Pushing “publish” can change the world. It all starts with your inner voice, your heart, and the cursor. And no matter how unimportant you think your perspective is, when you write down what you’ve learned, you’re bringing knowledge into the collective consciousness.
I’ve struggled to publish content for years, especially written copy. I told myself I needed more experience, more skill, and more time to really put something out there.
I think I almost overvalued a singular piece of writing. Because I love poetry, sacred spiritual texts, and music, like Bach’s Cello Suite, I think I imagined writing as some kind of elevated, sacred art form.
Consequently, I spent days writing really good stuff that I never shared. I experienced a lot of lessons that I kept inside of my head, and those stories disappeared somewhere in the back of my mind over the years. Even if they show up one day, they probably won’t be super accurate.
In my experience, the first few days after having an idea are the most honest.
What I mean by that is that the one-week old self is always an idiot, according to the present-day self’s perspective. You’re always wiser now and more experienced than the old you. So our present-day self always judges the one-week old self as incompetent, or naive. The writing that was unveiled, or the podcast or video that was recorded by the one-week old self, feels incomplete.
In my experience, most writers have a way of re-writing the stories of their past to protect ourselves. The learnings are a bit less authentic, and transformational, because they reflect the present-day self’s understanding of past events.
Ideally, we could read, listen to, or watch events as they transpire, and learn from the stories and contextual clues, and authentically document that whole mess. In as close to real time as possible. I think the deepest, most powerful learnings are usually contextual, anchored in real stories, and documented as soon as possible.
But, at least in my experience, I often edit, shift, change, or add things to the last week’s self writing. To make it better. To bring it into my present day knowledge and understanding.
Truthfully, that writing is not from last week’s self. It’s from the present-day self, trying to make last week’s self not look so stupid. And, consequently, the present day self may have a tendency to remove vulnerability, eliminate flaws, shortcomings, etc. In other words, writing becomes a little whitewashed, stale, and less authentic.
As a content creator, your job is to openly share your experience with as much vulnerability as you can, in hopes that you can improve the lives of your readers, listeners, or viewers.
Good writing is pulled from real experiences. Not monumental experiences or extraordinary experiences. Just real things.
A good friend of mine, Melissa, told me once that I shouldn’t be the judge of whether my stories are useful or helpful. If I believe in helping the world become better, I just need to share what I’m experiencing as accurately as I can. Let others decide if those experiences are relevant, or useful.
Creating this kind of content is really hard and it takes time.
You might feel a bit overwhelmed at the prospect, especially since generative text platforms like chat GPT can pump out thousands of words.
But we live in a world of too much regurgitated content, and original thought leadership is more valuable than ever before. Especially when it’s anchored in your stories, which are relevant and helpful because other people will be experiencing those same struggles.
You are the source. The editor. The curator. The story collector. The person who has the subject matter expertise and can apply it to the conditions that exist in the world today. Because I believe in the value of you sharing your ideas, your vulnerable, authentic self, I’m hoping this inspires you to do just that: share more, share more often, and connect with others through your writing.
Even if you’re afraid your viewpoint holds little significance, documenting and sharing your insights contributes to the collective awareness. I look forward to seeing more of your light shining in this world, so you can help change it for the better.