You don’t know how much your writing will help people. You can get scary good and impact one person or a million in your lifetime. But you won’t always know this though, so you have to learn to work and work without the need for applause or feedback. Write for your soul
So in the month of May, I did this writing challenge for two weeks, where I wrote a short article every day. I was averaging about 30 reads and for a new writer that wasn’t bad, I guess.
But Something happened on the 9th day.
I wrote this piece on how “our actions don’t align with our desires“. And it blew up in my small space! Views skyrocketed to over 100. People were sharing it on twitter and that felt really good.
The next article resonated with people as well with a higher number of views and so did the next one! Yo, I felt like Shakespeare man. You couldn’t stop my train. Until…
I wrote another one. Now, this is my favourite article of all time, because I enjoyed writing it. Sometimes, I still go back and laugh when I read it because it’s my whole life on pixels. So, I shared it and expected the same rave reviews. Crip, crip, crip, nothing.
I went mad! I had failed. How could my best not blow up as well?
Writing For Acclaim is the surest way to Disappointment
“Expectations are resentments under construction.” In truth, they are one of the surest fire ways to suck the creative joy out of our lives and work. — Anne Lamott
Here’s a daunting statistic for you. If you write 100 articles, about 80 of them may be forgettable and about 20 will be globally relevant and evergreen.
This is a reality you (and I) have to be prepared for. Why?
If you don’t write the 80, you’ll never get the 20. We should be mentally ready to keep writing with the possibility of limited success.
The two principles I live by and you can embrace.
1. Write for your soul. 2. Edit ruthlessly for readers.
This applies to all forms of writing, even technical. Create that user manual for yourself and then edit it so others can use it.
The way to help someone through your writing is to write for your soul first. So Write from your pain FOR your pain. Write from your joy FOR your joy. Write from your knowledge FOR your expertise.
Selflessness in writing is first self-centered.
You first — Then others.
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.