So here’s the deal. Recently, more often than not, I found myself drawn to the blog of Anna Chernykh (sorry, western peeps, Russian only). I would find myself reading it during work breaks, in transit, you name it. Some posts or post series I would re-read multiple times.
While there’s nothing weird about going back to certain texts because they are helpful, inspiring, or both, that was not the case for me. That’s not to say that I consider Anna’s writing is useless and uninspiring – far from it. It’s just that I didn’t come back to her words again and again for advice or inspiration. Upon some reflection, I realized I kept coming back for comfort.
Something in her style, her manner, the personality of her blog, was soothing. It didn’t hurt that many of the subjects she writes about are close to my heart, such as non-obsessive minimalism, intuitive eating, mindfulness, and such. But I’m just as happy to read her updates about personal experiences, or her reviews of books. I suspect I’d readily read her writing on most subjects.
It’s not often that I read non-fiction for comfort. My traditional idea of comfort content is fiction and stories, whether in the form of books, movies, or TV shows. Non-fiction has always been a purely informative realm for me. Its information could be utilitarian, educational or entertaining – but never comforting. Until I stumbled across Anna.
That got me wanting to blog again. (*pause to appreciate the narcissism*)
No, seriously, bear with me here. All my previous attempts to blog regularly had petered out, the usual excuse being the lack of time, but the underlying reason… I didn’t feel that I was saying anything important or interesting. Forced to produce blog content on a regular basis, I would panic, and inevitably try too hard.
If I compare my blogs written on the spur of the moment to those written on schedule, it’s obvious how damn hard I was trying. Wringing myself to sound clever, or funny, or both. Sourcing the “furniture” for the post: somehow relevant pictures, with witty captions. Always trying to mic drop at the end.
In a word… performing.
Which was exactly why I’d give it up every time. Not even the best actor can live their role 24/7, not without some serious mental trouble.
And now, I found someone who obviously wasn’t trying so hard. Again, this is not a comment on Anna’s quality of writing (which is top-notch). Rather, this is about her effortless authenticity. And the fearlessness that comes with it. She’s not trying to impress anyone. She’s just writing what she thinks. And that was enough for her writing to speak to me, and likely to many other readers from her multi-thousand following.
So I figured I’d try and do the same.
Take a beat. Sit down, Write about what’s going on with me, what’s on my mind. Where I’ve been or what I’m reading.
I won’t be trying to come up with a nice turn of phrase (so if something sounds clever, that means it came to me on the spot). I won’t try to source perfectly relevant pictures (so if there is a picture, that means I just felt like it). I won’t be raking my brain for witty picture captions (so if a picture is captioned, that means it’s somehow relevant).
No unsolicited advice. No mic dropping.
Only one rule: I get to do this once a week. For a year.
52 posts. 52 beats. Let’s see where this takes me.
P.S. Hey ho, even this intro post gave me some insight. When I started writing this, I couldn’t give a clear reason why I’d given up blogging before. I foresee a great increase in my Wisdom score by the end of this project.