Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why I Didn't Write More

I recently had some thoughts about this blog. Mainly, the thoughts revolved around this question: why don't I write more in it? My immediate answer, which has been programmed into my mind for so long I almost forgot to think beyond it, is "I don't have time." But now I know it's not really true. I claim to love writing, and I do. And I know that I usually find time to do what I love doing. So why haven't I found time to write on this blog?

Now I think I know why. It's because I was never completely sure what I wanted to use this blog for. It may seem obvious. It's my personal blog. I should just put anything I want in it, write whatever I damn please. But in reality it's not that simple. Somehow, I feel more self conscious now that I run an online business where my online presence becomes a reference for people who don't know me that well. I've also been reading a lot of fantastic blogs, written by people who always seem to have clever things to say in a clever way. Or people who are "inspiring". Or people whose life stories are so interesting, you only need to look at the pictures in his/her blogs to make you feel like you want to trade lives with them. These people made me wonder if anything I wrote, or will write, is really worth sharing. So in my mind, I sort of gave myself this unrealistic pressure to write only super clever, super inspiring and super interesting stuff on this blog. Which is why my mind goes blank everytime I opened Blogger dashboard.

Several things happened to me recently that changed how I look at and how I want to do things. I realized now that life is too short for anyone to not live the life they want instead of the way people expect them to. Sure, we all lie about some things. Mostly we lie because we don't want to hurt other people's feelings. But it's not only about lying, it's also about choosing to stay quiet when being honest and saying what's on your mind will actually help you more. I'm still working on this in other aspects of my life, but I think I can start with this blog.

I read some writings on my old blog and it hit me how I was a far better writer back then. Some of the stuff I wrote was admittedly too raw and melancholic, but I know that when I wrote them, I really felt what I wrote and I was being completely honest, it didn't bother me what people thought about my writings. Once you start worrying about what people might think, that's when the quality of your writing starts to decline, I think. My favorite blogger, James Altucher, (only because he's crazy but honest, his writings speak to me more so than other bloggers ever have) said "For each single person you worry about, deduct 1% in quality from your writing."

A few weeks ago, a copywriter, who was interviewing me for a video profile, asked me this "Affi Assegaf has now become a "brand". Your brand. What do you think of that?" and I answered "It's not a brand. I'm just me. More and more people might know me because of my work, but I'm still me." And I mean it. I never buy into the whole personal branding stuff. And I hope I'll never become one of those people who believe their own hype that only exist in their minds.

I'm full of contradictions. I worry about the silliest things. I cry alone when life becomes unbearable. I like it when people ask how my day was. I drink beer and watch mindless TV shows to "switch off" my brain after a long and difficult day at work. I like writing about me, my feelings and my views on things than trying too hard to inspire people. And there are many other truths about me people will soon discover once I start being more honest through my writings on this blog.

Everyone has a little hole in their soul, someone said to me. And if some of my soul seeped out through that hole and made their way onto this blog for everyone to see, so be it.

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