When you start writing its natural to obsess over the quality of what you share. You’ve read good writing—and this is not it. Your words look feeble and forced. Better to postpone your noble endeavour until you are worthy.
Here’s the underlying belief: these words aren’t good enough to publish, yet. I’ll keep going until they are. Procrastination, recalibration.
Here’s the truth:
It’s not about the right words; it’s about using your voice.
You don’t get to micromanage your voice. You can only use it. Each time you do, a chemical reaction between the world and your words takes place. Your voice grows stronger for it. It doesn’t matter what words come out, as long as they do.
Your voice is far more vast and wonderful than you realise because its origins are beyond you. Each word that flies from you polishes the edge of something unfathomable. You don’t know what exactly—you are excavating something primal and unseen. You can only send the words out, and each time you do your internal map of what it is you are really trying to say changes.
When you plant a seed, you don’t crack it open and pull the leaves out. You provide the right conditions and stand back. The seed knows what to do next. Its full form is latent and ready. It just needs sun, soil and water.
The publish button is the sun, soil and water of your inner voice.
As soon as your finger hovers over it, everything crystallises: what’s important, what’s filler, what the real message is.
The bullshit evaporates. That awkward paragraph that has survived three drafts finally meets its grisly end—it was pollution from the start. As the words fall from your breast on to the screens of others, you are forced to give up your last attachments.
You can’t emulate this process; you can’t hack around it. You have to hit the publish button, repeatedly. Each time you hit it you bare yourself for all to see. A chasm of vulnerability opens up. But into that space rushes understanding.
Dedicate to the routine of publishing, and your voice will evolve accordingly. Lousy paragraphs are no less a part of the process than the good stuff. How can you develop taste if you don’t sample the dregs?
Writing changes you, not just because of what you share, but because you have shared. We discover who we are through what we say. We uncover our nature through action.
Don’t wait until you’re ready—publishing is how you become ready. Hit the button.
10 Oct 2018