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“What would this look like if it were easy?”

Boy on beach in The Netherlands

In Tribe of Mentors, Tim Ferriss wrote, “What would this look like if it were easy? is such a lovely and deceptively leveraged questioned. It’s easy to convince yourself that things need to be hard, that if you’re not redlining, you’re not trying hard enough. This leads us to look for paths of most resistance, often creating unnecessary hardship in the process.”

Ferriss also encouraged readers to frame questions, problems, and decisions within a context of ease; not strain and stress. Ferriss’s idea made me think about how I could create more ease around blogging.

So I asked myself:

What would blogging look like if it were easy?

Here’s what I came up with:

Rather than overthinking this week’s post—or trying to come up with a perfect essay—I decided to share a few updates with you!

With that, let’s get started!

1. What I’m listening to …

On the Hurry Slowly podcast, Ann Friedman said,

“If I sit back and think about, ‘What did I do today?’ I never include ‘tweeted.’ I might be like, ‘Called three members of Congress, did some research for an article, maybe read the entire A section of the newspaper.’ Those things are things I did today, but it’s pretty rare that I would think of contributing on social media as an accomplishment.”

Friedman’s remark resonated with me because I feel similarly. Also, I’ve enjoyed my social media sabbatical. I’ve asked myself questions like: Does having a social media “presence” matter to my work as a writer, photographer, and teacher? Does it enhance my creative process? Or does social media foster distraction and procrastination? 

I don’t have answers to these questions, and I’m sure my retorts will evolve and change as time moves forward. I’m also not sure if I want to return to social media in the new year.

If you’re distracted by the Internet (like me), try Forest. It’s a Google Chrome extension that “helps you stay focused in any scenario.”

2. My writing process …

On Saturday, December 2, 2017, I participated in The Reindeer Games! It was my first CrossFit competition, and it was a blast. I wrote a draft essay about the event, but I wasn’t happy with the flow of the article. I told my accountability buddy about this problematic article, and she offered to read it! Her feedback on the piece was fantastic! In essence, I was trying to squeeze too many concepts into one essay. Now I need to decide what’s next for the article. I’m going to do a few edits, and I might break the piece up into a series, or let the idea go. Accountability buddies are the best!

3. What I’m thinking about ….

Logan and I have a couple of financial aims for 2018 including saving 50% of our income and spending less money online. I’ll write about this experiment in 2018! It will be challenging and fun!

Cleaning and organizing have been on my mind, too. A few years ago we upsized to a 400-square-foot apartment, and love the space! However, the extra space made us a tad lazy. We’ve developed a bad habit of not putting our stuff away, and when that happens, it feels like a stuff bomb exploded in our little place! It’s time to start putting things away.

4. A quote that inspired me …

What would this look like if it were easy? 

—Tim Ferriss

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If you enjoy my essays, photos, and curated happy links, consider supporting my work on Patreon. As a bonus, you get fun goodies as a reward!

With gratitude,
Tammy

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Julie S. December 20, 2017, 10:36 am

    I like this “easy” post – what an interesting concept! I think trying to write a Great American Novel is one reason I stopped writing at all. The same was true of trying to read only literary fiction or classics. I am happier just reading and writing whatever feels best in the moment. I recently got an iPad to make writing easier, but I started a daily drawing project instead. I am really enjoying it and don’t feel like I am forcing myself to be productive anymore.

    • Tammy Strobel December 21, 2017, 11:12 am

      Thanks Julie! Drawing on an iPad sounds so fun! I recently listened to this interview with Austin Kleon. I love his writing and art! He recently started drawing on an iPad, and loves it! Happy holidays!

  • Dan James December 21, 2017, 12:41 am

    Hi Tammy, I used to follow you a few years back (as well as others in that first wave of minimalism bloggers like Everett Bogue, Courtney Carver and Joshua Becker) so I’m “rediscovering” you now.

    A couple of things in this post really stood out for me.

    First, your goal of saving 50% of your income. I currently save maybe 15% – part of this is not actually saving, it’s repaying a car via credit card, and part is for two kids savings accounts. I would love to increase this percentage, so, even though I am pretty careful with money, I’m going to take a very hard look at my budget tracker before the new year as see what can shifted around. (“What would that look like if it were easy?” is a question I need to ponder!)

    Second, your social media sabbatical. I’m not big on social media anyway – I don’t do Facebook or Twitter and recently have virtually given up Instagram again after various frustrations. Google+ I really like the format of but it seems a bit barren these days. Flickr I use for many reasons but the social side is also quieter than a few years back.

    So I am looking at new ways of connecting with people ( mostly other photographers) in a more effective way, aside from my own blog and a few blogs of others, and maybe social media isn’t a part of this and direct conversation on blogs is enough… More to ponder.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading some more of what you’ve been up to since I last checked in!

    Dan

    • Tammy Strobel December 21, 2017, 11:05 am

      Hi Dan! Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. 🙂 I appreciate it. I’ll be blogging more about social media and our financial goals in 2018. There’s lots to ponder in terms of saving money, time, and effective communication strategies! Happy holidays!