Yesterday I read a popular book about how to start a blog. There are five rules that one must not break, says the author:
- Don’t worry that you’re not an authority – be ready to learn.
- Don’t care that too many people are saying the same thing as you— it shows there’s major interest in what you’re talking about.
- Don’t ever write about what you’re not passionate about. That’s a no-brainer, right?
- Don’t just write about what you like — write what your readers like to read. (Hope you like to read this, haha.)
- Don’t get stuck trying to define your perfect purpose— in other words, don’t get infected with analysis paralysis. Your purpose can be a work in progress.
A work in progress. That sounds like me. I cannot count how many things I’ve created. I’m a serial creator. Recently, somebody nicknamed me the Idea Generator. I see people who start something and stay committed to see that thing through. Great idea if the thing is working out. But some keep doing that thing even though there’s no traction after three years. Kudos to them. But nah.
Throwing many things at the wall and seeing what sticks is one of the ways to survive as a creative person— to keep making progress. According to Mike Tyson, Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. That’s why I don’t judge people who pivot.
As I have realised, many factors can account for how well an idea does and how long one can keep pushing against the odds. Sometimes, we’re not in the right frame of mind. Other times, the length of time it will take for that thing to gain traction will not justify the cost of staying focused on that thing. But ultimately, every failure or setback is an opportunity to learn.
Facebook will never be finished, said Mark Zuckerberg. That is why the company has continued to try new features. Sometimes they fail, sometimes they succeed. But this is how they move forward, not by continuously pulling the trigger on an unloaded gun or flogging a dead horse.
The trick is to never stop doing, even if we take a break and later return to that idea. But I know, it takes courage, especially when there are many armchair critics with no qualification ready to pounce on your timeline.
As Hugh McLeod once said, commit yourself to random acts of traction. Once in a while, something will click.