I learned a hard lesson a couple of months ago. It’s one that I teach clients about all the time.
Back. Up. Your. Files.
I wish I had listened to my own advice.
Upon learning at the beginning of June that my site hosting had expired and I missed the reactivation window by a mere 48 hours, I lost all of the work that I had created since September. ALL. OF. IT.
Which led to a bit of panic, devastation and some rage. At the end of May, I had written what was probably my most vulnerable writing and published it the week prior to getting unplugged. I was scared shitless to put it out there, but once I did, I felt amazing. I was proud of that work, and when I put it out there and received some really incredible support from my writing community, I felt validated. I felt good.
And as quickly as I put it out there, it was gone. Poof. As if it had never happened.
(Another lesson learned: Don’t write posts directly into WordPress, in the event that you did not recently back up your site and lose everything you’ve written for six months. This is a lesson that I am flying in the face of as I write this.)
But what this little bump in my blog’s 15 year road really taught me is this – even though those words I wrote back in May may be gone forever, I got that story out of me. I owned it, and I shared it. It may now be a ghost, and maybe only a few people saw it, but whether or not people read what I write is not the point. I may attempt to rewrite what was lost, or I may let that story die among the binary code of the interwebs. I don’t know yet.
Funnily enough, in the two months that my blog has been down, I used that as an excuse not to write. I thought if I didn’t have a place to publish what I was writing, it wasn’t worth doing. Although I’ve had stories to share, I’ve pushed that desire aside because of the lame excuse that my blog was down and I didn’t have the time or patience to restore it.
But the truth is, I miss writing. I love writing. I never considered myself much of a writer, but my very best friend always tells me how much she loves reading even the emails I send because she loves the way I write. I write because I love to share stories and that makes me a writer.
This morning at the library, I picked up a copy of Creative Confidence. It happened to be on the same shelf as several other business books I grabbed while I was there, but I cracked it open and started reading. The message of the book is that we are all born with creativity, it is an inherent part of human nature. We just need to overcome the idea that we are not creative.
It’s that way with writing too. I just need to remember that so that I can find the motivation to continue to share the stories I hold within.