One of the challenges of publishing, or more specifically in this context, blogging, is creating content. I’ve never been a fan of creating content for the sake of it. As I’ve said in the past, here, here and here, writing and blogging have been primarily notes-to-self. Blogging has been a way for me share my failures and wrestle with ideas and various issues.
More Content, More
The challenge of being a creative or blogger, in this case, is that trap to creating more content for the sake of it. Because of “your” tribe or audience it is easy to feel the pressure to hit “publish”. Though you create for yourself, you also create for your tribe or audience.
It takes a lot of time and energy to create quality. I know many bloggers have fallen prey to hitting “publish” for the sake of it. “Because I must publish every day”. I’ve been there.
Pushing quantity at the expense of quality is a disservice to you and those you consume your content.
This is true, some of the time.
When You Have To
When it comes to creating content, quality I mean, there is no utopia. The ideal is that you create quality content on cue, every single time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that way. I bet you Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh and many other acclaimed artists have more work that never got the “masterpiece” label.
We know more about the masterpieces than the crap pieces they created for a simple reason:
When you finally create the masterpiece, all the crap pieces are forgotten or overlooked (Click to Tweet)
Here’s the thing: it takes many crap pieces to create a masterpiece. There are times you will need to create content to get yourself out of the funk.
Sometimes the object of your work, whatever your work is, is to keep your creative / creating muscles flexed and growing. In such instances, you create for the sake of creating content. The benefit for creating content for the sake of is helpful for you and your audience only in the longer run.
Too Easy On Yourself
There is such a thing as being too hard and too easy on yourself. Being too easy on yourself is how most creators/creatives end up not creating. When you’re too easy on yourself you don’t create anything because:
- You don’t feel like it
- You’d rather not say or create it unless you do it ‘perfectly’
- Insert a million other reasons here
You’re also too easy on yourself when you don’t work at creating (or doing) more and better. When you don’t commit to creating more and better, and doing what it takes, you’re too easy on yourself.
Too Hard On Yourself
When it comes to creating content, you’re too hard on yourself when you think every post must be a perfect masterpiece. It doesn’t work that way. Churning content till you burnout is being too hard on yourself and irresponsible.
Make peace with this fact:
Not everything you create is going to be perfect.
I love what Jon Acuff said on writing a book. I can’t quote him verbatim but he said something along the lines: There’s a good skinny book in a big fat (first) draft. No matter how amazing we think we are or mom said we were, it takes more than a few key strokes on our keyboards to create masterpieces.
Often the product of great content is a result of sometimes unexplainable agony, mental constipation and hours of staring at a cursor and hitting backspace more than the space bar.
When creating content, the ideal is a lot of quality content regularly. Sometimes, however, you have to create for the sake of creating. You can’t be too easy on yourself; be ruthless with your own mediocrity and complacency. Being too hard on yourself is getting bogged down with the idea of perfection. This isn’t always practical or helpful.
In the end, the most important thing is to create and publish. The only caveat: whatever or however you do it, make sure you push yourself to keep getting better.
The ultimate goal is to create a lot of great content that is helpful for both you and your audience.
image: Aaron Burden