“I love your drawing. And I liked the one you did last time, too.” This statement by a fellow student in an “Art and Mindfulness” class stunned me. It also reminded me of what I believe about blog posts that reflect the real you. Mindfulness and financial blogging can work together.
1. There are many ways to interpret the same instructions (or topic)
The art class teacher’s instructions were simple. First, choose a pastel and draw lines, changing direction each time you switch from inhaling to exhaling. Do that 10 times, then add to your drawing however you wish.
The illustrations show the drawings I made following these instructions in the two sessions of this class. I see similarities between the two. Do you? I think there’s something that makes them distinctively mine.
The drawings that other students made were nothing like mine or one another’s drawings. One person drew a huge, bright smiley face. Another did delicate swirls. Yet another created a minimalist fish.
The lesson for financial bloggers? You may think that writers have exhausted what can be said about your topic. But no one will say it exactly like you. Embrace your differences to make your topic distinctively yours. You have more leeway to do this in blog posts than in other forms of financial writing. Especially if you are a solopreneur or work for a small firm, you’re less likely to be constrained by the idea of a “brand voice” or corporate style guidelines. You can show your personality.
2. People respond differently to your work
I looked at my classmates’ drawings and thought “I wish I could draw like them.” Amazingly, that wasn’t the response of the person who said, “I love your drawing.”
People respond differently to your creativity, whether it takes the form of a drawing or a blog post. I know my drawings aren’t great art, but something in them spoke to my classmate. The same thing can happen to you when you blog about investments, wealth management, or other financial topics.
3. Be open to what your heart and mind tell you
The mindfulness exercise made me tune in to what I was thinking and feeling. I’d like to think that helped me to achieve what the”Art and Mindfulness” instructor called the “Wise Mind” at the intersection of the “Reasonable Mind” and the “Emotion Mind.”
Merging those two in your blog posts can help you to appeal to readers with emotions, while persuading them with your reasoning.
Your openness can also uncover blog post topics. The “Art and Mindfulness” teacher told us to think about the feelings and patterns that come up with mindfulness. They need to be addressed, she said. Looking at my drawings made me think about how I like to analyze messy situations to bring order to them. That led to me thinking about the lessons for bloggers from my mindful art experiences.
4. Have compassion for people whose minds don’t work like yours
In addition to the drawing project, during the second session of the art class we worked on creating a mini-book, making a cover out of a piece of bubble painting that we’d created in the first session. I am not good at following instructions for folding and gluing paper. While I love the cover of my mini-book, the innards are an ugly mess.
The ugliness reminded me to feel compassion for my readers and students. What comes easily to me may not come easily to them. I strive to appeal to different types of learners.
Having compassion for your readers should inspire you to write in a reader-friendly way on your blog. Tailor your content to your readers. Write clearly and concisely.
5. It feels great to work in the moment
It can feel good to be totally immersed in what you’re doing. I experienced that for moments during the drawing exercise. (Yes, I still have a way to go in becoming mindful.) At a minimum, I forgot about my daily stresses. I was also impressed by several participants sharing how mindfulness has helped them to manage chronic pain.
Writing blog posts is one of the times that I feel immersed in an experience. That’s especially true of blog posts like this, which involve exploring my personal reactions. It also happens when I research a question that interests me.
I hope that you can experience some of the same sense of flow in your blogging.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy “What Marilyn Monroe taught me about writing.” My art plays a role in that post, too.