Seeing that title triggered memories of a couple of things that popped into my mind simultaneously, as if they were piecing my next article together for me in my mind’s eye.
The first was the Martina McBride song, “Anyway.” Don’t ask me where it came from! I haven’t heard that song in years probably, nor have I been listening to Martina McBride lately. But, there it was, so clear in my mind.
I did always love it. I immediately remembered it being one of those songs that inspires you with a message of courage, perseverance, possibility, and perhaps more than anything else, embracing the unknown.
The first two verses have this to say:
“You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothin’
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway”
These lyrics inspired me to get posting again, whether or not I think it’s “good enough.”
After all, it being good enough is not the point; the point is to do it anyway. Write it anyway, even if you think it sucks, or that it won’t reach anyone, or that no one will care about it.
And then post it, because as Tim Denning writes, you never know what will happen when you hit publish.
Leave it up to the Universe
If there is any truth to this whole writing thing, it’s that right there. What happens to your writing after you hit publish is completely beyond you.
It’s out of your hands. You’ve sent those words on the page off into the universe, and who knows what journey they’re going on, where they will end up, and who they will touch along the way.
Will they come into contact with just one person, or one million people? Will they put a smile on someone’s face, give them that little boost of motivation they sorely needed, or just keep to themselves, enjoying the ride out there in the universe?
The fact is, I don’t know. I can’t know — and that’s also the best part!
When I see the words I write in this way, almost like they have a life of their own (which they do!), publishing them becomes much more exciting and freeing. It’s like a burden has been lifted just to set them loose and let go of all the fears and expectations and hopes and dreams for them.
Even if it feels uncomfortable to release them to the world because they are “unfinished” or “unrefined” or “not as good as they could be” — just do it anyway.
The other case for publishing
We’ve all heard that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice (focused engagement with minimal distractions) to master a skill.
Well, part of “mastering” the skill of writing is practicing in public, a.k.a. publishing your work and allowing your words to be seen.
Everything I’ve read says the only way to get better is to persevere through the days (or entire seasons) where you feel like you have nothing of value to offer.
For me, sometimes that feels like every day.
But as Megan Holstein writes, “What’s important is that you sit down every day and do the work. The rest will take care of itself.”
And that, I can do.