In the 5 or so months I’ve been writing this blog in earnest, I’ve churned out some pretty shitty stuff. My first posts were definitely the worst—long, meandering, pointless or multi-pointed. There’s this one called “Advanced Fonzametrics”—so bad. I tried to cram 20 years of life-lessons into one 2K+ word post. There have also been some not-so-long-ago posts that seem to equally stink. I think my mom was the only person who read yesterday’s post.
I was pondering my ineptitude while reading the blogs of the luminaries in my chosen genre (personal development, I guess) last night. Many of their posts felt like they were going through the motions. I could see the author staring blankly at his or her computer, thinking, “What the hell am I going to write today? I guess I’ll write about that thing my kid does.” It got me thinking that there might not be such a wide gulf between those who are making it and those who are struggling to do so.
It’s tough for those of us who haven’t gotten into a positive feedback loop to believe that what we’re doing is worthwhile. No one is asking us to do what we’re doing. We put ourselves out there—whether we’re writers, painters, singers, entrepreneurs, activists, whatever—unsure if anyone beyond our family and friends gives a shit (and we suspect we might soon exhaust their enthusiasm).
We wonder how we can be more like “successful” people. How do we crack the code?
Sometimes there is a code. There is such a thing as skill. For example, I’ve written posts that resonate with readers more than others; I can try to figure out what qualities people respond to and imbue future writing with similar attributes. But I would never learn these things if I hadn’t put out some pretty crappy stuff first. In other words, the “code” might just be a willingness to put ourselves out into the world consistently.
It makes me think of Adam Sandler. There were a few years when you couldn’t take a piss without seeing his movies. Yet I never thought he was very funny. Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, Little Nicky—Sandler was an inanity machine. But the guy put himself out there. He wasn’t deterred by my criticism. If I didn’t like his movies, I didn’t have to watch them.
So in the spirit of Adam Sandler, I’m going to keep writing shitty blog-posts. I might even make a shitty video or two. I’m going to promote myself in ways that might be disproportionate to my talents.
It’s not my intention to churn out shitty writing or related media products. I have no desire to waste my time or yours. I want inner peace to flow from my words to your heart. Seriously. But in the process, I might miss the mark. My apologies in advance. I genuinely appreciate your support and hope you enjoy what I write.