Thank you, thank you, thank you.
You’re part of the very first edition of this newsletter, and I couldn’t be more grateful you’re here!
You’re helping me carve out a tiny little corner of the internet for people like you and me to get more connected to the things that make us unique, to find more meaning in what we do, and hopefully, even get a little weird from time to time.
Because this is the first edition of this newsletter, I’m going to share a bit about how this came to be.
Here are the three most important lessons I’ve learned in the process of bringing this thing to life.
1. Remember Why You Started
On July 18, 2012, I bought nolanbulger.com with the intention of starting a blog. For reasons I didn’t understand at the time, I wanted to write.
It took me six years to write my first post.
To give you an idea of the progress I made between 2012 – 2018, take a look at my site on the Wayback Machine. It’s a tool for internet nerds that lets you see snapshots of websites as they change over time.
You might notice I didn’t even manage to change this beautiful sentence on the homepage: “I have tons to content. Follow my blogs about intresting stuff.”
But here’s the cool part. Until recently, I would’ve been embarrassed to show you that piece of internet history, ashamed to admit I succumbed to distraction after distraction without making any progress.
Now I look at the old site and smile because I remember why I started.
Oh yeah, I wanted to write stuff.
And that, my friend, is why you’re reading this email.
This newsletter is a stepping stone to the blog posts. It’s a way to make it easier for me to write and to reconnect with what I wanted to do in the first place.
Are you feeling lost or frustrated about what you’re doing? Not sure where to go with your project? Wonder whether you’re on the right track?
Or maybe something just feels a little bit off but you can’t put your finger on it…
Take a few minutes to sit in silence and see if you can remember why you started. The things we need to make huge breakthroughs are often right in front of us.
Perhaps you simply need to remember why you started.
I’m going to (re)launch my site later this month, by the way.
2. Practice Paying Attention (and Pay Attention to What You Pay Attention To)
Creating this newsletter reminded me paying attention is an invaluable skill.
In fact, had I not spent so much time cultivating this skill (through meditation), I wouldn’t have been able to remember why I started. So it’s fair to say this newsletter exists because I’ve learned to pay attention.
Unfortunately, too many of us (my former self included) take the ability to pay attention for granted. But we can do amazing things when we pay attention.
Austin Kleon sums it up well in his short tribute to poet Mary Oliver. To piggyback on his insight, the reason I decided to write an email newsletter, specifically, was because I recognized they’re the thing in my inbox I pay attention to.
What do you pay the most attention to?
Send me a reply, and maybe we can figure out how to turn it into something meaningful.
3. Lean Into Resistance
Author Steven Pressfield popularized the concept of resistance as “the enemy within” that keeps us from doing our work.
We all deal with it in one form or another.
Resistance is the constant procrastination, the meaningless distractions, the six years of not sitting down to write blog posts. And as Pressfield so eloquently puts it, “Resistance is always lying and full of shit.”
It’s true; resistance is a sneaky, deceitful bitch. Don’t you agree?
You might be thinking, yeah, so what. I get the whole resistance thing. What am I supposed to do about it?
Here’s what works for me. I’ve learned to use resistance as a compass. I see it as a guiding light, so to speak.
I go towards the resistance.
When something feels really hard to do, it means it’s exactly what I should be doing. And this writing stuff, it’s pretty damn hard.
I feel A LOT of resistance.
And that’s exactly why this newsletter exists.
Check out The War of Art and Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t for more about Resistance and what you can do to overcome it.
That’s all for today.
I sincerely hope if you’re ever feeling discouraged, disconnected from your purpose, or just downright lost, you’ll…
remember why you started, pay attention, and lean into resistance.
Thank you, again, from the bottom of my heart for letting me have some space in your inbox, for your support, and for giving me the confidence to pursue a project that’s been a long time in the making.