December 1, 2016

Shorter and More Frequent

Three things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, especially as I’ve been rethinking my life online.

  1. This post from CJ Chilvers on how, when working on things for yourself, the stakes couldn’t possibly be any lower.
  2. This other post from CJ Chilvers on how quality is often a side effect of quantity.
  3. This podcast in which Chris Coyier quotes Jeremy Keith about how you should treat your blog like your drafts folder.

In all three cases, I think the intention is the same. If you want to create (in whatever form that takes), you need to do so on a regular basis and not be too hard on yourself. It’s a simple enough lesson, but it’s devilishly hard to practice.

As makers, we all share similar fears. Fears about not producing anything of worth. Fears about alienating our friends, family, and audience. Fears about not being good enough (for what?). All of those fears tend to build up and add staggering amounts of mental weight to already fragile minds, often times to the point of preventing us from doing anything at all.

If I want to do one thing with my website, it’s to get over these fears. I want to get over the fear of publishing by doing it often and get over the anxiety of creating by reminding myself that even if I fuck up, I’m learning something. If I lose a few followers, who cares? I’m writing mainly to better understand myself and the world around me. If I anger a few more, all the better. Hopefully they’ll email me and start a conversation from which we both can learn.

I’m trying not to hold myself to any specific publishing schedule (that adds its own anxiety), but I’m dedicating time and effort to publishing shorter, but more frequent, pieces.

If a few of them turn out to be any good, it will be worth it.