I think if I ever get a pet one day, I’d like to name it nugget. You have to admit, nuggets are cute. Or maybe just the word nugget is cute…nug.
I just spent the last 2 hours listening to the same 30 minute podcast 4 times. Yes, that’s right. I was walking around outside down by the waterfront in Brooklyn, listening to the Tim Ferriss Show.
You may think listening to the same podcast 4x in a row is a waste of time, but let me assure you, it’s not. Especially when it’s a podcast with so many *nuggets* of wisdom (see what I did there).
The reason I clicked on this podcast when I went out for a walk today is because it’s called “Maria Popova on Being Interesting, Creating More Time in a Day, And How to Start A Successful Blog.” I figured it would be relevant, and fun. And there’s nothing I love more than relevant fun. In fact, I own relevantfun.com. Haha!!! That’s not a joke.
Anyway, Maria is a writer over at brainpickings.org which at the moment gets more than 5 million readers per month. So amazing!!!
Most of the information you find out there about how to start a successful blog will give you lots of strategic info about content writing, building an audience, SEO, social media etiquette, and all that biz stuff. I’m not saying that stuff doesn’t matter, it does, but Maria talked much more on this podcast about what actually makes your work INTERESTING to people – what makes people FEEL SOMETHING when they read/see/experience your work.
Mmmm….and that’s what gets me excited.
The Key To Being Interesting
So, what does Maria say is the key to being interesting?
“The key to being interesting is being interested. And enthusiastic about those interests. That’s contagious.
That’s what makes people come back. Which, by the way, should and can only ever be a byproduct of your own willingness to keep coming back your work, to your creation.
Creating something that is rewarding and sustainable in the long run requires, most of all, keeping yourself excited about it, which in turn, of course, requires doing only things that you yourself are interested in.
In any creative endeavor, the second you start doing it for an audience, you’ve lost the long game. If you do it for other people, trying to predict what they’ll be interested in and pretzeling yourself to fit those expectations…it begins to show in the work. It always, always shows in the work…there’s really nothing less pleasurable to read.”
There are so many other nugs of gold in that podcast, too — such as why, if you’re a writer, you should never refer to your writing as “content.” Yeah, you really MUST go listen to it. Go now!!! It’s totally amaze-a-roo.
A few years ago I went through a phase where I literally would sit down every single morning and pull out a piece of paper from this huge bag I had — of pamphlets, nutritional information, notes, etc from wellness conferences or wherever…and I’d just blog about whatever was on that paper. Although it was a good practice in helping me consistently put out SOMETHING, I just wasn’t very inspired. As an example, one of the posts I wrote during that phase was called “Almond Butter Benefits.” Ok, maybe that was post helpful to some people, but it’s more about the energy behind the post. I know when I’m writing from the inside vs. writing from the outside. There’s a place for both, of course, the internet needs facts and information just as much as it needs passion and creative stories. But you gotta admit, isn’t it so much more pleasurable to read something when you can tell the writer is genuinely connected to it?! You’re like, I don’t even care what you’re talking about, your passion for this is awesome!
I have seen in my own blogging experience, I just enjoy my life so much more when what I’m writing about or posting on instagram is something I feel super pumped about. I’m willing to bet it’s more interesting to readers too. And that’s just the damn truth!!!! If the moment of enthusiasm has passed, well..it just feels forced.
This reminds me of a couple of quotes Gabby said at Spirit Junkie Masterclass – hold on while I look for them in my notes. OK – here:
“There is no better feeling in the world than to be a clear channel for inspired information and transmute it to people who need it.”
“When you’re moved by your message, it will move the masses.”
Yeah!!!! I love that so much.
The business side of your artistic and creative projects is important, especially if that’s the way you make a living, but I think the best feeling is when you can take something that’s truly pulsing through your veins, that feels so aligned with YOU, create from there, and monetize that…rather than creating from the mindset of monetization first with no enthusiasm behind it – you get what I’m saying?
Your INTERESTS make you interesting. Really! Your enthusiasm is electric. That’s what I think.