Writing for the Sake of Writing is Not Worth Reading
I wasn’t going to contribute to the garbage on the internet.
I have been in a weekly writing habit since 2009. Two or three times per week, I will sit and compose something in my blog, even if it is the typed equivalent of a few scribbles of thoughts. Never a fixed habit, where I would commit to “Writing every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday!” But every few days, I have gathered enough thoughts in my head to form a few paragraphs.
For some reason (a new challenge, perhaps?) I thought “I am going to write something every single day for 30 days! I even found a series of writing prompts to help with the days when I had not come up with a topic on my own.
I put my first post in this challenge here on Medium, rather than in my own blog. On to Day 2.
Day 2 came. I wrote. I hit publish. I waited about ten minutes. Then I deleted it.
It was garbage.
I had written something only for the sake of hitting “publish.” It wasn’t well thought out. It wasn’t well constructed. It wasn’t even very well written. It wasn’t worth reading.
Austin Kleon is a writer I follow, and he is a big proponent of “Show Your Work” (even wrote a whole book about it). The concept is that writers, artists, musicians should become comfortable with sharing their works in progress: that finished, perfect masterpieces do not reflect the sweat, stumbling, and yes, the garbage that came before it.
I believe in “show your work.” There is something brave about putting an unfinished product out there for the world to see. It builds a community of those who are midway through their journeys to a goal of finished work.
But putting work out there just so that I can say that I hit “publish” 30 days in a row? No.
There is so much “noise” on the internet. So many people publish garbage for the game of collecting followers, building an audience, click-bait titles, or shameless promotion of writing with no substance.
I wasn’t going to contribute to the noise.
If I want to challenge myself to write for 30 days, fine. I can chicken-scratch in a journal or type something out in OneNote. I don’t need to clutter up the internet with hundreds of words not worth anyone’s time.
I can be happy with the fact that when I do write, it is because I have something to say. That the topics came to me organically and I sat down with the intention of writing and sharing.
You can read about the future of work and career pivots on my Substack.