Far too often, the voice in our heads goes something like this, "who cares what I have to say, no one will listen to me," or read my blog or my post or my newsletter.
But the truth is this: the world needs more positive influences right now.
Your voice matters. You may suck at writing when you start— nearly everyone does — but get your ego out of the way and write already. Share something with the world and see what you get back.
Put something out there and allow it to suck. When you write and put in your best effort, that is good enough. When you give yourself permission to not have to be perfect and share anyway, most likely, you'll get feedback - good and "bad." Feedback makes the writer better. Feedback gives you a direction in which to go next. It helps you, in the long run, to write better.
You'll never become great if you don't put your version "good enough" out in the world. For the longest time, I was afraid of hitting publish on my first blog post. Now, 143 posts later, I'm not sure why I was so scared. Yeah, I'm not Hemingway, but at least I'm taking the chance. If I never hit publish and wait for perfection, my writing will die a sad, miserable death on my hard drive.
"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it."
Put out something, something creative that feeds your soul, and, most likely, you will connect with somebody. Even if it isn't thousands of people, you could make a difference to one person.
You Will Fail
If failure means only one person reads your work, yes, that may happen. But is that failure? Failure is in not trying, not daring, staying small and safe. I had an audience of seven for many weeks, which jumped to 500, and now I have over seven thousand followers on multiple social media platforms. Over seven thousand people hit the "follow" button after they read something I wrote. You never know who you will speak to unless you take the chance to leap and see what happens. Find joy in the leaping, not in the landing point.
Reframe what failure means
Posting something and hearing crickets is not a failure. Failure is allowing your fear of people judging you, ridiculing you, or not reading your work to stop you from sharing your creativity with the world.
Who cares if you have one reader. You shared anyway. Reframe having one reader as a success because it is. It means you've started. Starting is the most essential part. Once you start, you have somewhere else to go because the mere act of starting will lead to other opportunities; you just can't see them yet.
People will not remember that you posted. They will remember how you made them feel, how you cared, what you taught them.
Share something, and you will resonate with someone who needs your particular voice at this moment in their lives. Any feedback you get, even from an audience of one, is worth getting.
Listen to your audience; they will point you in the next direction with their question and comments – even the negative ones—especially the negative comments. After reading a negative comment from a reader, I once wrote a post as a retort, and it became my second highest viewed article.
I've been fortunate to have had a few trolls; I value them because they clue me in on what to write about — what hits a nerve.
Have a Role Model Mindset
There are two ways to exert strength, pushing down and pulling up.
If you're a writer, think about the intentionality of your writing. Are you writing to lift others up or push them down? If it is the former, your voice is needed. Readers will value your words when you're intentional with them, your mission, and your message.
Don't write content for likes or shares
Care more about providing value than getting likes or shares. You have something to share with the world; share it. Instead of being consumed with likes, share content that is serving your reader because it isn't about you, the writer; it's about the reader.
Make your reader the hero or benefactor of the content you share — you are the guide. If you pay attention to your audience, they will tell you what to write.
Do not discount a small following
We are jockeying in the same overcrowded online world.
Everyone is competing for an audience — to gain followers, likes, engagement — sometimes the message gets lost in chasing the metrics. Even if you have 100 followers, heck, even if you have three followers, do not discount them. Those three people are your people, your tribe, your audience, and they matter. They are reading what you wrote, and that isn't a small thing.
As writers, we don't want to lose our humanity in the metrics. In other words, we don't want to focus so much on our stats, our numbers, that we lose our understanding, creativity, and mission as to why we got into writing in the first place — to help others.
If we lift one person or ten or five million with a positive message, a tool that makes their lives better, or a strategy that makes for an easier day, we contribute positively.
Inspire people based on how you share your content, how you share your passions, and even how you share your products. As a content generator, allow your passion to determine your path forward in the online world. No matter how small it is, start something, create something.
Double down on the good that you put into the world, and you will be successful. Give people the tools to change their lives.
No one will ever care about your dreams as much as you do, so write and share them. It's your job because it's your dream.