I’d like to take a quick, informal poll. How many of you write stories, blog posts, poems, etc. and then decide, because they are especially good, to save them for later?
I think many of us tend to think we should save our “good” content for down the road. For instance I’ve written posts and thought, “Gee, This is good. I should save this for when I have more readers.” Do you see the flaw in that logic, because it took me a little while to see it.
How can I get more readers if I hold on to my best posts? And I say “best” only because I think they are good. For all I know they could (and probably do) stink on ice. That’s not the point though, we don’t all write gold every time but that doesn’t mean we should hang on to it when we do. What we should do is try to always use our good ideas and never try to save them for later.
I don’t know the psychology behind hoarding but apparently it doesn’t just apply to physical things. Lots of us, I think, tend to hoard our ideas. Maybe it’s because we (or at least I) want to hold onto good ideas because we (I) also write plenty of mediocre work. Maybe keeping my better stuff becomes a sort of psychological self-assurance. Maybe it’s something else entirely. It doesn’t really matter. To be creative we have to realize that we are capable of coming up with lots of good ideas. The fact that we came up with something good at all in the first place is proof of that. We have to learn to trust ourselves to be truly creative.
As my grandfather used to say: “The more work you do the easier it becomes.” So if you aren’t sure you should use something you have written, the answer is almost always use it. And besides one never knows how one’s work will resonate with some readers. You may have written just what someone needed to read on any given day, so get it out there.
This isn’t to suggest you should never save some work for when life decides to throw its little curve balls at you. There’s some logic to keeping a few, maybe not so great, things for emergencies, especially if you normally publish posts on a regular schedule. Life happens and we would be remiss if we didn’t plan accordingly.
So do you hoard your work or do you always put it out there? Leave a comment and let me know.