Have you ever found yourself completely floored by a statement? Even if you found yourself in a crowd of thousands of people, it felt like you were the only one there, and the message was directly for you. I recently had an experience of that magnitude during a concert in San Diego.
Amongst thousands of people, I was watching One Republic, and their lead singer was talking about his journey in the music industry. He talked candidly about the thousands of songs he created since beginning writing and was honest about how many times he got rejected. His passion for creating and his focus on the need to create got him where he is, nothing else. He kept creating and kept honing his craft until everything fell into place. It changed how I view the writing process and content creation as a whole.
We like to believe success depends on one perfect moment. We know we have to put in hard work to make ourselves ready for the moment, but we never consider the possibility of there being thousands of imperfect moments building our path to the perfect one. We’re so terrified by the chance we won’t succeed that we do nothing.
By seeing someone like Ryan Tedder be so direct, it was as though he unlocked a door I had been trying to break down, and all at once, I understood. To succeed as creatives, we need to quit worrying about how well what we create is received, how many likes/shares/tweets it gets, and we need to focus on creating high-quality content, repeatedly. That’s it. The rest will come naturally.
Creators have to create
Quality content is the lifeforce of the industry for creatives. We all see the people who put out multiple articles a day that aren’t really saying anything, and we all know some of them are successful. Quantity is absolutely one part of the equation.
Quantity, however, is a double-edged sword. Quantity leads to better quality, but only if you learn from everything you create. Constantly creating without insisting on increased quality doesn’t do you or anyone else any favors. The combination of quality and quantity leads to real success.
Even more important than creating quality, is the need to actually put your material out there. I’ve met some fantastic creatives who have shared their thoughts with me. Their ideas are vibrant and genuine, but they will continue to remain ideas until they put them out into the world. If you have something worth sharing, share it proudly. You never know when something you put out into the world will change someone’s life.
True success isn’t what we think
We find it easy to calculate success by how many thumbs-ups, hearts, claps, and whatever other social media analytic is out there, but they do us more harm than good. They create an addiction to numbers instead of an addiction to creating.
You started creating because you felt the need to do it, not because you needed others to tell you how good you are. The irony of it all is the fact that when you step back and create what makes you happy, others find themselves drawn to it — create for yourself instead of others.
Now is the time to get started
Our world is changing, and creatives are in a position to take advantage of these changes. If you have an idea, go for it. Not everything will be a winner, but continuing to create is how you achieve better quality. Somewhere, someone is going to connect with your work. And if they don’t, that’s ok. Keep pushing forward, keep creating, and keep evolving. The rest will follow suit.
Previously published on Medium.com.
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