong with them!

      Posted 2.25.15
  3. yes yes and yes. this is something i constantly struggle with as a new blogger, but just “doing” everyday can be so rewarding when you look back and see small progress.
    my reminder – it doesn’t have to be perfect, just start something.

    Posted 2.23.15
    • It’s so hard to keep going at the time, but I look back on all my old posts and can see how they led to where I am today. It all adds up!

      Posted 2.25.15
  4. Nicola wrote:

    Short, sweet and to the point! As bloggers we all need reminding of this and I will whole heartedly agree that the more you do the more you want to do and also the better you get at it!

    Posted 2.23.15
    • I’m glad I’m not alone! I should probably hang a reminder on my wall.

      Posted 2.25.15
  5. Michelle wrote:

    Lisa, this was just awesome. I’m working on launching my blog, and I find myself putting off the task of doing the work and writing the posts in favor of smaller tasks that carry less pressure. The idea that a post needs to be perfect, poignant, and impactful is daunting, and that makes it easy to put off. But I really love your mantra “Stop overthinking. Keep adding to your body of work.” — I should frame it!

    Posted 2.23.15
    • I feel you — I always find the most random tasks to do when I’m putting off something that feels bigger! The longer I blog, the more I realize that it is the most simple things that have the most impact. I would say since you haven’t launched yet, make a list of blog posts you want to write and just write as much as you can each day. You have some flexibility right now to go back and revise since you don’t have readers expecting posts on a certain schedule yet. Set a timer if you have to — that always helps me! Good luck with your launch!

      Posted 2.25.15
  6. I NEEDED this! I find that I keep tweaking my blog design/images/etc./etc. more than just writing the posts! I sit down and plan content, too, but never keep the schedule. I just need to DO! I need to not be afraid, not be so critical, and just write!
    Can’t wait for the e-book. Can you add me to the list?

    Posted 2.23.15
    • Hi Britt! I don’t always keep to my schedule if I’m feeling particularly inspired, but when I’m feeling down on my work, having a schedule is the only way I get anything written. I just challenge myself to go with the prompt I’ve already given myself and eventually I’m back in doing mode versus criticizing mode.

      And glad to hear you’re interested in the ebook! You might want to add your email on this page: https://elembee.com/signup. That way you automatically get the current free ebook!

      Posted 2.25.15
  7. Brittany wrote:

    love this! I got out of the habit of blogging and now I feel like nothing I have to post is ‘big’ enough or awesome enough to bring me back! But I just need to focus and take it slow and just DO IT. Thanks so much for this reminder!

    Posted 2.25.15
    • Oooooh, that “big enough” mindset is a tough one to get out of. We just keep putting more and more pressure on ourselves to get back in the habit and make a grand re-entrance! But I’ve found that with every blog break, it takes me at least a couple of weeks to feel like I’m back on track and in routine, and it just takes forcing myself to keep going, even if it’s just a short “I’m still here” post.

      Posted 3.9.15
  8. Laura wrote:

    Thank you! I needed to hear this – I’ve been wallowing in “is it good enough? Should I bother?” And have kind of stalled out but I’m going to sit down and wore a few posts tonight and just let it happen!! Xoxo

    Posted 3.12.15
    • You could ask yourself it it’s “good enough” all day long and the answer would never be “yes.” We are so critical of our own work! I think that was my biggest struggle when I first started blogging. I still struggle with it, but so many good things have happened from publishing anyway that I just force myself to move forward and have faith that it will work out for the best.

      Posted 3.15.15

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