Why So Serious? Don’t Forget to Have Some Fun
Attempting to remember what this writing thing is all about and getting back to the joy that writing can bring
After some early success getting traffic to the blog and getting some content curated on Medium.com, it was very easy to fall into the trap of stats and views. It is very, very enticing to log on and see how many new views and claps and site sessions have occurred in the past two hours. It seemed like fun to go check out the articles on how to get more eyeballs on your articles and how to write better titles. But after a while a realization materialized that the output was moving away from the vision. The seeds of fear were cast that my efforts were morphing into what it appeared that these articles wanted and advocated for. All of a sudden, daily feeds were filled with the seemingly same advice articles over and over. All too quickly this didn’t seem like so much fun anymore.
To top it off, some major writers block hit. After writing some pieces that personally felt deep, introspective, and quite possibly halfway decent, the new words that were hitting the screen felt forced. After a while it was easier to sit in front of the screen and find ways to be distracted instead of the pure act of creation, where the words just seems to flow out like a clear and cold mountain stream on a sunny day. This right here. The nearly unconscious flow of words from my brain through my fingers into these keys and onto the screen in front of me. There is no audience for these words other than my own eyeballs. There is nothing that I have to prove here. I only need to make myself happy.
Therefore, this is my reminder, to me, right here and now.
Stop being so serious.
Remember that you are doing this for fun.
You haven’t quit your day job. Yes, you made money last month. $7.58. From one viewpoint, this is not that impressive. It is maybe enough for a fancy cup of coffee. It is a drop in the bucket compared to the biggest authors on Medium that are pulling in more than $22,000 in a single month.
Or you can step back and realize that there are actual live people out there in the world reading your words. Seeing your ideas. Agreeing and disagreeing with you. Two months ago you made $0 from your articles. One month ago you wrote your way to $0.43.
Be yourself and keep speaking your voice. That voice has already reached people all over the world. The United States, Brazil, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, India, France, China, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Just like everyone else out there, your ideas matter.
You will get there. Have some patience and persistence. Your words matter. You matter.
Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate, re-tool, and re-energize yourself. Today is January 1. There is whole new year in front of you. Tomorrow is Jan 2. There will be a whole new year in front of that day too. You have more wisdom now than you have ever had before in your life. Tomorrow you will have just a little bit more.
Keep going because no matter what, I believe in you.
Welcome to a new year and a new day!
Originally published at kevinwanke.com on January 2, 2020. Kevin’s blog focuses on advice for new Engineers and for Engineering Managers.