Writing is something I have a love-hate relationship with. Love because I genuinely enjoy the process. Hate because it means I sometimes have to hit publish on things I don’t think are good enough to share.
After writing yesterday’s post, I experienced something I’ve felt several times during my writing adventures, and that is the feeling that what I had just published was not very good.
It felt uncomfortable to put it out there and share with the world.
Would people find it valuable? Or would they finally (in my mind) reach the conclusion that my work is not very good?
And then, it happened again; the same thing that happens every time I experience that feeling…
Someone reached out to tell me how much it had helped them.
And then another person.
And then someone else, who mentioned that the post had sparked something he’d been thinking about for a while.
What I’m getting at is this: sometimes (or perhaps, often times) the work we think is sub-standard turns out to be that which resonates with people the most.
In other words, you don’t get to decide what is good and what is bad. Your only task is to put your work out there for the world to see and know that the right people will find it.
I was reminded of this lesson after having a conversation with one of my coaching clients yesterday.
She was talking about people who share a lot of content and seem to emphasize quantity over quality.
(The irony was not lost on me that she was talking to someone who is currently writing every day…)
Anyway, she mentioned a popular poet who has published several books in the last few years alone and whose work was not very good in her opinion.
I asked, “Well, has she sold any copies?”
Of course, the answer was yes.
If that’s the case, then can we absolutely know that her work is not very good? Of course not!
What I mentioned to my client was that if the poet had decided that her work was not good enough to share and instead kept her ideas to herself, she may have been holding back something that had the potential to change someone’s life (even if someone else didn’t totally love it).
It’s kinda like the altruistic version of “don’t worry about what other people think”. And that includes yourself.
The right words read at the right time by the right person might be exactly what they needed to make a massive change, take action, and finally move forward.
And isn’t that why we create in the first place?
Sure, maybe not all my content is going to be a slam dunk, but I would be doing someone a disservice by putting my own judgment of good and bad ahead of the possibility that it could really help. And for that reason alone, I suck it up and hit publish every day.
(Plus, the only way to create more good work is to create more work.)
If you have something of value to share with the world, it is your duty and obligation to share it. You don’t get to decide what is good and what is bad.
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