The best thing I’ve ever written

When you’re sharing your words online everyday there is very little pressure for what you post to be the best thing you’ve ever written.

If todays words aren’t particularly good, I know that I can always write something better tomorrow or the day after.

Sometimes what I consider to be my some of my best work doesn’t gain the numbers that I think it will or should. Other times, the stuff I’m pretty indifferent about ends up becoming the most popular.

I’ve written posts that I thought were my best at the time only to look back months later and realise it could have been so much better.

And so the idea of my best work is pretty flexible. If in 20 months of daily blogging, this post was the best thing I’d ever written, I have no doubt that I’d change my mind a few months later.

Reminding myself of all this makes blogging every day so much easier.

Don’t check the stats

It’s easy to fall into thinking that having access to and analysing the numbers will improve your work.

But sometimes it just makes you miserable.

When you sacrifice what you want to do with what will make the numbers go up you’re less likely to be satisfied with the work you produce.

If you focus on producing work that will make the numbers go up but instead they go down, you’ll be even less satisfied.

Sometimes the numbers are helpful when they give you information about what is or isn’t working.

But other times, they’re not worth checking at all.

Giving the people what they want

A few days ago, I wrote a post that did well numbers wise and I knew it would.

It was the kind of thing that people like to read whilst also being useful.

I don’t advocate for writing for people as you’ll never find your own voice or style that way. But in my previous post I managed to find the overlap between what I like to write and what you like to read.

That bit is the sweet spot because that way you’re not sacrificing your creativity or your chance to explore.

300 and something

Time flies when you’re daily blogging.

I’ve written over 300 posts for this site and I’ve manged to not run out of ideas.

If you’d have asked me 300 days ago what I’d be writing about towards the end of 2019 I’d have said ‘I’m not sure’. But something I’ve realised is that each blog post is simply the expansion of a thought and humans have tens of thousands of thoughts a day so I’ll never need to worry about running out of ideas.

And I find that the more I experience, grow and explore the more my perspective shifts and I’m able to expand on things I wrote previously or write them with a more developed mindset.

I also find that because I write each day I’m not so focused on the stats. However, what I do notice is familiar usernames that regularly read my posts and that is something I truly appreciate.

Reasons to stop checking the stats

Focus on doing things that are helpful and try not to get distracted by the seemingly significant things that are also known as stuff.

If 764 people read this post, I might come to the conclusion that I should write ‘Reasons to…’ posts more or that this length or writing style is the winning combo.

But in doing that I wouldn’t be giving myself the freedom to explore and develop as a writer. At the crux of it when you have a passion for something it will never just be about the numbers. It’ll always be more about the feeling, something you can’t measure.

When you’re in-flow and the words pour out with an almost trance like ease it might not be the most popular piece of work you’ve created but it took something for you to create it.

Even if you find a formulas that works you still have to innovate to some degree and after a while you might get bored because you’re no longer just being creative.

The use of a formula adds rigidity and constraints.

Checking the stats could also be done for reassurance that there’s at least one persons on planet earth reading what you’ve written and there’s nothing wrong with that because nobody puts stuff out there for it to go unread.

You might find a way to convince yourself that checking the stats will make you as better writer when the truth is writing will make you a better writer. The stats are just a distraction.