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The Key To Being Interesting

by jenny sansouci on August 5, 2015

Hey nuggets.

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 peoplewhat 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?

She says…

“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.”

AND–

“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. :)

Now go listen to that podcast

Bye bye!!
Love ya,
Jenny

 




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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelsea August 5, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Jenny, your enthusiasm has inspired me time and time again. I get a lot of newsletters and yours is one of the only ones I read consistently and that inspires me to take action (Hello, BBG).
Keep up the incredible work and please lets get lunch next time you are in CA.

Great post
xo – Kelsea

Reply

jenny sansouci August 5, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Thanks Kelsea!! So glad to hear and very honored that you keep reading my emails. That’s awesome and very appreciated. :) Would love to see you next time I’m out west for sure!! Enjoy BBG!!! xo

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Chelsea August 5, 2015 at 2:36 pm

YES!!! This is so true. I’ve noticed when I sit down and open up Wordpress because I feel I “should” be getting “content” (ha, never using that word again now) out there, I get stuck. BUT, when I simply open up a new memo on my phone and just write about what ever is on my heart or share something I’m passionate about on Instagram, it flows so organically AND it usually ends up being something someone else really needed to read at the time. Crazy how that works 😉 Like Gabby said, ‘When you’re moved by your message…’ Can’t wait to listen to this podcast!

Reply

jenny sansouci August 5, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Totally agree Chelsea!! Hope you enjoy the podcast as much as I did. :)

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Janet August 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm

You stated it beautifully and I couldn’t agree more. When I am forcing something my writing is strained and not fun at all to read. When I am inspired it just flows and most of the time it is frigging awesome. Love the post!!!

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jenny sansouci August 5, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Agreed! Thanks for reading.

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Denese Russell August 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm

I totally get it. I bet I’ve listened to her interview on On Being 10 times. SHE is so interesting. Her vocabulary is so interesting, it re-inspired me to pick up a thesaurus every once in awhile 😉 I’m on my way out to listen to Tim’s interview with her for the first of many times, I’m sure. And… YOUR post came at the perfect time. I’ve been on a roll posting more from my heart than ever before, but started to get caught up in that “why am i doing this” story. You reminded me why i’ve been enjoying it more than ever, which has led to more consistency than ever…sharing what I find interesting is so much more inspiring than trying to grow an audience… an objective i find seriously soul-stifling. Thank you for doing what you do. Once again… nailed it!

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Judith Duval August 5, 2015 at 8:53 pm

Loved this!! Just signed up for BrainPickings and am listening to the podcast now :)

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Heidi August 5, 2015 at 8:54 pm

What’s the best way/app to find podcasts?

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Blake August 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Awesome!!! Love it, thank you!

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Jules August 8, 2015 at 7:55 am

Going for a run and listening to this now. Thank you for sharing! I’ll be sure to report back with any big insights. :)

Reply

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