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The Internal Conflict of Writing (6/30)
Gary Vee sucks.
There’s an inherent tension that I struggle with when it comes to this whole blogging thing.
On one hand, I am fundamentally doing this for intrinsic reward. Writing is the only thing that has reliably brought me into a flow state since I had to stop playing lacrosse (the medical profession seems to generally agree that seven concussions is enough). Some days it’s more difficult than others to actually sit down and get started, but once I do, I inevitably find myself losing track of time and getting lost in the transcendental process of turning a jumbled mess of thoughts into some sort of coherent and relatable body of words. It’s one of those rare activities where my enjoyment and fulfillment are not directly tied to a measurable, objective outcome. I’m very grateful to have discovered it.
And yet I would be lying if I claimed that this in and of itself was enough. If that were the case, I’d be content with journaling.
Like any human, I want to be heard. I want to know that my thoughts have merit and that my experiences have precedent. I feel proud when I spend a lot of time on a piece, share it with others, and receive positive feedback. It’s a big part of what makes this fun. Similarly, I love being challenged on elements of my writing and becoming a better thinker as a result.
Publishing your work into the void is a strange phenomenon; you make your final edits, read it back a couple more times, wonder if the piece has any value whatsoever, then click the button and send it into the ether. Then it’s just sort of…out there. Because of this, having someone acknowledge what you wrote is pretty cool. Having someone comment on a specific part of your piece is really cool. Having someone share their own thoughts on an idea in your writing, which leads to a conversation about that idea in which you also learn more about that person — I mean, there’s not much more you could ask for.
The aforementioned tension with this whole endeavor comes from the fact that I struggle with self-promotion. It can feel pretty gross. There are enough Gary Vaynerchuks and Grant Cardones in the world walking around with a film crew at all times and turning their morning shit into a motivational parable about overcoming adversity. I have no interest in spending large chunks of time narcissistically trying to convince everyone to pay attention to me; I want my work to stand on its own merit. But the work has to reach people somehow. Nobody is stopping me on the street to ask if I happen to have a blog, and the Google search frequency for “newsletter with no apparent theme written by random guy who used to sell software” is probably pretty low. I can’t enjoy the benefits of being heard without making an active effort to get my writing out there — and therein lies the tension.
With all that said, I have an ask. If you have found any kind of value out of anything you’ve read on this site and can think of one person who might also benefit similarly, would you share it with them along with the link to subscribe? I’d really appreciate it. This has already been an awesome experience, not least because you’ve signed up, taken the time to read these various ramblings, and engaged with the content. I’d love to keep it going and bring others into the fold.