When I launched this blog in January, I said that it would be, in part, a catalog of my process as I transition out of college and into professional magic. After nine weeks of posts, here are four takeaways:
1. Writing begets writing.
When I started writing, I worried that I wouldn’t have enough material. There are two reasons I now know that this won’t be a problem. First of all, the more I write, the more ideas I have. Because I have a system to capture those ideas–a simple note on my phone–I have weeks of posts lined up. Second, every day, I do something called “discovery time.” It is a much lighter version of Ryan Holiday and Robert Greene’s notecard system, which you can check out here (Honestly, everyone should read this. It’s so cool). Every day, I collect five new quotes–each on a separate note card–and put them in a note-bin, separated by category. That way, I’m always collecting new quotes and ideas. The more ideas I collect, the more material I have.
2. I will never stop writing.
Over the past few years, I’ve accumulated habits that won’t go away. They include reading, exercise, meditating, and journaling. Now, I’m adding writing. This process is wonderful. Giving myself the space not only to write, but to edit–really working out what I’m trying to say–is one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever had. Writing for an audience, too, adds stakes and makes me try harder. For example, you’re reading this post while I’m on spring break. I wrote this two weeks ago, though, so that I could schedule this post and enjoy my time off. Without an audience, I wouldn’t have written two posts in one week, I would’ve just had a week with no posts. Stakes make me work harder.
If you want this feeling, don’t feel like you need a website or a blog. You could just journal. And if you want to write for an audience, try Medium–you can get paid and write for free.
3. Content works.
I’m always thinking about what I can do to get more gigs. On one hand, I need to worry about how I talk to clients, my website copy, and what’s in my show. But on a very practical level, I’ve noticed more leads coming in through Google (versus word of mouth) since I started this blog. And while I’m not 100% sure it is causal, there’s no doubt that the blog drives website traffic, and that helps my SEO (search engine optimization). I also think it helps that clients can come here and get a feel of who I am beyond just magic.
The thing is, “content” sounds like you're mindlessly pumping out information onto the internet. If you are generating content, make sure it is thoughtful and deliberate. One post per week is about all that I can manage right now–increasing the quantity of posts would decrease the quality. Just because it works does not mean it needs to–or should be–scaled.
4. You won’t know how something goes until you try.
I didn’t know if this blog would reach an audience or if I would enjoy writing it. Luckily, it does and I do. But no one was telling me “go start a blog,” I had to try it to find out that I can, in fact, reach an audience. Remember, no one is telling you to open a bakery or try stand-up comedy. But what you’ll notice is that people enjoy watching other people take risks. And very often, you are rewarded for taking a leap of faith. Here’s to trying.
Thanks for reading! By the way, if you're in D.C., make sure to grab tickets to my LAST SHOW at GW, Everything I Don't Know, on April 23rd. See you there!